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We all need a REsT

June 6, 2022

Unfathomable events in the Ukraine and the subsequent refugee crisis are sadly daily news. As reported elsewhere in this Bulletin, the first Homes for Ukraine families arrived in Blewbury in April and have been warmly welcomed.

However, months before the Ukrainian war hit our headlines a group of residents formed Blewbury Resettlement Support Team (ReST). Our aim: to help a family forced to flee their home country to settle permanently in our village and become part of our community. The family, most likely from Afghanistan or Syria, will have already been recognized as refugees and given the right to live in the UK, but are now waiting for a permanent and stable place to restart their lives.

There is debate over the differing responses – both public and government. But, whilst our Ukrainian families wait for the day they can return to their homes and husbands, sadly for the refugees from further afield this an unlikely possibility in the foreseeable future. The process and commitment is also very different.  Through the Community Sponsorship Scheme, ReST (working under the charity Citizens UK), must commit to support as the family settle in. This requires demonstrating to the Home Office that we have structures in place for local services, safeguarding, translation, etc; have secured affordable accommodation for at least 2 years; and have at least £9,000 of funds. Given housing costs in the area, and that the family may be large, we anticipate needing even more.

We would welcome your help in achieving our target. If you’d like to make a donation please visit https://bit.ly/3Luyqpb, or join us at one of the engaging and enjoyable fundraising activities we have planned:

  • The ReST Plant Stall will be blooming again and we’ll be serving cream teas at the Big Jubilee Celebration (Sunday 5 June). ReST teas will also be available at Flower Festival at St Michael’s on Saturday 4 June.
  • By kind permission of BVS we’ll be holding an Auction of Promises at the Summer Dance on 25 June. Current lots include: dance classes; dog walking; holistic therapy; G& afternoon Tea; week in North Cornwall; celebratory bellringing. If you can’t make it we’ll be sharing details of all lots in advance and accepting remote bids. For more details or to offer a ‘promise’ email cath@hopeinyoga.com .
  • On Friday 8 July the Red Lion host our Curry Take Away. Take home a tikka, or grab a beer with your bhuna and make an evening of it.
  • The following evening, 9 July, we have a unique opportunity to join our Sponsored Sleep Out on Playclose. A great way to raise money and a great experience for those taking part. All welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. For information and sponsorship forms email dermotmathiasbpc@gmail.com.

Keep an eye out in the Bulletin for information on the Village Garage Sale in September and Bridge Afternoon & Lunch on 13 October (details from mathiascfp@btinternet.com)  Thanks for your support!  Andy Jarvis