Thank you to everyone who has got in touch with us offering support in response to the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. We support all refugees and asylum seekers that come to us and always need donations of food, toiletries and cash (which goes directly to clients). If you want more information on how you can help Afghan refugees in the region, Migration Yorkshire have put together a helpful guide that you can access here: https://www.migrationyorkshire.org.uk/…
I have enjoyed an invaluable opportunity this summer volunteering with Meeting Point. This is an excellent charity based at Christ Church in Armley providing practical and emotional support for refugees and asylum seekers currently living in Leeds. Helping people from all round the world – including parts of Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe – it also aims to help people work towards social integration in this country.
The beneficiaries of this charity have left their homes and normal life and are often in a very difficult situation living in another country where English is not their first language. People in this situation are often living in a state of limbo waiting for a decision from the Home Office on their legal status and can be waiting for years. Some are destitute, some not allowed to work or receive benefits and some don’t have a home. They can be isolated and struggle physically and mentally. They may not have family or friends in this new country. Their situation is often challenging and precarious and many rely on charities for support.
Every Monday Meeting Point runs a drop-in session where beneficiaries receive a hot meal, a prepared bag of food containing a mixture of fresh fruit and vegetables, bread and pastries and additional items of dried food and meat which they can select. They can also receive clothes and household items. Whilst here they can get support and advice in many forms including health and employment advice.
In addition, Meeting Point runs a Women’s Group, English classes, trips and other activities. For example, during the summer trips have been running for all the family.
As well as providing the practical support of food and clothes Meeting Point helps people emotionally by making them part of a community and helping them make friends. Many beneficiaries of Meeting Point subsequently become involved themselves with volunteering and helping the charity.
The work here is led by Emma Crossley and supported by a team of staff and volunteers. I’ve found them all to be extremely friendly and totally dedicated in their work.
Meeting Point has helped me realise the enormous hardship and challenge these people and their families have faced in their lives. However, talking to the people here is always a really positive experience for me as they are always incredibly friendly. I am continually impressed by and admire their resilience and determination.
My experience here has given me knowledge and insight into an important global issue affecting millions of people around the world. The terrible images of suffering from Afghanistan highlight the plight of refugees and asylum seekers. Meeting Point has also led me to consider how we can find ways to reach out to help people in these situations and I would hope to remain involved going forward.
The Monday Meeting Point ‘drop-in’ is still taking place every week. We are now able to accept and distribute donations of clothing and small household items as well as food and toiletries. All refugees and asylum seekers are welcome and donations can be dropped off at any time on a Monday.
Our Women’s Group is currently meeting online but we are hoping to recommence some on site group activities from July.
English classes are currently taking place online and we are hoping to recommence these on site from September.
Thanks to Healthy Holidays funding we have an exciting programme of activities planned for the summer and we will do as much as we safely can within the restrictions that apply!
You can keep up to date via our Facebook page. Any questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
As we enter another lockdown rest assured that Meeting Point remains open. From Christ Church we will be distributing food and other essential items every Monday afternoon.
For the moment, we can only accept donations of food stuffs and not clothing or household items
Thank you so much again for the continued support and encouragement.
Meeting Point has remained open every week in 2020, supporting refugees and asylum seekers throughout the pandemic.
It’s been a tough year for us all but for those in society who already started the crisis marginalised and disadvantaged, it has been even harder.
We are wanting to make this Christmas special in some way for everyone and so are launching our Christmas appeal with that in mind.
Please consider gifting the following items for us to distribute:
New winter warmers: Socks/ gloves/ scarves
Toiletries gift sets
Cash: Our Hardship Fund provides destitute asylum seekers and refugees with essential cash provision. Donate financially to Meeting Point and 100% funds will go to them, not on general project costs.
To donate, please visit the donate page.
Thank you so much