Following the recent coverage of the plight of refugees in the news, Reading Refugee Support Group has been inundated with offers of help, and questions from people who want to do their bit but are not sure how. It has been encouraging and humbling to see so much generosity from the people of Reading. We’ve put together this page in the hope that it will lead you to the answers you need.
If your enquiry is not covered here, you can email email@example.com, our crisis response volunteer. She may be able to answer your questions.
I want to donate clothes, food etc. Can I drop them off at the RRSG office?
Sorry, but no. We’re a very small organisation, and we just don’t have the room. However, there are a lot of drop-off points around Reading and the surrounding area. Currently, the main collection points in Reading are the Reading Bicycle Kitchen (Jackson's Corner) and Wycliffe Baptist Church. The grassroots group Reading Refugee Response Hub has produced this handy guide, to ensure your donation is useful.
I want to donate money, which are the most useful organisations to donate to?
Kind as your offer is, a spare room is not a permanent solution – you must remember that this crisis is going to last, potentially, for months or even years to come. If you wish to rent out a spare home to refugees, we currently advise that you should get in touch with your local council, and they may be able to advise you.
Is there anything else I can do to help?
• Educate yourself, and help to spread the facts about refugees and asylum seekers. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions floating around, which lead to xenophobia and racism, at a time when what we need most is integration and unity. We’ve made this fact sheet, which you can print out or share online. Other good sources of information are this British Red Cross page, and this article.
• Print out our 'Refugees Welcome' poster and put it up, in your home, business, or office. It features the flags of the countries of origin of all our clients, and the word ‘welcome’ in the many languages of those countries. Let people know that you support refugees.
• Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, share our news with others, and come to our events!