In early August, some of our Kent Kindness volunteers organised a party for the young people at the reception centre.
The intention was for it to be an English garden party and sports day, but, after weeks and weeks of drought, that was the day when the weather broke and it absolutely poured non-stop!
Fortunately, we were invited to move the event into the spacious dining area, and so we were able to put on some races such as egg and spoon and a sack race (with the young people sitting on the floor rather than running, in the interests of health and safety!) as well as other traditional games and activities – pin the tail on the donkey, Twister, musical statues, fancy dress and more.
The volunteers provided a completely sumptuous spread for tea, as well as lovely table and room decorations. We were greatly helped by the support workers in the centre – and I think they enjoyed the afternoon as well!
It was wonderful to see the young people enjoying themselves so thoroughly, and a great time was had by all.
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.
Registered Charity no. 1167921
Recently, Kent Kindness funded a day out for the young refugees in the secondary school in which some of our volunteers give support. Here’s an email we received from their teacher:
We are just back from yet another brilliant adventure thanks to Kent Kindness. We could not have packed anymore into our day – lighthouses, trains, paddling, ice creams, sandcastles, amusements and rides. Lots of fun had by all so thank you very much
Kent Kindness would like to say a huge “thank you” to Cranbrook School.
Not only have they twice hosted the boys from the reception centre for a friendly game of football (including refreshments!), but they have also made a most generous donation to us from their Charity Appeal.
The money will be used to help young refugees who need our support; and the fun and friendly welcome of the football matches have already given very much enjoyment.
Thank you for your generosity.
Recently the boys from the reception centre were invited for a friendly game of football to Cranbrook School. As you can see, the weather was perfect and they had a fantastic afternoon! Many thanks indeed to Cranbrook School for hosting such a very enjoyable occasion.
On Thursday May 10, the boys in the reception centre gave a real feast for the volunteers who work with them, to say “thank you” for all they have done. The boys prepared food from their own countries and it was delicious and very copious! They all signed a special card which was presented to the lead volunteer at the centre.
The boys were so proud and happy to be sharing their welcome, their food and their music with the volunteers, and the volunteers were tremendously touched and happy to receive such a special gift.
Kent Kindness held our second AGM at the London Beach Hotel on April 26, following the formal meeting with a social event. Under a scheme whereby all the costs of the food was given back to our charity by the London Beach Hotel, £238 was raised. What an excellent way to combine business, pleasure and fundraising!
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!
Last month, there was a week of events in Sandwich to raise awareness about refugees and migrants and the immense difficulties which they face. At the events, money was raised for supporting them, and Kent Kindness is very grateful for the donation of £220. Thank you so much for the money and for your support.