Since last summer, around 230 asylum seekers have been living in temporary accommodation in a local hotel. They’ve had to endure the COVID lockdowns in even more difficult conditions than most of us - a long way from home, often without appropriate clothes, lacking home-cooked food, and many without the language skills to create friendships.
Since November, we as a church have been working with Care4Calais to provide space once a month for a clothes-bank; as well as providing space for Refugee Community Kitchen to offer a weekly meal on Saturdays. Several guests at the hotel have joined our church, and begun to make friendships.
We’re going to build upon these relationships to offer a weekly Sunday lunch during May, June and July - not just providing food, but also making space for friendship and conversations to help the asylum seekers practise their English. We'll be launching this new initiative on Sunday 9th May after the morning service and running until the end of July.
You can be involved in several ways:
- You could co-ordinate the preparation of a Sunday lunch for around 80 people. We will provide budget to purchase ingredients, as well as space and equipment to prepare and serve a meal - but you will need to decide on a (vegetarian) meal that you can make in a sufficient quantity to serve a large number of people.
- You could help set out tables and chairs, serve a meal, and then eat and talk with our guests. You would then help with tidying up afterwards.
- You could donate money to pay for ingredients and serving equipment. We think we will need about £100 per week.