Social inclusion and supported integration
The needs of temporarily housed refugees and asylum seekers often involves far more than clinical assistance. Many arrive with no belongings, no knowledge of their surroundings and are reacting to unimaginable trauma. Therefore, in addition to our clinical provision, we work with over 25 voluntary sector organisations to deliver activities that will support integration, social inclusion and cultural awareness – all of which can reduce or prevent mental health issues.
Thanks to Surrey Outdoor Activity Centre who offer dedicated activity days for children living in hotels. The activities are led by trained instructors and include rock climbing, rope walk, archery, abseiling and team game challenges.
This popular project is supported by Bikes Revived, Active Surrey and Surrey County Council. It is now led by two refugee hotel residents who have become our Bike Champions. Together they offer fellow residents support with fixing bikes and assist with lights and helmets for an opportunity to get out of their temporary accommodation sites and explore their new community in a safe and healthy way.
Fun away days are arranged for children in West Sussex in partnership with Thought-Full, the West Sussex Mental Health Support Teams in Schools service. The team liaises with hotel staff to invite families and organise transport to ensure that they can take part. These events introduce the Personalised Care team and help people understand the help available and how to contact them with any health concerns. Previous events have also been supported by Sussex Aid for Refugees and the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints.
This project gives local asylum seekers the opportunity and environment to cook together – an important cultural activity for many who are housed in temporary accommodation and don’t have access their own facilities. These sessions have given experienced cooks the opportunity to share their skills with others and for some attendees, it continues to be an important way of socialising with others in a safe environment.
In partnership with Refugees Welcome Crawley, we currently provide the additional support to ensure that community members are able to attend regular English lessons. This includes supporting travel for 20 individuals and addressing medical concerns raised in the class.
We are delighted to support the provision of simple, inclusive day trips to some of Surrey and Sussex’s landmarks. Suitable for women and children, the outings offer the opportunity to leave temporary accommodation and experience National Trust sites and local farms in a safe way, supported by our team throughout the visit.
An opportunity for the benefits of community gardening to be shared by all – creating a sense of community, improving language skills and mental wellbeing.
These school holiday football camps are for local children staying in refugee and asylum seeker hotel accommodation. The team at Crawley Game Changers teach a variety of football skills and inclusive games to ensure that all children have the opportunity to take part. Crawley Community Transport provide minibuses, Sussex Aid for Refugees provided water bottles and sun cream and Sussex FA assist with safeguarding.
We have also been able to provide tickets to watch local football matches courtesy of Crawley FC.
In partnership with Surrey Arts, the workshops celebrate the diversity of Surrey’s communities and are led by some of the UKs most experienced music facilitators. Through a series of fun and creative music workshops participants will be able to make new music, try instruments from around the world, perform and make new friendships.
We have discovered many professional musicians within the groups we support and where possible, we work to try and provide instruments in hotels and temporary accommodation for people to enjoy and share together.
Supported by partners including Mole Valley Ramblers, these walking groups are friendly and inclusive – providing an opportunity for people to experience the joy of walking in countryside with the support of a leader who will have carefully planned the route.
Thank you to our partners Stripey Stork for continuing to donate life-saving Baby Boxes. We use these in emergencies for families who don’t have access to moses baskets or other safe sleeping options for their children, especially those living in temporary accommodation.
For children of all ages, we have a number of hotel based initiatives – they include some of the most simple, back to basics, cost-effective gestures to start building trust with some of our most vulnerable.
Safe spaces for women who wish to unite others who have experienced significant trauma and have multiple complex clinical and mental health needs. During the meetings there are activities that help to create a calming and relaxed atmosphere and allow participants the opportunity to speak freely and make friends.