Kent Kindness is very grateful to have been given several substantial donations from organisations as varied as a private Trust and a sporting tournament. Receiving these donations means we can start 2019 with confidence, knowing we have the financial backing we need to continue to offer support to the young people we work with. We will use the money to fund projects connected with education and sporting or creative recreation.
There are currently many hundreds of asylum seeking children and young refugees in the care of Kent County Council.
All of them have made a very difficult journey to get to Britain; huge numbers of them are fleeing from war, terror, hunger or despair, and many of them have experienced trauma such as we can hardly imagine. At a young age, they have lived through situations nobody should ever have to face.
Kent County Council is doing a great job, and has managed to find foster homes for all the girls, for the boys under the age of 16, and for a very few boys aged 16 and 17 who have particular needs.
By far the biggest group of unaccompanied child asylum seekers, however, are boys aged 16 and over. These young people usually pass through a reception centre first, where their health, educational and social skills and needs are assessed. After that, if they stay in Kent, they are placed in rented accommodation (a room in a shared house) in various parts of the county, where they live “in the community” while their asylum application is processed. That can take a long time, during which the young people have very little money, are not allowed to take paid employment, may have only limited access to education, and therefore need our help and support.
We have set up our volunteer group to give additional support to the boys aged 16-17 while they are in the Ashford reception centre, and then afterwards when they are living in the community. We aim to help and supplement the activities and facilities already provided by the Kent County Council staff, and we work in partnership with them.
WE AIM TO EXTEND A SINCERELY WARM WELCOME TO THESE YOUNG PEOPLE AND TO HELP TO GIVE THEM HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.
Kent Kindness organised a party for the young people in the reception centre in the week before Christmas. It was as successful as the summer party we held in August, and this time the young people themselves had helped to set up and decorate the room.
We had lots of traditional games such as a seated sack race, pass the parcel, an egg and spoon race, musical statues and pin the beard on the Santa, and a great time was had by all. The party ended with some rousing carols and Christmas songs – hmm, not everyone was singing the same thing at the same time, but we made a lot of noise and had A LOT of fun!
PS Father Christmas turned up too, with a present for each boy.
We have had a great response to our appeal for donations for Christmas gifts – well over £200 from many friends and volunteers. The gifts have been delivered and look fantastic as you can see – and they will bring a lot of happiness when they are given out on Christmas Day by the staff at the reception centre. Thank you so much for your generosity.
If you ever shop online, without paying any more you can donate money to Kent Kindness by joining Easyfundraising.org.uk (link below).
Every time you make an online purchase from any of their supporting retailers (which include Amazon, Ocado, Sainsburys, Tesco, John Lewis, M&S, Next, Topshop, etc etc etc) a donation goes to a charity of your choice. All you have to remember to do is to buy online through the Easyfundraising.org website.
It’s easy to join up – just put in your name, email address and a password. Then you’re ready to choose your charity (Kent Kindness, we hope!) and you’re off! https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk
If you are already using Easyfundraising, you might consider nominating Kent Kindness as your charity of choice for a few weeks….. to do that, simply go to “My Account” on the top toolbar, choose “My Account Settings”, and you will see that the bottom item on the menu says “Change the Cause I Support”. That enables you to use that method to donate to Kent Kindness for a limited period, and then change back again.
Here’s a photo which one of our volunteers took of words made using Bananagram tiles as part of an Intermediate level English class in the reception centre. Using as many varied approaches as possible keeps the learners’ attention and helps them to learn. Our classes are not simply about doing worksheets – having fun is very important!
This is our new Kent Kindness Certificate of Participation, issued to boys when they leave the Reception Centre. It will be a positive recognition of the work they have done, and a reward to them for starting back on the path to education and development of skills. This idea has already gone down very well with the boys!
Now that Kent Kindness is fully set up with an online giving facility, it’s great to find that it’s being used – at the date of writing, kind people have donated over £400 (including Gift Aid) during the month of December alone. We’re truly very grateful for your gifts which enable us to extend the support we give to the young people who need your help.
Thank you to everyone who sent us a donation!
Kent Kindness offers support and hope to young asylum seekers and refugees who are living in Kent. Our central project is to give them classes in life skills and basic English, but we are also involved in offering them a range of other educational, sporting and social opportunities.