April 24, 2020

Newsletter April 2020

Update from the Trustees

During this ‘pause’, which is something I like to think we are having in our lives, we want to say ‘thank you’ to those wonderful people who continue to provide the essential services and who are not on ‘pause’ as they continue tirelessly to work hard under great stress to carry on so that we can have health and social care, food, emergency services and a number of other valuable services which enables life to continue for the rest of us. 

May we continue to support them by staying at home and by following the requests of government for social distancing to protect everyone around us. 

The Covid-19 has definitely impacted on what we can physically do for refugees, although wonderfully many of our volunteers have continued to provide communication support to our refugee families wherever they can. Yet we have not forgotten about the many refugee families left in the Jordon and Lebanon camps. We can still help them in these ways.

1. If you can, please email anyone you know who may be thinking of becoming a landlord for a refugee house, so they can get in touch with RRN to talk through what this may involve. 
2. Please make a donation to RRN that will help us provide essential items for new refugee families arriving when restrictions are lifted – we already have a house waiting so we hope it won’t be long. 

We need houses as this is the only way to bring them into the UK. Do contact us if you know anyone who wants more information on investing in houses for refugees. 
Something that someone said to me recently is ‘sharing is caring’ and we have seen in our communities such a lot of love and sharing. Let’s continue supporting refugees as much as we can in these difficult times. 

Rosie Lennon on behalf of the Trustees


CEO’s Report


Community Team Volunteers
For the last 3 weeks RRN Community Volunteers have shown incredible compassion and support. They have continued to be present for all the families by being in touch, checking all families have food, helping with virtual learning and supporting children with their English and Maths learning. The volunteers have been effective and creative by using WhatsApp and Zoom technology to keep in touch and ensure learning resources are delivered to the families that require this support.
A big thank you to all our amazing volunteers and a special thank you to Djihan who has been interpreting and forwarding information and precautionary advice about COVID-19 to many of our families.

New Volunteers
A huge thank you and welcome to all our new volunteers…..
Ruben (IT Student at University of Portsmouth) will be helping with keeping our website updated and will be supporting Mike with other IT needs. Ruben has updated the RRN website where you will find a new tab ‘COVID-19’ and information about the East Hampshire Community Lottery fund (donate tab). Thank you Ruben for helping with this!

Melania will be joining our Community of Volunteers for the expected new family. Melania has helped furnish the new property and has attended RRN training.

Rachael has joined the Fundraising team. She is studying psychology at Winchester University and including a volunteering module with RRN until June. Rachael has helped with the Walk for Hope and supported the two speakers for the families with their speech preparation. Rachael has also helped in planning some Refugee Week activities with four volunteers students from Bedales (all on hold due to COVID-19). Rachael has also helped to keep relevant information on our Facebook.

We have also recruited 4 Bedales students (Ann, Eloise, Holly and Jake) to help with RRN social media and Refugee week. The student volunteers attended an RNN Training and a meeting to discuss plans / ideas for Refugee Week.

RRN has worked closely with Alistair McConville, Director of Learning and Innovation. Alistair has been our liaison at the school and played a major part in informing and recruiting  the  volunteer students. A big thank you goes out to him and all at Bedales.

To all our existing and new volunteers – we cannot do this without you and especially during this difficult time your commitment  stands out and is always highly  appreciated.

Nadia Potts


Community Lottery Launch
RRN was approved by EHDC to join with other charities as recipients of donations via the new Community Lottery launched by them in March. This initiative has got off to a slow start and we do hope that this is going to improve.  If you’d like to get involved please do click the link below:
Please all try to get behind this opportunity and promote it where possible. Good luck!

4th Annual Walk for Hope
On 2nd February we held our annual Walk for Hope in Elsted and miraculously we had a dry sunny day that despite the mud was great for walking! A great turn out arrived and walked and socialised (remember when we used to do that?) and had a fun day. We enjoyed a delicious tea – savoury and sweet – made and served by our volunteers. Gratitude to all who worked to make the day such a success (Bedales, special thanks to you for wonderful cakes and volunteers). Brief talks by a number of our Syrian friends were much appreciated and helped to encourage both generous donations and new volunteers. The total raised, including monies for joining the walk, raffle and donations was £960. Well done everyone.

 Women’s Institute Coffee Mornings

The WI in Eastleigh kindly invited us to speak at their coffee morning on 6th February so Kay Summerfield and Alaa (one of our Syrian friends) went along. We had a full house, probably 50 or so ladies, who were very interested and keen to understand what RRN was and how we work. They showed great empathy for the plight of refugees and listened to Alaa talk of her personal journey and gratitude to RRN.  We then had a lively Q&A session with many ladies expressing interest and taking details. It was felt more talks like this would be welcomed in other branches of the WI. We will be pursuing this possibility as soon as we are able.The generous donations amounted to £200

Win A Year Of Fruit & Veg Home Delivery!

Grab your tickets here!

Your Community Needs You!
Our local good causes overcome tough challenges every day. Overcoming the impact COVID-19 may have on current fundraising is why we need your support now more than ever.

Every ticket you purchase helps fund the work of local good causes during this extraordinary time of crisis. We would like to say a huge thank you to all of you who have signed up and supported our community through the lottery. 

We’re stronger together, even when we’re apart.


Beat the supermarket queues!
Support East Hampshire Community Lottery by 27th June and you could win 1 of 3 amazing national prizes. In addition to our £25,000 jackpot, you could win a year of fruit and veg home delivery. If you’re one of our 3 winners, you’ll receive 12 monthly boxes of mixed fruit and veg delivered directly to your door.

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Resettlement Team

The beginning of the year saw us taking on a new property in the Havant area thanks to an extremely generous landlord who bought the property especially to resettle a new family.  We have had new volunteers join the team, who alongside some of the ‘old’ team, worked hard to transform and empty shell into a home ready for a family.  And I must say, we had some very generous furniture donations that have truly turned this house into a new home.  A huge THANK YOU to everyone involved!
As you would have read earlier in this newsletter, C19 has added a pause to any new families arriving just now but we hope this will be possible in a few months.

Steve & Kirsty