The Sutton Community Farm in south London is incredibly kind to the refugees we support, donating baskets of delicious fresh fruit and vegetables for us to distribute in hotels. This is great as there is often a shortage of wholesome fresh food provided.
Sometimes refugees go down to the farm with Seema, our South West London volunteer, to help carry the baskets of goods. The farm volunteers are so friendly, and at the weekend one of them, Sonia, noticed that Pavel and Monir were interested in the work that was going on. She downed tools to give them a guided tour of the farm, which they loved.
Although the farm is in the suburbs it feels like the countryside, and we all felt relaxed and uplifted by being among the natural colour. “It feels like a wonderful green day,” as Monir said.
Sonia showed Pavel and Monir how the young vegetables are grown and watered, the newly-planted orchard, and the ponds that support animals and insects. They watched Rose the tractor hard at work, and ended up helping to pack the baskets before loading them in the car.
This was a brilliant, inspirational day out for two guys who are stuck in a hotel in a city all day, and we’re now hoping to take a bigger group in the summer to see all the fully-grown crops. The partnerships our volunteers forge with other groups like this are fantastic, making a big difference to refugees’ experience, and showing them that they’re welcome in so many places around the country.
If you could volunteer to help, even for just a few hours a month please sign up – as well as helping people who can really do with some support, it’s highly rewarding on a personal level as well. Go to care4calais.org/get-involved/