Thumbs Up From Refugees

THUMBS UP FROM REFUGEES

Over seventy refugees (including 30 children) from countries including: Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Eritrea, Cameroon and D. R. Congo enjoyed a party, hosted at The Bridge URC in Otley by “Otley Welcomes” which consists of Churches Together in Otley and other community groups. RETAS (Refugee, Education, Training and Advice Service) a Leeds based charity brought the refugees to Otley by coach.

Despite a cold rainy day the refugees, who live in the inner city, found a short walk by the river, feeding the swans, ducks and geese as well as playing in the park, provided a welcome change.  The fresh air and exercise developed hearty appetites for a lunch of curry and rice in the church hall with desserts provided by local people.  Afterwards games followed with a parachute, jumping over ropes, knocking a plastic bottle over, and a puppet show. Games which the children, and some adults, entered into with gusto! Two groups, representing the Syrians and Iranians, played music from their cultures and danced in their own local styles. Then Scottish music was played and it was heart-warming to see people of all ages and from different cultures dancing away in fine style! Ongoing craft activity, which included making unusual hats from bits and pieces. face painting using flags from the different countries and other pastimes kept everyone busy and happy..

Talking to the refugees was an important part of the day and it laid to rest some commonly held misconceptions. For example one man, a builder from Afghanistan has been working in this country for twelve years but was only allowed to bring his wife over a year ago when he managed to start being paid £19,000 a year.** One clear message came over, all refugees are not scroungers and deserve help. As one English helper expressed it “I can’t help with the national concerns but I can do my bit locally with people who need help and wish to give in return if given .the chance.”


News
Webpage icon St George's Day Parade
Webpage icon Celebrating 50 years of membership
Webpage icon New Charity - Feed the Minds
Webpage icon Teas on the Lawn 2016
Webpage icon Tour de Yorkshire
Webpage icon Induction - Jason McCullagh
Webpage icon Ashfield Christingle 2015
Webpage icon Food & Friends at Christmas
Webpage icon Induction of Elders and Member
Webpage icon Westgate Primary School Harvest
Webpage icon Commitment for Life 2015
Webpage icon Skip is awarded the Silver Acorn
Webpage icon The Heritage Boys Return!
Webpage icon New Members April 2015
Webpage icon The Edge
Webpage icon Chinese Capers - Beavers Event
Webpage icon Mocktail Party - February 2015
Webpage icon New Member February 2015
Webpage icon Beaver's Awards
Webpage icon News from the Uniformed Organisations
Webpage icon Beaver's Trip to Pets at Home
Webpage icon Cub Camp News
Webpage icon Lizzie Wins Gold!
Webpage icon Skip - 30 years Service
Webpage icon Dedication of Lectern