Refugee Resettlement…Faith in Action

Home from Home Hallam, formed exactly 3 years ago when 25 Hallam Diocese parishioners volunteered to resettle a refugee family, has completed what it set out to do, and disbanded.  Seeing the trees blossom at this time of year, it is impossible not to think of ‘our’ family. They, too, have blossomed. The children  are flourishing at school, discovering what they enjoy, and proud of their achievements. Mum and Dad have established a comfortable home, and delight in (British) birthday, as well as Eid celebrations.

 In June 2022, after a year of training, research and preparation, we welcomed the family.  One year for support after their arrival became nearly two, as we and our family, communicating through interpreters, struggled with complex financial, health and educational needs that often required creative thinking, and bewildered us as volunteers.  It’s been a voyage of discovery; exciting, frustrating, joyful and surprising, but at its centre, a family escaping trauma and uncertainty now have a safe, happy home. 

So it is with pride in our family’s achievements (and our own!) that we have accepted their suggestion that we move to a new phase in our relationship, supporting, befriending and celebrating with them as friends. 

God worked through us to discover the range of expertise needed – and incidentally to find new friends in the group.  Our success has depended on our monitoring everything we did, meticulous online communication and a safe system of online record-keeping which became our communal  ‘brain’. At monthly meetings a stream of new and ongoing issues were discussed, always starting and ending in prayer. 

We would happily share what we have learned with others and some of us may even volunteer again. We are certainly grateful for the opportunity we were given; to be prayerful,  accepting, and hopeful. Rita McManus