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.


Meet the Volunteers!

One of the very many lovely things about volunteering with DRS is that our volunteers come from EVERYWHERE! Just yesterday there were volunteers from the Sudan, from Libya, Iran, Italy, Greece, Poland and the U.K. People from seven different countries sorting donations, washing wet wipe packs, playing I-Spy and an international game of football to finish off the morning!

It’s time to meet some of these volunteers individually, starting with Kotchy!

Kotchy is from the Sudan. He loves music, having fun and being happy!


Help Refugees Sleeping Bag Campaign

DRS are delighted to be supporting this campaign! Please help us to collect as many sleeping bags as possible and bring them to St Anne's or ask us to arrange collection. THANK YOU💜💜💜💜


🚛 We're organising a sleeping bag collection for Calais in 7 days! 🚛

If you have 3,000 sleeping bags and 5,000 blankets in your loft (or even just one or two)... take them to your local drop-off point before the 26th!

We're working with Emmaus Lambeth to send a lorry to all drop-off points in in London, and then the rest of the UK in the coming weeks. https://helprefugees.org/news/sleeping-bags-needed-calais/

If you have a spare sleeping bag or blanket, visit the link in our bio. If you don't, can you organise a collection or buy one from our #ChooseLovestore?

Please like, comment and share. The more the message gets out, the more chance we have of keeping everyone sleeping rough in Calais warm through winter!

Thank you for all your love and support! ❤️


"Pizza Shop Heroes" at Derby Theatre

On 2nd February lots of volunteers from Derby Refugee Advice Centre and from Derbyshire Refugee Solidarity were lucky enough to see a production of Pizza Shop Heroes by Phosphoros Theatre Company. In their own words, this company…

“ is a London based company that makes political performance starring refugee and asylum-seeking actors. We use autobiographical performance to shine a light on important untold stories. Our work is collaborative, stripped back and rooted in a desire to offer alternative perspectives. “

Everyone who saw the play was captivated by the powerful story telling and the play struck a chord with many of the refugees and asylum seekers who had made similar journeys as those portrayed.

Phosphoros Theatre was set up by a Derby base writer, Dawn Harrison, after she met refugees and asylum seekers in 2015. For the full story, please see the photo.

Pizza Shop Heroes in on in Nottingham on the 18th and 19th June