Migrant Help got their bikes

Last year you raised over £1,000 for Migrant Help who support newly arrived refugees and migrants who’ve been placed in temporary accommodation. “We holistically support the individuals and families, either as they await permanent accommodation or as they settle into their new communities. We help them access the necessary healthcare, language lessons, education, employment opportunities and community support.”

This week we received an update of where some of the money has gone: bikes!

“With your support we were able to get the clients bikes, helmets and locks. Clients were gifted the bikes for their personal use and was also given riding lessons — bike ability level 1, 2 and level 3. As you can see the clients went on a lovely ride and are really happy they were given such a valuable resource.”

Valuable resource is right! These bikes will give them the freedom and autonomy to properly settle into our city.

Over £1,000 raised for Migrant Help

Loaf customers raised a total of £1,086.50 for Migrant Help in the last quarter of 2021, which is a fantastic sum. Thanks to all of you who were able to donate! The charity sent us the following to pass on:

Please extend our appreciation of support to all your customers. We are really overwhelmed by the generosity of the local community supporting local causes that affect us all locally and nationally.

This kind donation is going to help newly arrived asylum seekers living in initial accommodation who are feeling really isolated, and will go along way in supporting them and putting a lot of smiles on their faces.

We had our big planning meeting last week and working with Migrant Help again in the future is definitely on the cards. Watch this space!

Migrant Help’s work in Birmingham and beyond

Each quarter Loaf raise money for a charity working in and around Birmingham. For October through December we’re working with Migrant Help, a national organisation with a strong presence here. We found out about them from a customer who volunteers with them at the hotels where migrants are often housed by the government, and we hope to host some group cooking sessions for their clients next year.

We asked Sameera Hussain, their community liaison coordinator, to explain a bit more about what they do and where your money will be going.

Migrant Help is a charity that exists to protect people affected by displacement and exploitation. We work with and for people who have been forced to flee their homes or been subject to slavery and trafficking, helping them to thrive as individuals and recover from their trauma.

Those seeking asylum in the UK can come to us to seek support as they navigate what can feel like a very challenging system. We work together with them to identify areas of concern and uncertainty, ensuring they can access the help and guidance needed to maximise their potential and thrive.

As part of the government’s resettlement schemes, we work alongside local authorities to assist Syrian and Afghan refugees. We holistically support the individuals and families, either as they await permanent accommodation or as they settle into their new communities. We help them access the necessary healthcare, language lessons, education, employment opportunities and community support.

We also provide specialist support and accommodation to victims of human trafficking and modern slavery, along with their dependents. Our dedicated teams provide safe accommodation, develop support plans and facilitate access to key services in order to empower clients as they recover from their experiences. Our aim is to reduce the risk of re-trafficking and help the survivors to move on to a positive new chapter in their lives.

We aim to support those most in need and least likely to find support elsewhere, amplify the voices of our clients, bridge community gaps and bring services together so no one is left alone when they most need someone to walk alongside them. Your donations enable us to do just that, whether it is providing warm coats during winter, running community-based sports activities or funding a mental health support worker.

We believe in the value of community, the importance of empathy and the power of every individual to make a difference to the lives of others.

We’ve been very impressed with what we’ve seen and heard of Migrant Help, and want to continue to support them beyond this quarter.

One project Sameera told me about is the setting up of schooling facilities for migrant children who find themselves moved around West Midlands schools a lot. This would give them some stability and specialist help alongside their normal schooling.

This will take a lot of work. The most useful thing is probably making contacts in the community of people who know people who can advise and provide services. Once Sameera is able to share the plans we’ll pass them on. Until then, if this sounds like something you’d like to be involved with, email info@migranthelpuk.org for the attention of Sameera Hussain.

Migrant Help – this quarter’s charity

Every quarter we raise money for a different charity working in Birmingham, and between now and Christmas it’s Migrant Help. You can add a donation to your online order or at the counter when you visit us, or give a more substantial donation directly with Gift Aid.

We were told about Migrant Help by a customer who has been volunteering with them and thought they might welcome a bread donation. When we got in touch we discovered a national network with big ideas for dealing with a situation that is only going to grow.

More immediately, they are supporting hundreds of newly arrived migrants placed in hotels across Birmingham by the government, providing them with food, clothing and, importantly, activities. They are on the front line of the current Afghan refugee crisis and urgently need funds and resources.

One reason for running this quarterly fundraising is to find organisations we can work with long term, and we have a really good feeling about Migrant Help. Whether it’s spreading awareness to our networks or running cooking activities, we reckon we’re well placed to help them build something. We hope you do too.