Embercombe Community Supports Refugee Crisis

Embercombe Kitchen Assistant, Niaomh Convery’s tells us about the work current Embercombe residents have been undertaking out in the community.

Over the last few months here at Embercombe, the volunteer community have been trying to find ways to support people arriving in Devon who are fleeing their homes across the globe. This of course is no small task and it has been uplifting to see how many groups across Devon and the rest of the UK are also dedicating themselves to this mammoth undertaking. We have been regularly attending the Cultural Kitchen in Plymouth, organised by START (Students and Refugees Together), which is an event that brings together asylum seekers and refugees to socialise and make new friends over a good meal. We have been providing fruit and vegetables from our land for the evening meal as well as being able to offer extra for attendees to take away. We are also working with START to develop a program for refugees to visit Embercombe and join our community work days every Wednesday, where we hope people will be able to develop practical skills in their chosen area for work experience as well as being part of our transitory community.

We have also been able to take part in events run by Embracing Refugees (ER). This organisation develops friendships with local people from Totnes and refugees and asylum seekers from Plymouth. Through a series of peer support groups ER aims to ‘build resilience and overcome social isolation’ giving people a platform to ‘embrace their differences and celebrate their individuality’.

At present we are developing ideas to work alongside Refugee Support Devon, an amazing organisation in Exeter that has been running for over 12 years – more news to follow.

Members of the community have been all over Devon collecting clothes and supplies to send to Calais, Greece and Syria and are continuing to gather these items. It is our hope that over the coming weeks and months we are able to continue to develop our work with refugees and asylum seekers, to provide help and assistance in whatever way possible.  If you are interested in any of the organisations we are working please see websites below.

To find out more about these amazing organisations, please click the links below:

START– working in partnership with families, individuals and organisations to facilitate the transition of refugees from people in need to self reliant contributors to their local communities.

Embracing Refugees– a non-profit community organisation, based in Totnes-Devon, that helps refugees  and asylum seekers to build resilience and overcome social isolation.

Refugee Support Devon– Supporting asylum seekers and refugees in the Devon area, providing information, advice, support services and a listening ear.