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Jack Robinson

campaigns & democracy
jack.robinson@uea.ac.uk

help for refugees

On Friday we’re sending donations to Calais to help refugees, and we need your help.

Last year uea|su welcomed the news that Norfolk will become home to over 50 Syrian Refugees.

In July 2016 members of the Norfolk County Council voted overwhelmingly to accept 50 vulnerable Syrian Refugees into the county through the Government’s Syrian Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme.

At the beginning of this month, the first five Syrian families arrived in Norwich to begin their new life in Norfolk, and they received overwhelming support and acceptance from Norwich residents.

The Church of England Norwich Diocese set up a refugee fund for residents to donate to. Over £42,000 has been raised so far to supplement costs the Government Scheme won’t cover – exceeding the £5,000 target.

Norwich is a place where refugees and asylum seekers have always been welcome. The ‘strangers’ – Protestant refugees from the Spanish Netherlands and Flanders – came to Norwich to seek asylum in 1565. Their legacy can still be seen around the city today in Strangers Hall, the gardens of the city, and the symbol of the canary, which now appears in the badge of Norwich FC. It’s also where Strangers Coffee Shop (in Norwich Lanes) and Strangers Press (the translation imprint of the UEA Publishing Project) gets their names. All over, the story of the ‘strangers’ is recognised as one of acceptance, and this is very much alive today as we welcome Syrian Refugees in to Norfolk.

However, across the world many refugees have not found themselves welcome. I’m calling on UEA students to extend their goodwill across the channel and stand in solidarity with the many refugees still in Calais.

NUS are joining forces with Help Refugees UK to send supplies to Calais, and we’re taking part on UEA campus. The Migrant Solidarity Campaign and Movement For Justice Society are collecting donations this week, from the 20-23 February. NUS will collect these from campus on Friday 24 Feb and drive them to Calais.

A list of the items they urgently need is here. All you need to do is bring your donations to the SU reception from 20-23 Feb.  

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