Keeping active and building community in East London
Everyone is struggling with lockdown right now but our amazing East London team have still kept up weekly activities with asylum seekers in the area. Things are so hard and it is more important than ever to protect residents’ mental health. Many are suffering more than we will ever know.
There is something for everyone – a football match, kickboxing led by one of the residents who is a martial arts teacher, a walk with historic stops and a women’s walk too.
One of our volunteers knows East London like the back of his hand so takes people walking and stops at the main historical spots to explain them to the residents. We’ve designed a similar thing for the women so that they can have a space with our female volunteers, where they can feel comfortable and communicate openly, often with a stop at the end for coffee and a snack.
Saturday activities are one of the best ways to get outside, keep active and socialise together. As a volunteer, this is the best bit of my week. Getting to spend time with the residents is so special and so much fun. We’ve been lucky with the weather, but even when it rained, we had a good time playing football. Last Saturday we had a distribution running at the same time as activities, and had food from the amazing Refugee Community Kitchen.
Recently, we have also added some online activities to the agenda such as yoga classes, English classes and English conversations around a theme. In a time where we are all missing friends and family, it is such a privilege to be able to connect with so many wonderful people.’
– Ellie, Care4Calais (U.K.) volunteer
To volunteer in the U.K. email [email protected]