Mother’s Day is a time to think about Mothers and to give thanks for the care and love they give us. It is also a time for families to come together and to celebrate the support they offer each other.
Imagine being torn away from your family, through war or conflict. Imagine having to flee to a new country because your life was in danger. Imagine how lonely you would feel without your family. This is the situation faced by many asylum seekers in Leicester.
Leicester City of Sanctuary helps these people feel welcome – and also helps them help themselves. The weekly drop-in offers a social space where they can enjoy a hot meal, socialise and make friends. For many asylum seekers LCoS becomes their family, and Wednesday dropin is the thing they most look forward to in the week.
The charity is run entirely by volunteers and about half of the volunteers are asylum seekers themselves. These people welcome others, prepare the meal and tidy up afterwards. Different nationalities and religions work together to support each other.
This a quote from one of the volunteers: “I have no family in the UK. I was alone when I first came to Leicester. I met my first friend in this country there and now I have lots of friends. I volunteer at the drop-in every week. I like helping people and I try to give, not just to receive. I obey and follow Jesus. He came to serve people, not to be served, and he was a refugee as well.”
LCoS now has the opportunity of a substantial grant to a new project which will allow the asylum seekers to do more for each other and for the local community.
Asylum seekers are people with skills to offer. They are teachers, doctors, cooks, carers. They are not allowed to work, so many decide to volunteer. But they want to do more. They want to set up their own classes and services to help themselves and others. They want to volunteer more widely in the local community.
You can help them get funding for this project simply by clicking a link online. If enough people across the UK support it, LCoS will receive the funding they need. Leaflets are available with full details of what to do to help. The LCoS project name to vote for is “Stepping Stones” and votes can be register at www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk.
We are glad to support LCoS, in union with the other Catholic and Christian Churches and other Faiths. Leaflets are available after mass and during the week.
God bless us
7th March 2016