Move over Titchmarsh!

Turns out there’s a quite amazing abundance of green fingers in the DRS team! So much so that the gardening project is not only making amazing progress but it has also been given a very generous grant from Help Refugees….£1900 to help us with our plans for the garden AND for the refurbishment of the back room!

Lots of people to thank as always. Obviously Help refugees who said, "thank you for sending in such a fantastic application to the Spring Pot."

Also thanks to Paul, who is our chief gardener and wearer of cool-for-gardening hats, to Sue, to Steve, to everyone else who is doing their bit, and to Julie, for staying well away with her superpower of effortlessly destroying all plant life.


All a load of billiards!

Those of you familiar with our new premises, the very wonderful St Anne’s Church Hall, will also know there was a rather spooky back room, a bit Miss Havishamy!! Abandoned, neglected, broken and cobwebby!

Well, not any more. Thanks to a team of determined volunteers the HUGE billiard table has been dismantled, the wood will now be repurposed into garden furniture and the slate was sold for £340!

This area will now become a DRS storage area, complete with new donated shelving. Until that happens there may be an exciting new project on the way….

More details to follow….


Luscious Lush!

On the 26th, 27th and 28th April, volunteers from DRS took part inn the LUSH charity Pot event raising a final total of £597.38!!

As well as selling the Charity Pot, the team promoted DRS, distributed leaflets and shared our cause on their social media.

Everyone who volunteered said what a fantastic time they had with the lovely team at Lush. In fact, some of the team didn’t want to leave and talked about applying for a job there!

Lush’s Dee said, “I'm so glad you all had a great time at the charity event! I've had so much positive feedback from the team about you all so it has been a pleasure from us all!”


DRS gets a P.B!!

Yesterday’s Open day and Jumble Sale was truly a resounding success!

Early birds arrived at 9 a.m to finish setting up, quickly followed by punters eager to get their hands on some bargains. Soon the hall was full and a buzzy, busy, warm and welcoming atmosphere, much commented on by visitors, set the scene for the arrival of Deputy Mayor of Derby, Frank Hammond and his chauffeur Mick.

The Deputy Mayor chatted to volunteers, had a go at several of the games and posed for many selfies! He said if he won the “Lucky Bucket” he would donate his winnings to DRS. Believe it or not, he did win!! So thanks you for the generous donation Mr Deputy Mayor!

The cake stall was a highlight and Prue Leith would have been speechless at the sight of Gareth’s “Citrus Sponge”. Thanks to fantastic planning by Diana and Claire, every stall did well, so much so that the final total for the day was over £700!!

But best of all was the feeling of community, positivity and love. If you haven’t been before, please come and experience this for yourself!


Regular Donations to DRS

Several of our wonderful volunteers and supporters have asked if they can make a regular donation to DRS. As well as being amazingly generous, this would enable us to have a more consistent income to complement the one-off donations we receive and the income from fundraising.

Geoff has now set this up and the form is in the link below. Hard copies are available at St Anne’s. Thank you so much to everyone who is able to do this!


Springy Tuesday!

What a lovely way to spend a springy Tuesday morning!

On 26th March a team of four from DRS hired a van, filled it with sorted donations and drove it down to a service station near Kettering to meet with a larger van driven by the wonderful Shelley Braddock-Overbury from North Essex.

Today, the 27th March, Shelley will be driving the van to Care 4 Calais, Mobile Refugee Support, I'Auberge and Calais Project Play.

It is always uplifting when things come together like this. As Shelley says, “As always Side by Side : Humanitarian Aid to Refugees have been amazing with their contributions to our load as well as Friends of Refugees Suffolk and CamCRAG.
Gee I LOVE my job working with all you wonderful humans! 🙏🏼”

And we say, “ Thank you so much to everyone who enabled this to happen! To everyone who donated, sorted, volunteered, made tea, salvaged tents from festivals and made us feel so lucky to be part of this amazing team!”


DRS at International Women's Day Fair, Derby 2019

by Rachel Murray

DRS had a wonderful day out at the Arboretum in Derby yesterday. The IWD celebrations brought together so many different voluntary groups, organisations, performers and social change advocates. 
It was an inspiring day with plenty of information shared and gathered, networking done and many new people being made aware of DRS and all that we do. 
Katy painted a sea of faces, Zak provided much appreciated pastries and knitted hats found new homes ( or should I say, heads). It was a joy to be amongst so many other people who are all working hard to make positive changes in this world.