Blog

See and hear an MK buddy family paired with a Syrian refugee family

One of the many ways RWMK works with the British Red Cross is by partnering as a ‘Buddy Family’ with newly arrived refugee families.  You can see and hear more about this important work in two recent segments: (1) A TV report on BBC Look East, available on iPlayer, or directly viewable in a slightly different version (see links further below). (2) A radio report on BBC Three Counties radio (see links further below).   Many thanks to the BBC, to Kerri Chana of the British Red Cross, and to Marie and her family for being a Buddy Family! Full links are as follows: A TV report on BBC Look East, available on iPlayer (click here) until 7PM on 16th November 2017,... read more

Help Us Set the Agenda – Supporters’ Mtg Nov 13th

Two years ago, something amazing happened. People across Britain were moved by the desperate plight of refugees in the Mediterranean. Across the country refugees welcome groups sprang up. Our group Refugees Welcome Milton Keynes (RWMK) began as a Citizens MK campaign, but is now an independent charity. It has been an amazing two years! We have been privileged to welcome eight families to MK through the Government's Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. Two more families will have arrived by the end of the year - nearly sixty people in all! If you have been closely involved with any of this, you will know how good it has been to meet our new friends and welcome them to our city. You... read more

Make a difference now with Sanctuary Hosting

From a posting by Alissa Pemberton on the Community Action:MK website we read this: "Sanctuary Hosting is a registered UK charity that provides temporary shelter to homeless vulnerable migrants, refugees and asylum seekers (guests), many of whom are also destitute. They match guests to generous people (hosts) who have a spare room to accommodate them temporarily, just like air bnb but at no cost. They work in the Thames Valley area, predominantly in Oxford, Milton Keynes and Reading. They currently host 16 guests, and have made available over 7,800 nights of accommodation since they started in July 2015. Can you help? Contact info@sanctuaryhosting.org or call 07818... read more

Rebuilding Lives

Families continue to arrive in Milton Keynes as part of the vulnerable persons resettlement scheme.   Three families arrived in May and were welcomed by a group of Red Cross personnel, RWMK volunteers and Milton Keynes Council representatives. The latest arrivals take our total to eight families, all of whom are beginning to rebuild their lives here in MK. Colleagues at our local British Red Cross (BRC) are helping them locate amenities, public transport links and registering with services.  Parents are starting English classes and their children are preparing for school;  they are getting to know their neighbours and making new friends. As the families become accustomed to their... read more

Pupils get creative in fight against hate (awards 19-Jul-2017)

From our colleagues at CitizensMK, we read the following:         This July, The Open University is hosting an exhibition of children’s art work to raise awareness of hate crime. In a campaign organised by Citizens:mk, posters created by pupils from four MK primary schools will be judged by a panel including Arriva buses, whose marketing manager has agreed to display Fight Against Hate posters on MK buses this Autumn. Read the full story, with details of the 19th July 2017 award ceremony,... read more

Great Get Together Iftaar 16th June 7:30-10:30PM

The Great Get Together Bring and Share Iftaar is inspired by the late Jo Cox, MP, who was a tireless peace and human rights campaigner.  It will be an opportunity to celebrate both the unity of the peoples of Milton Keynes and the month of Ramadan.  Let’s give unity, peace and tolerance the thumbs-up in Milton Keynes! When: Friday 16th June 2017, 7.30-10.30pm Where: Campbell Park Pavilion, Milton Keynes MK9  4AD. Info poster to download/circulate: Great Iftaar Poster A5 v3 (PDF) Original story with links to RSVP and 'get involved' details  from the Citizens:mk website:  The aim is to celebrate MK’s unity and diversity by bringing together its diverse communities to... read more

The UK General Election and #RefugeesWelcome

When David Cameron made the commitment to extend the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, he said the UK would resettle “up to 20,000 refugees by the end of this Parliament” and then supplemented this scheme with 3,000 “children at risk” due to also be resettled directly from the region. Because of the Fixed Term Parliament Act, people assumed this meant 2020; however the snap election now calls this commitment into question. The incoming Government could choose to scrap the scheme with immediate effect. Currently, even if the incoming Government agrees to continue the existing resettlement commitment until 2020, that still leaves two more years before the end of the... read more

JUST ONE HOUSE – The way forward for getting homes ready

To scale up our work furnishing homes for families to move into, we work with faith groups, businesses, schools, clubs or other organisations who can commit to getting involved with kitting out ‘Just One House’.  As of May 2017 we have six groups committed already, i.e. taking responsibility for six houses.  We will be looking for more to get going later in the year or during 2018. Each group can build up a level of commitment that suits them.  The basic level of involvement simply entails raising the money for kitting out a house with new items – £3,500.  You can then hand the funds to us and our experienced team will do the rest. Alternatively, a group could procure all of... read more

Fun and Funds: 30th April 6.30pm

Come and enjoy live Syrian and Western music Sunday 30 April and help raise funds and awareness for the British Red Cross support of our Syrian refugees.  It’s at the Age UK Peartree Centre, Chadds Lane, MK6 3EB from 6.30 to 9.30 pm with a raffle, snacks and refreshment, and music from Belal Alasali and the Free Peace Band.  Speakers include Jennifer Hill from MK BRC and members of the local Syrian community.  It’s entry by donation. Please see our April Newsletter for booking details and a link to an A5 flyer for the event, for you to download and circulate to... read more

Help Refugees Via Our Partner Organisations: training 22nd April

We are pleased to be working with two local organisations through which you can provide help: Talk English seeks volunteers to teach learners on Talk English Courses and help people to improve their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills; Sanctuary Hosting matches homeless asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants to people in the community with spare rooms and open hearts, to stay with them rent free, and is running an important training session in MK on 22nd April, as described in the second section below. Talk English Talk English helps ‘beginners’ to improve their listening, reading and writing skills in English. Funded by the Department for Communities and Local... read more