Ladies’ Coffee Mornings: Building Community and Improving Mental Health

Ladies’ Coffee Mornings: Building Community and Improving Mental Health

At Time to Help UK, we believe in the power of community and connection. That’s why we’re excited to announce our latest initiative: ladies’ coffee mornings in temporary refugee hostels. These events bring together asylum seekers and our volunteers for a morning of arts and crafts, coffee, and snacks. But beyond just providing a fun and social activity, these coffee mornings significantly impact the mental health and sense of belonging of those who participate.

One of the most challenging aspects of being a refugee is feeling isolated and disconnected from one’s community. This can be especially true for women, who may face additional barriers to accessing resources and building connections. Our ladies’ coffee mornings provide a safe and welcoming space for women to come together and form friendships and support networks.

Participants in our coffee mornings reported feeling more connected to their community, hopeful about their future, and less isolated. One asylum seeker, Fatima*, shared, “I came to the coffee morning feeling very alone, but now I have made new friends and feel like I belong here.

In addition to the social benefits, our coffee mornings also provide an opportunity for participants to engage in arts and crafts activities. These activities are known to positively affect mental health and well-being, as they offer a creative outlet for expressing emotions and promoting relaxation.

It is so nice to come and do something creative; it helps me forget about my problems for a little while,” shared another participant, Rania*.

At Time to Help UK, we are committed to supporting asylum seekers’ mental health and well-being. We believe that building community and providing opportunities for connection, and self-expression are crucial components of this work. We are thrilled to see the positive impact of our ladies’ coffee mornings and look forward to continuing this initiative in the future.

Please consider supporting our cause by donating, volunteering or reaching out to us for more information.

*Not real names.

Greece Refugee Food Pack Appeal

On this year’s Christmas evening, some people cannot spend their night with their families in their warm houses not only because of the pandemic that is escalating once again but because of them being compelled to flee their countries. They are the asylum seekers and refugees who we usually see for a minute on the main news channels, sometimes pass by without noticing on the street but often never feel their presence and witness their lives closely.

Refugees are forced to flee their homes due to wars, environmental pollution, natural disasters, scarce resources, hurricanes or floods caused by climate changes, pressure on freedom of expression, limitations on religious practices and ideas, and injustices. Regardless of how difficult it is, they are compelled to leave their families, loved ones, relatives and friends behind and immigrate to other countries.

Fleeing from floods, running away from bombs, escaping from the risk of being unjustly taken to prison under the silence of a whole nation, they could bring neither belonging nor a memory. All they could do was to run away from the cruel reality. They abandon their languages, cultures, traditions and customs in the quest for safety. Just like a newborn baby, they shoulder the burden of learning a new language, try hard to get to know a new country and its people, adapt to a foreign culture, acquire a new identity and build a life from scratch.

We thought about what we could do more for them during this time of the year. They were once, just like us, sitting around a table with all their family members in their beautiful warm houses. Why not gather them around a table this Christmas too?
When we dream, it is all you who help us to achieve it. This time, it was a dream beyond borders. A beautiful, magical dream has come true once again. Thinking of refugees far from us, Time to Help UK and its associations Time to Help Netherland, Belgium, France, Luxembourg have conducted a joint project with the Tuna Foundation’s hosting. On 11th December, 50 volunteers from the Time to Help fled to Bucharest, Romania to load a full cargo of food parcels.

The exciting and marvellous project reached £3,639, hitting higher than the target of £3,400 with donations from 52 donors. Each pack worth £42 included 40 packages of 31 different products from essentials to candies for kids. First stop at Salonica, the truck has arrived in Athens on Monday and distributed the parcels to the refugee families in Greece. Now, getting even more attention and support than the expectations, another truck will be sent again. We are proud of the donors and volunteers who made it possible with their enormous generosity and kindness.

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Free OET classes for Refugee Doctors

At Time to Help, we believe refugee doctors make a valuable contribution to the delivery of healthcare services in the UK. That’s why we have decided to launch a new service to help refugee doctor to achieve their best.

