When I first learned about the sufferings of the refugees in the Middle East I just wished I could do something to help. So when I heard that some people in Malvern were setting up a Community Funded charity to bring a few vulnerable families over here, I was keen to join it. This was really a step in the dark for me, as I had no idea what would be involved, or whether I had anything relevant to offer other than my desire to help.
I found that a great team of multi-talented and mutually supportive local people had already got together here. The aim is always to empower refugees so that they can live independently in the community. I found that, as a volunteer, it was possible to support them with this on so many different levels, from major things like finding schools and setting up English lessons, to simple things like offering the occasional lift to Worcester, or accompanying a family to fill in the form at the dentist.
Perhaps we have been amazingly fortunate, but the families who have come here so far are delightful people; warm and friendly and showing tremendous resilience and positive spirit, having endured so much. It is really a privilege to know them. They frequently express their gratitude to us, but in truth we as volunteers realise that we have also benefited enormously from this experience ourselves. I would certainly encourage anyone to join us who has even just a little spare time – and love – to offer, and the desire to be part of something so worthwhile.