Our aim is to support the resettlement of refugees in the Malvern Hills area and to provide practical assistance and advice.
We work to nurture a culture of welcome in which people fleeing violence and the horrors of war can live fulfilled and happy lives as part of the community free from poverty, discrimination and harassment.
Malvern Welcomes has grown in number and vision since it was formed in 2014. Originally we were called Malvern Welcomes Syrian Refugees as we were working to encourage our council to take refugees under a specific UK Government scheme – the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme. However, as we were working to nurture a culture of welcome for ALL refugees who have fled war and violence we soon changed our to Malvern Welcomes reflects this. In recent months we have held events which were attended by refugees now settled in Worcester and Coventry. We have shared joyful times, walking in the Malvern Hills and eating together.
We are delighted that the original aim of persuading Worcestershire County Council to accept 12 refugee families has been achieved and it is testament to the generosity of our community that we have built up a large number of supporters who are eager and ready to assist in a variety of ways. We have built an impressive resource from the wealth of expertise and experience among people, who have offered to help on a voluntary basis.
We work to raise awareness of current national campaigns by publicizing petitions and holding events locally. For example, in November we held a Candlelight Vigil for Refugee Children Everywhere, which was well-attended and attracted the interest of many people in Malvern.
With Malvern Hills Amnesty Group we organized a coach to take people to London to join the Refugees Welcome March.
Awareness – raising and education
We aim to nurture a welcoming environment for refugees who have fled war and persecution by raising awareness of the issues facing refugees. We believe that providing students and the general public with accurate information is the best way to counter the negative rhetoric that is often found in some sections of the media in the UK. Visiting schools is a vital part of this work. In 2016 we spoke to around 5,000 students in local schools. As a result of this, many schools held fund-raising events, and collections of essential items for refugees as well as organizing letter-writing activities and petitions.
‘You came to my college the other day to give a talk and I wanted to write to you thank you for being so eye opening. It made me realise how bad conditions were and how every little helps. Hopefully I will be looking into helping in some way.’ Student from local 6th form
We also give presentations to groups in the community including Women’s Institute and Scout and Beaver Groups.
We all sleep under the same stars – a collection of poems by eleven year olds about the refugee experience
These original poems were written by the very talented Year 6 children from Greenfield Primary School in Stourbridge.
They were inspired to write following a Letterpress Project event with Karen Argent about the experience of asylum seekers and refugees as expressed in several children’s books.
We guarantee that you will be impressed with the maturity and compassion of these young writers who have composed a range of creative work to be proud of.
Click here to see Refugee_Poems4.pdf