Thank you for your messages of support and donations for the Ukrainian refugee crisis. Our small team worked hard to recruit and train volunteer support workers and we worked with our partners – Food Bank, Rotary Club, Little Bundles – to provide for new arrivals. We don’t have storage or capacity to deal with donated items, but all cash donations are very gratefully received. We set up a coordination group for all the charities and networks supporting Ukrainian refugees in our area to share and disseminate information. We have been holding social events for Ukrainian refugees and their hosts (the Ukrainian community is now arranging their own events), and dealing with a situation that is new to us; the need of support for hosts – even successful matches can be a struggle after a few months living together in the same house. Here’s a welcome and info page for Ukrainians arriving in Chichester.
We continued to welcome new families from Afghanistan throughout 2022, and they are being supported by our awesome team of dedicated volunteers, and are settling in well and making incredible progress – this is despite suffering constant, debilitating worry and grief due to loved ones left behind being targeted by the Taliban (for violence, murder and threats of murder) in lieu of the escapees. The Home Office/ MOD is not being resourced to deal with the huge demand – tens of thousands of requests – for rescuing relatives whose lives are in very real and imminent danger. We are gradually learning the stories of the new Afghan arrivals, and the things they have done are astoundingly brave, like leading British Army missions across minefields and serving on the frontline for decades. Now we’re seeing Afghan asylum seekers arriving in small boats – these are people who didn’t manage to get on a UK Government flight last August so escaped with their lives by travelling over land and the Channel is the last hurdle of their long journey – to join family in the UK and/ or who used to work with the British government so are seeking safety here. Some are unaccompanied children.