We will provide a structured programme of support to enable refugee and asylum seekers healthcare professionals and their families to be settled into local communities, enter clinical practice and maintain and develop their skills. The programme will include OET and IELTS classes delivered by qualified tutors and TTH UK will also provide reasonable financial assistance towards English and PLAB exams and other registration associated costs.

We will support:

doctors and dentists
pharmacists and biomedical scientists
allied health professionals eg physiotherapists and radiologists
For a start, we will deliver 2 hours per day and 2 days per week course for fifteen weeks. You will receive more information after being granted for the course.

This course is for refugees and asylum seekers, but if you believe you are coming from a disadvantaged background and need help, please fill the form below.

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ESOL Classes for Refugees

The United Kingdom is a nation of immigrants that is both enriched and challenged by the diversity of people who call this country their home. Immigrants’ contributions to and integration into the U.K. society underlie the nation’s progress to date and its ability to thrive in the future.

Not being able to communicate using the English language in the UK is a huge barrier to social inclusion for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) learners. Without skills in English to interact outside the home, migrants and refugees struggle to integrate, can feel socially isolated and will find it incredibly hard to find employment.

National Lottery Community Fund has recently granted Time to Help UK to start a virtual ESOL school for people from disadvantaged backgrounds. At Time to Help we believe education is the key solution for poverty. Therefore we have teamed up with education providers, and employers to help English Language Learners learn the skills and knowledge they need as workers, family and community members.

In addition to English Language acquisition, our professional development covers a range of topics, such as working with limited literacy learners, English for the workplace, civic engagement, technology integration, and ESOL student persistence.

At the moment we have enrolled more than 100 students and we have reached our capacity. We would like to expand our capacity if we can get more funding. You can visit our donation shop to support this specific cause

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Impressions from the Refugee Camps in Cox`s Bazar

Having now left Cox’s Bazar where refugee camps for the people of Rohingya are set up, I want to reflect on and share some of the things I witnessed during my visit.

First of all, I must say that being there was like nothing I’d experienced before. Though I was following the news ever since the crisis began, being there in person, feeling the pain and suffering is beyond explanation. I was left speechless the first moment I saw the sea of improvised shelters and tents extending as far as eyes can see. Almost one million people had to relocate in the harshest of conditions; often having to walk through jungle terrain day and night for well over a week to reach the camps in Bangladesh.

Careless, reckless, heartless

It was appalling to see all the ‘big’ aid organizations taking part in helping the people of Rohingya yet none of them being vocal enough of the tragedy happening. So few speak of the real scope of the genocide and ethnic cleansing that happened at the watch of the whole world. It’s real. More than 70,000 women are pregnant, many raped and many without a family… Thousands of people’s homes were burned down before their eyes. The cries of children, hopeless looks of men and women, and the fright in the eyes of the elderly… It’s all real. Everyone saw it, but the voice of the people of Rohingya cannot be heard.

I question myself. What would happen if 100 dogs were to be slaughtered, left to die in harsh conditions or simply mistreated. I’m sure activists would have flooded the streets calling for action, raising their voice or and campaigning to raise awareness. Don’t get me wrong, I am not undermining the rights of animals. But what about human rights? What have I done for the rights of the people here? What have we done when the lives of almost 1 million HUMAN BEINGS were left hanging? Many of us may have never even heard of the people of Rohingya, even today. Keeping silent is being complicit to the crime. Yet the voices of the people of Rohingya are still unheard and the damage done is irrevocable.

The children

Children were children. Smiling, playing and trying to be happy with what they had. What did they have? A football made of a tree bark, a stick with wheels on resembling a car… Sticks and stones is what they have and yet they smile and cheer you up. I think it was the first time I felt sad and sorrow when I saw a child smiling…

New hopes

Despite all, people in the camps look to the future with hope… Many have already gotten used to their new homes. Communities are starting to form with job opportunities created by organizations building shelters, schools and hospitals. Almost no one wants to return to the horror they experienced and we hope that they don’t have to. However, the work that needs to be done for these people will not suffice for a long time. Wounds are deep and healing takes time. Hope is there, and let there be a voice as well.

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