Welcoming as a Community
At a public meeting in Enfield in response to the Syrian refugee crisis, members of the community felt strongly that they needed to do something. From this conversation Enfield Refugees Welcome was formed and came to be one of the first adopters of the Community Sponsorship scheme. Alan and Denise from St Monica’s Catholic Parish, Palmers Green, have been involved in the running of the group over the years. Since the first public meeting, this group of different people from across the borough has welcomed three refugee families from Iran, Syria and Afghanistan. This repeated welcome, as well as the broad base of the community involved is a testament to the galvanizing effect that Community Sponsorship can have.
“Helping support a refugee family or individual, in any capacity, is a truly rewarding experience. To be in the privileged position to be able to help another human being makes you truly realise the unfairness in the world but allows you to do something about it. I would recommend to it to everyone, you will not be disappointed.”Alan Seldon, Enfield Refugees Welcome
Support has at times come providentially. One day the parish priest called up to say that items for a baby had been left in the presbytery and would the group have need for them? As it would transpire, the family just due to arrive would have an infant. Similarly, when the group was in the process of furnishing the house, somebody got in touch to offer a three-piece suite for the family living room. Whilst the families who have arrived find a safe home and support from the community in Enfield, it is hard for the families who have grandparents and parents still at home. When reflecting on Community Sponsorship Denise said; ‘it connects us at a different level…we’re all part of God’s family, despite lots of differences there are so many similarities.’
Story shared by Caritas Westminster, Refugee Week 2022.
Further information about Enfield Refugees Welcome can be found on their website.