Everybody Needs Good Neighbours

The Good Neighbours Project is spearheaded by a group of charities who are committed to sharing good news stories of grassroots organising, where communities come together to support one another and lift each other up. These Include IMIX, City of Sanctuary and Reset UK. Through the support of local communities and national organisations, families who've fled danger in their home countries have been welcomed by kind neighbours across the country as they navigate their new homes in challenging times. The Good Neighbours Project continues that spirit.

Stories

Da’aro Youth Project

Da’aro Youth Project is a community-led organisation supporting young refugees from the Horn of Africa. It was established in 2018 by members of the Eritrean community in London in response to the deaths of a number of teenage Eritreans by suicide. We work to support young people arriving in the UK alone from the Horn of Africa (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia).

Pickwell Foundation

The Pickwell Foundation supports local groups with their efforts to resettle a family, who have often had to flee their home country at short notice, to settle into life in a new country. The Pickwell Foundation has supported local groups to sponsor seven families in the North Devon area and will be welcoming one more family next yearRamez and Tmarah in North Devon have been in the UK since December and have been settling into life in the village of Barnstaple with support from their Community Sponsorship group. 

Interested in Community Sponsorship? Learn more about The Pickwell Foundation.

Stories from the Blog

Become a Good Neighbour and start supporting  refugees and sanctuary seekers today

There are many ways you could get involved in supporting refugees and sanctuary seekers. From volunteering and donating to campaigning and showing solidarity online. Below are some useful links and organisation that will help you get started. 

Finally… Volunteer

Give valuable time to causes, support migrants in you local area and develop your own personal skills, while also ensuring good community integration.

Teach English with Action Foundation: https://actionfoundation.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer/#action-language

Help develop a refugees employment skills with Breaking Barriers: https://breaking-barriers.co.uk/volunteer-with-refugees/

From our Facebook Community

Good Neighbours
Good Neighbours4 days ago
'I fled Pakistani soldiers during Bangladesh's fight for independence - now I'm the Mayor of Camden. It just highlights what can happen in this country.'

For #SouthAsianHeritageMonth Nasim Ali shared his journey to becoming the country’s first Muslim and Bangladeshi Mayor for Camden, after having to flee his home for safety.

When Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan in 1971, many families including Nasim’s had been forced to flee Pakistani forces in the fight for freedom. Nasim was just two years old at the time when his older sister carried him through the undergrowth to escape soldiers.

When he was 7 years old he came to London, where he and his family learned to adjust to life in England:

‘My mum used to be scared in London not knowing English and living in a basement with no proper running water, life in Bangladesh was easier but we had less money. My dad came here in 1965 as they needed more cooks for restaurants, so he came on a cook voucher - we are economic migrants at a time when the country needed them.’ He said.

Growing up in London in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, he experienced racism which he says led him to politics:

‘When I was young in the 80s I used to go to school and I lived in a block and had to walk through Somers Town, we had to walk under an estate and we used to get eggs chucked at us and called the P word on a daily basis.’

‘My main reason to get into politics is to inspire others, challenge policies and make sure policies are more equal,' he said

In 2003, at aged 34, was elected Mayor of Camden. He was the country’s first Muslim and Bangladeshi mayor for Camden, as well as the youngest in the country, and was awarded the OBE presented by Prince Charles in 2011.

Now he reflects on his journey after 20 years of being a councillor and having been voted again as the Mayor of Camden after former mayor Sabrina Francis stepped down earlier this year.

‘I went from not speaking a word of English as a child to becoming the Mayor of Camden in 2003 in the town hall on the other side of Judd Street. It just highlights what can happen in this country.’ He said.

Thank you Mayor of Camden for sharing your story!

