DRS, PC Hamed and tug of war at the Whitecross Summer Party

We all tried to behave ourselves today at the Whitecross Summer Party , with Police Constables Hamed and Osman on patrol. But if you see a bow and arrow, what are you supposed to do????

Lovely day at Whitecross Summer party. Met loads of fab people, had tons of fun and made some money for DRS by selling gorgeous bags made by our sewing team and donated DVDs and toys.

And when we got back to St Anne's we found 7 beautiful Moses Baskets, brought to us by a superstar who goes by the name of Laura!! Own up please, so we can thank you properly!!


"Stay strong. Never give up."

To someone in Calais, hoping to find refuge in the UK...

"Well done for how far you have travelled. You are an inspiration to all. I'm sure the journey has been rough but I believe you can carry on and make it the whole way. Your life will get better and your journey towards refuge will be accomplished. I wish you all the best. Stay strong. I hope this bag helps you. Never give up."

Yesterday a team of 16/17 year olds from the National Citizen Service came to volunteer at DRS. They made up packs for Calais, including a personal message like the one above, helped sort toys and loaded a van headed to Calais driven by superhero, Máirtin Ó Grádaigh!

They will be joining us again tomorrow. We are soooo grateful to them for choosing us and for all they have done!


Thank you from Samara's Aid

As you may know, one of the amazing organisations we work with is Samara's Aid whose mission statement is "Serving Syria and the Middle East with medical and humanitarian help"

Thanks to your support, this is one of eight organisations DRS were able to send £500 to last week. This is the wonderful reply we received...

"Thank you so much for the donation of £500.00 from The Derbyshire Solidarity Charity towards our humanitarian work. Would you please thank everyone concerned in the giving of this wonderful amount.

Everything we do is completely dependent on contributions from people like you and we are so thankful for your support. Sadly there are now more than 11.7 million in Syria requiring humanitarian help (UNOCHA).

In August 2014, Samara felt God call her to “start collecting”. Her vision was to fill and send out one lorry load of winter clothes, shoes and bedding. With your backing we have sent out 110 of these lorries and containers of donated goods, including mother and baby care packs, dignity bags, wheelchairs, stretchers and other hospital equipment. In addition we have opened and run medical facilities together with our partners in Syria. Our medical centre in Deir Ez-zor was established in February 2018 after the area was freed from ISIS, and is currently treating an average of 3,000 patients each month. To date, all the care we have given there has been provided free of charge, serving many of the poorest and most vulnerable people, many of whom are living in badly damaged homes.

Everyone working with us in the UK is a volunteer. To date we have each covered our own expenses, and to eliminate most UK overhead costs, we have used storage spaces offered to us rent- free. We want as close to 100% as possible of all donations to go directly to our brothers and sisters in need.

Currently donations to our general fund will cover our basic costs for insurance etc. and supporting our humanitarian and medical work. Donations to our medical appeal are being channelled towards supporting our medical projects in Syria, which includes designing and building a new 9,000m2 hospital in Syria. Funds donated to our orphans and widows appeal will support households with children who have lost one or both parents. It will also be used to support widows with children to enable them to be self-sufficient, whether through training, mentoring or providing equipment, like sewing machines, to enable them to earn an income.

The crisis in Syria has been described by the UN as the “worst humanitarian crisis of our time”. The complex situation and needs of the people there mean we will keep our focus on what we can do on a practical level to support the millions left behind in such a difficult place. Our journey continues to be one of trust in God’s provision and answers to prayers. We hope very much that you will be inspired to continue to support our appeal


"Droning on?"

So usually it’s Steve, Julie or Geoff droning on and on at DRS. But not yesterday!

On 3rd August we all enjoyed the visit of a real drone! The roof at St Anne’s Church Hall has been damaged since before we moved in. But it was very difficult to see what the damage was. Cue the arrival of Conrad, with his drone, and soon the problem was clear!

Not only did we meet a drone yesterday, we also met Ray, a neighbour, who just happens to be a former Derby Champion table tennis player! He brought his trophies to show us! Ray has promised to come again and give us some tips and training!


A big thank you to all our supporters

This week DRS sent £500 to each of the following organisations:

France 1. Women's Refugee Centre for the new van

2. Refugee Community Kitchen

Syria via Samara's Aid

Greece 1. Ruhi Loren Refugee Biryani and Bananas

2. Help Refugees

Bangladesh via MIN

Yemen via MIN

Freedom from Torture

We KNOW each of these organisations and we KNOW the money will go directly to help people in desperate circumstances.

We also KNOW we are lucky to have such generous supporters and we send each and every person, who contributed in any way, our heartfelt thanks.


Just another Thursday at DRS....

Today DRS were privileged to welcome Jane and John Henson who came to talk to us about their inspiring and heartbreaking experiences volunteering in Palestine.

We were also visited by Radio Derby who wanted to find out more about the salvage events that take place after festivals, in particular the recent Ynot festival.

And today we had THIRTY EIGHT DRS volunteers who, before the talk, improved their English, cleaned and sorted tents, made bunting, helped in the garden, had an Art projects meetings, made a symbolic barrier with masking tape, made new friends, and/or played with a light sabre!!

Go Wild in the Country!

HUGE thanks to Wild Peak for their fundraiser which raised an amazing total of £648.15 for DRS!! We had the loveliest day with all the warm, generous and fun people at Wild Peak and we can't wait to be invited again!

On Saturday we will be having a short meeting to decide how to spend this and other money raised for DRS causes. Please come and join us!

Thanks also to everyone who volunteered, donated and/or visited today. Another wonderful morning in the company of wonderful human beings!!!


Buzzy and busy!

Happy Monday! Busy busy week ahead for DRS. On Thursday we have exciting visits from Mikey at Sustrans who will be helping us with our bike project and from Lucy at Derby University who will be exploring ways that Derby University students could get involved!

Then on Saturday we have a short Team Meeting to decide how to spend some money and when we might go on an aid trip to Calais.

Hope to see you there! .

Spin the Chilli!

DRS volunteers and refugees had an energetic and exciting evening at the Spin the Chilli event at the Fish pond Matlock bath on 12th July.. Nisha Nath pictured here with our very own Saeed 'in a suit' gave an exhilarating performance followed by a dance class. We all performed bangra and bollywood moves with no expertise but much enthusiasm. All in support of women trafficked in West Bengal.


DRS modern art installation.....?

Now. I know what you're thinking. "What an amazing art installation!"

It is in fact my neighbour's shed. Full of rusting garden equipment. If you think you might have garden equipment you told yourself you would use and instead shoved in the back of a shed, please donate it to DRS!

We need forks, spades, hoes, trowels, handforks, rakes, hoses, lopers, secateurs and plants for our wonderful gardening project!