This might seem a bit late but, with the launch of this new website in mid-2019, we can more easily release our annual reports and other news. So, you can now read our full annual report for the year to June 2018 (2.8 MB PDF file). Here’s a taster of what we were up to:
By the end of the financial year in June 2018, CRRC supported seventeen refugee families, mostly from Syria, a few from Iraq and one from Sudan, numbering close to one hundred beneficiaries. In order to provide meaningful support, effective communication between beneficiaries and CRRC has been crucial. One of our volunteers has acted as the (Arabic speaking) Contact Point for the families, a role that is crucial in conveying information and requests to and from CRRC and beneficiaries. CRRC has also tried to appoint to each family a volunteer to act as a so-called Focal Point (FP). The role of the FP is broadly to ensure that the trustees are aware of the families’ particular and individual needs whether for goods or services that CRRC may be able to assist with in order for the family to rebuild their lives in Cambridge and facilitate integration into the community.
Until 2017 classes organised by Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign were the only English language provision for refugees who had come to Cambridge through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. They were an absolutely essential service for newly arrived refugees in Cambridge. Since the beginning of 2017, classes at Cambridge Regional College (CRC), funded by Cambridge City Council, became available, however, not everyone has been able to attend as there is no childcare provision for children aged under one. Therefore, CRRC volunteers continued to provide weekly classes with childcare.
The CRRC socials have been running since shortly after the first three families arrived in Cambridge in December 2015. These are monthly events, and they have become a very important date in the families’ and the volunteers’ social calendars. They have grown enormously over the years and are now attended by approximately 60-70 adults and 40-50 children. Everyone who attends is encouraged to bring food or drink to share. Volunteers are encouraged in advance to sign up to help with a specific role at the event. There is always childcare arranged with special activities for the children, and there is sometimes music.
We could not carry out our work without the tremendous contributions of our many volunteers and supporters. CRRC works in a collaborative manner, recognising that the nature of a volunteer-led group requires flexibility, whilst ensuring that we fulfil tasks we commit to within given time frames in order to achieve our objects. There has been a high level of ongoing engagement from those getting in touch with CRRC to express their interest in getting involved, suggesting that the operational model is effective. Between May 2017 and March 2018, CRRC screened over 30 people who registered interest in becoming active volunteers with CRRC. Roughly 70% of those coming into contact with the organisation took up an active volunteering role. We estimate that the total volunteer time we benefited from during the year amounted to over 5,000 hours.
We thank all volunteers and supporters for their tremendous contributions to CRRC’s work!