🔗 Read his full story: https://www.mylondon.news/news/north-london-news/south-asian-heritage-month-i-24590720

Thank you Camden Council for the photo.
Good Neighbours
Good Neighbours5 days ago
'When I grew up in Afghanistan, I play not with bat, just with piece of wood and one ball. When I came to England, I watched cricket on telly and I said: "Oh, there is proper cricket. I want to do that!"' 16-year-old Adnan is now one step closer to his dream of playing cricket for England after his claim for asylum was granted.

Adnan came to the UK as an unaccompanied minor in April last year following a harrowing five-month journey through Iran, Turkey, and Greece. He had been forced to flee Afghanistan to escape local militia fighters after his brother had been killed in the violence.

After arriving safely in the UK and settling in with his foster parents Elaine and Barry, he had stunned cricket legend Freddie Flintoff with his cricketing ability in ‘Freddie Flintoff’s Field of Dreams’. The BBC series documented Flintoff’s attempts to create a brand-new cricket team from an unlikely group of teens from different backgrounds.

Adnan has now become something of a local celebrity in his new hometown of Chorley, following the release of the BBC series.

Elaine recalled a heart-warming encounter when Adnan recently played a match for his new team, Wigan cricket club.

‘A young child walked over to the group and asked Adnan for his autograph.’ She said.

Adnan had applied for asylum, but his claim had been in limbo since last summer. After hearing his story, Flintoff appealed to the government on Adnan’s behalf. With his claim now granted, Adnan can pursue his dreams of playing for cricket for England one day and is expected to play for the Youth Team at Lancashire, one of the best clubs in the UK.

When Adnan and his foster parents received news that his claim for asylum had been granted, they were ecstatic:

‘We all just went berserk! We just sat in the back of the car outside the fish and chip shop in Standish in Wigan and we just ate fish and chips out of the paper. That was our celebration!’ Said Elaine.

Congratulations to Adnan 🎉🙌

Read his full story: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/aug/07/cricket-is-everything-adnan-miakhel-england-dreams-alive-as-asylum-granted

Did you manage to catch his story on ‘Freddie Flintoff’s Field of Dreams’? 🏏
Good Neighbours
Good Neighbours1 week ago
‘When life has thrown chaos, fear, isolation, and upheaval your way, a running group can provide a release.’

For unaccompanied children such as Henock, Temesgen and Bereket who have forced to flee their home, these feelings of fear and isolation is an all too familiar experience. The ‘Running Free’ running group has given them an outlet and a sense of belonging.

They arrived in Leeds over a year ago after being forced to flee Eritrea, where many people have left their homes because of forced military service and a legacy of dictatorship. They have been supported by local community organisation My Place Yorkshire, where keen runner and support worker, Michael, set up the informal running group. Running offers physical, mental, and emotional benefits, which is particularly important for people seeking safety who have had been through harrowing journeys.

‘When life has thrown chaos, fear, isolation, and upheaval your way, a running group can provide a release. Training can provide a focus, some structure, and race events can create a feeling of pride and being part of something – we all know how powerful that can be.’ Said Victoria Cusack, Project Officer at Run Leeds, who spoke with Michael and the boys.

My Place Yorkshire provides high quality housing and support for young people, including a number of young unaccompanied asylum seekers and offers a nurturing, secure, and safe space for them to feel a real sense of community by celebrating birthdays and encouraging sports to improve their wellbeing.

‘They said they feel settled and happy in Leeds and despite missing family from their native home. When I asked how they felt about My Place and the staff team the wide grins and thumbs up said it all! Asking the boys how running makes them feel, their response said so much… ‘free and proud’.’ Victoria said.

Michael and My Place Yorkshire show us the importance of creating a safe environment for young people seeking safety, and remind us how powerful a sense of community can be 🧡.

You can read more about ‘Running Free’ and My Place (Yorkshire) at: https://runleeds.co.uk/article/running-free/?fbclid=IwAR3tnOwJXehlB9EzieN9r2p97xBWJ3owfHN9FMzfCqggnllY9e_lCvz4A10.

Thank you to Run Leeds for this wonderful story and thank you to Michael for the photos.