Updated on February 4, 2016
Ambitious plans need your support
We now live in Malvern a small spa town in Worcestershire. Before we moved we had heard that it had become a Town of Sanctuary and had persuaded the local council to apply for a small group of Syrian refugees to come under the Home Office SPVR scheme.
That was over 12 months ago and nothing much happened to the application and lots of barriers were thrown up by local authorities concerned about cost in a time of austerity. So after a year of campaigning with a wonderful group of people with a completely hands-on steering group; rebutting all the usual letters in the local press, marching ( yes, in Malvern) on the council offices (twice), collecting a 1000 signatures on our petition , setting ourselves up as a charity to deliver help and advice to families, (Malvern Welcomes) and even an appearance on Channel 4, we have just heard that the application will go ahead and be supported by the County and District Council. At last!
There are to my knowledge 55 other councils who are going through a similar process and, from the number of requests we get for speakers and support there will be many others.
This year Growing Points, who aim to support at least 150 people from excluded communities to meet their leadership ambitions, have decided to prioritise refugees ( we already have many as our customers). This means we will need to recruit more Guardians who use their networks to ensure ambitions are met, particularly in our hub areas of Leeds, East Midlands and London.
So if your town is welcoming refugees we’d love to hear from you to see who we can help and how. And if you’d like to become part of our growing number of well-networked and accessible people who are Guardians please look at our website (growingpoints.co.uk) and get in touch!