How can I help refugees arriving in Tonbridge?

The number of refugees who make it to our area is relatively small, but we want to make sure they feel welcome, and that the local community is ready to support them. We therefore work with the council and community groups to try and get Tonbridge & Malling ready to provide homes and safety for some of the men, women and children fleeing the war in Syria.

There are many ways that you can get involved:

DONATE: We are completely run by volunteers, which means we rely on generous donations to fund all of the activities and services that we offer.  You can either donate a single amount or set up a regular donation.  We are also always looking for donations of furniture and equipment to help refugee families, who arrive in Tonbridge with hardly anything, settle. Click here to be taken to our donation page.

HOUSING: Are you a landlord with property in the local area? If so, you could join a government scheme resettling refugees from Syria in the UK by renting properties from private landlords.  Landlords taking part in the scheme will be paid rent: the council offers Local Authority rates, and we have a mechanism to top those up to market rates if necessary. Click here to find out more.

ENGLISH TEACHING: When arriving in the UK, the majority of refugee families have poor or no English language skills. We provide free English language lessons to groups and individuals at all levels, from beginner to advanced.  This is a crucial service that helps our families settle into the community and continue their lives in the UK.  We are always looking for more teachers, so if this is something that you think you could help with – please get in touch.

BEFRIENDING: When arriving in Tonbridge our refugee families have already experienced a huge change.  We work with each of them to welcome them into the community and help them settle.  Could you offer some time to help befriend a refugee family and help them feel at home in our community?  If so, we would love to hear from you.

AWARENESS: We are a small charity and need all the awareness possible.  Could you help spread the word about what we do, events that have coming up etc by speaking at local community events, schools, sharing details on social media?

VOLUNTEERING: There are many ways that you could share your time to help.  We are a very small team and are always looking for people with a variety of skills to help.  For example; could you collect furniture donations, complete grant applications for us, help with our finance, help with our marketing, run English lessons, help at our events and much much more.  We hold regular meetings where we welcome new volunteers to find out more, or simple get in touch to if you think you could help.

COMPANY SPONSORSHIP: Do you run a local business?  Would you like to commit to supporting TWR?  We work with many local businesses who support the charity in various ways, from offering free services to offering financial support.  Please drop us a line if this is something you would like to discuss further.

TRANSPORT: Our refugee families arrive in Tonbridge with very little and one of the challenges they face on a daily basis is transport.  We are always looking for people that would be willing to offer lifts to refugee families to help them get to crucial appointments.  Please get in touch if you feel you could help.

WRITE TO YOUR MP: The refugee crisis is ongoing and often the decisions about refugees plight are made at government level.  You can help influence this by letting our political representatives know how you feel about welcoming refugees from the Syrian conflict here in Britain. We need our MP and our local councillors to get the message loud and clear that there is still a lot of support in Tonbridge and Malling for resettling refugees. To help, we have produced the resources, and contact details, to help you write to local government representatives.  Click here to find out more.

The above are just some of the ways that you could get involved – but we would love to hear from you if you have any other ideas of how you think you could help.  Please email us at info@tonbridgewelcomesrefugees.co.uk