On 22 June Derbyshire Refugee Solidarity (DRS) held an Open Day and Jumble Sale. The date was planned to coincide with National Refugee Week, an initiative designed to raise awareness of the plight of refugees around the globe as well as celebrating the contribution of refugees to our society. The event raised an incredible £400 which will be used to help refugees. As much as the Open Day was about raising money, it was also about creating an enjoyable event for volunteers, members of the public and refugees and asylum seekers here in Derby - on that level, it ticked all the boxes. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming, with our recently updated garden open to all. It was great to see people enjoying one another’s company, sharing stories and chatting over a cup of tea and a slice of cake.
On a personal level, I first got involved with DRS in 2016 as a response to the many images appearing in the news. Back then, I had very little regular time to give so I responded to campaigns from the comfort of my own home, collecting food and clothing and dropping it down to the DRS warehouse as and when I could. In September 2018, my daughter started school and I made the decision that Thursday morning would be DRS day. I sometimes bring my children down on a Saturday morning and I love to see them interacting with people from different walks of life. Our activities include sorting through donations from the public, preparing items to be delivered abroad, offering informal English lessons and some weeks, simply sitting and being a listening friend. If anyone would like any further information, please visit our website at www.derbyshirerefugeesolidarity.org or pop down and visit us. The kettle is always on!