Refugee Support Newsletter – September 2020

In this newsletter

  • New Monthly Time of Prayer for Refugees

  • News from CCOW

  • News from Local Groups

  • Resources

  • Actions

  • Upcoming Events

Time of Prayer for Refugees and Those Walking Alongside

On Tuesday 18th August, we held our first online monthly ‘Time of Prayer for Refugees and Those Walking Alongside’. It was a joy and privilege to join with other Christians who care about refugees, to hear from Vanessa Faulkner and others involved in Marlow Refugee Action, and  to pray for their work, other local groups, the UK and global situation.

The next meeting will be on Monday 21st September, 7.30-8.15pm. We look forward to hearing from Sarah Wahby and Goytom Fissehaye, Service Manager & Trustee of Sanctuary Hosting, to inform our prayers. We will also focus our prayers this month around people who have made or are making perilous sea crossings. Please register on Eventbrite to receive the login details.

News from CCOW

CCOW’s Refugee Networking Officer, Joanna Schüder, has a new mobile number: 07552 948688. She would love to hear from you on this number or by email:

New on CCOW’s website:

News from Local Groups

Asylum Welcome resumed face-to-face client services, by appointment only, in mid July. New staff appointments have included Caritas Umulisa as Assistant Youth Service Coordinator.
Charlbury Refugee Action has raised over £15,000 already this year for charities alleviating conditions for refugees in Europe. The group continues with imaginative fundraising initiatives, like a virtual team concert and downloadable recipe book.
Host Abingdon and Faringdon Refugees Group have now finished officially supporting the Syrian families who came to Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire under the government’s resettlement scheme. Some volunteers will however remain in friendly contact with the families and support will be given when they move into new accommodation.
Refugee Resource has adapted all of its services to continue running throughout the pandemic, which has been a lifeline for refugees and asylum seekers facing complex trauma, increased isolation and multiple other hardships. On October 14th 2020 Refugee Resource celebrates its 21st anniversary. To continue these vital services, support those running a half marathon in aid of Refugee Resource.

Sanctuary Hosting continues to host and support around 10 guests, one of whom recently gained a scholarship to Oxford Brookes University. More volunteer hosts are needed throughout the Thames Valley and also a web developer to enhance their website.

Wycombe Refugee Partnership has supported their 21st family to secure a rental proerty in London so the parents, both doctors, can complete their remaining exams and hopefully soon work in the NHS. WRP is currently looking for: bikes (helmets, pumps and locks), bedding, van drivers with vans, someone experienced with Universal Credit, an Albanian speak and qualified ESOL teachers.


A coalition of 42 refugee support charities released in July “Wake Up Call”, a report detailing how a transition in government contracts at the end of 2019 disrupted the asylum accommodation and support system, causing serious difficulties for many people within the system. The report offers recommendations for the Home Office to improve asylum support and accommodation provision.
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland’s Churches Refugee Network has held a series of useful webinars. One is a panel discussion of how COVID-19 has affected Immigration Issues in Britain and Ireland; another focuses particularly on COVID-19 and Refugee and Asylum Issues.
Sponsor Refugees has launched a new Community Sponsorship online portal to help groups through the sponsorship process step by step – sign up free here. See also their introductory flier on how to become a community sponsor.
At a time of unhelpful political rhetoric against people seeking to reach the UK, Refugee Council’s post “Channel crossings: it’s time to set the record straight” gives clear facts, figures and explanations. Full Fact’s article explaining that there is no obligation on refugees to claim asylum in the first safe country they reach is also useful.


Asylum Matters and NACCOM have produced a fact sheet “Everyone Out?”which you can use to write to your MP urging the government to prevent evictions from asylum accommodation into homelessness  during Covid-19 and beyond.

Read City of Sanctuary‘s suggestions on action we can take to Stand up for Sanctuary, including templates, links and a petition, for writing to our MPs, sharing positive stories on social media, and complaining about media coverage.

Following the devastating fire in Moria refugee camp last week, Choose Love has come together with over 200 other organisations to launch a petition calling on European leaders to act now – Fire Moria Camp: Call for urgent evacuation and radical change.

Upcoming Events

Monday 28th September – NACCOM The No Accommodation Network AGM
Monday 5th October – Healthcare Conferences UK conference – Improving Mental Health Support for Asylum Seekers and Refugees
Saturday 7th November – National Refugee Prayer Hour


The CCOW events calendar is updated regularly with events of interest on this and other topics. Take a look!

Subscribe to this quarterly email Refugee Support Newsletter at: We also regularly post on Twitter about refugee issues, campaigns and events. Follow @CCOWinfo.