On Sunday 27th September we will be having a fundraising day for ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). ESOL is run by Unite Barnsley Community Support Centre and Unite Community Branch alongside the British Red Cross as weekly drop in sessions to help refugees and Asylum Seekers learn English. In order to deliver the course they rely on donations to pay for Unite Community membership (£26 per year) and room hire costs. We hope to raise £1000+ for Unite so they can carry on running these wonderful classes!
Below is some more info about Unite Barnsley’s ESOL Sessions and it contains a very moving story from Linda,who runs the sessions.
“We started the sessions at the end of June and have 15 people every week and some days have had to turn people away as physically haven’t got the room to accommodate.
The students are from mainly from Syria, Eritrea, Iraq, Iran and the Congo. These people have all had difficult journeys in getting to Barnsley, but one couple really ‘got to me’. An elderly couple, a 71 year old Geography Professor and his Physics Lecturer wife in her 60’s from Syria. Talking to them after the class they told me how they had literally fled for their lives after seeing friends beheaded, their home and community burnt to the ground. I am not one normally lost for words but all I could do was give her a big hug. I cannot imagine my parents going through the same thing at a stage in their lives when they should be enjoying retirement and family.
With regards to the ESOL Project in Barnsley, Barnsley is one of the designated towns that the Home Office disperse Asylum Seekers and Refugees to whilst there applications are being processed. They are given a meagre allowance of £36.95 a week to buy food and toiletries, if refused asylum this goes down to £35.39.
Refugees are unable to access ESOL at the local College until they have 6 month’s residency and the course costs £ 250. As this group are only given short term residency at a designated accommodation this is not suitable or practical. The sessions that Unite are facilitating are based on everyday situations, i.e. registering with a doctor; making appointments etc., which hopefully give them a base so that even they attend just one session they will hopefully gain a little knowledge. Several of the cohort are also through Unite Community membership accessing Free I.T. courses at the Barnsley C.S.C. Their membership is sponsored via donations from Union Branches in the area.“
On the day we will have tattoo walk-ins and piercings all day as well as prints from various artists and a bake sale! Our fundraiser will start at 9.30 am and all tattoos will be done on a first come first serve basis so the earlier you come in the better!
We are also setting up a donation point in the shop for people to drop off clothing and other items to be sent to Calais!
Here is a list from NO BORDERS LEEDS of everything that is needed!
Please only collect wishlist items:
*Strong plastic sheets/tarps/pallets/canvas/building materials for strong shelters (if you come with a van, many places to pick up free pallets and buy materials in Calais)
*Sleeping bags & roll mats
*Non-perishable food, flour & oil
*Containers/Jerrycan for food and water
*Shoes (practical waterproof hiking boots best, size 42 most needed)
You can bring your donations to the shop during opening hours!
Monday to Friday 10 am until 6 pm
Sunday 11 am until 4 pm
PLEASE ONLY DONATE ITEMS FROM THE LIST OF THINGS NEEDED! We will start collecting from Friday 11th September.
More info on Learning with Unite can be found here : www.facebook.com/learnwithuniteneyh
and another link to an award that the programme has won:
Information on more ways you can help refugees in Leeds follow the link below :