Each group plays an important role in building confidence, sharing experiences and advice, developing friendships and support networks, and creating a community. Groups are dynamic, needs responsive, and guided by those who attend.
Being a member of our groups has increased people’s confidence, helped them get support and access the services they need, and has been the beginning of building strong and lasting friendships. Beneficiaries, staff and volunteers are all able to spend time together as part of the CARAS community.
Our activities prioritise those who are most likely to have difficulty accessing services; we work extensively with unaccompanied asylum seeking children, and with women of refugee background.
For many families, holiday activities may be unaffordable or inaccessible due to language and comprehension barriers.
The holidays can be a boring and, more importantly, stressful time for children living in overcrowded housing or challenging family circumstances. Throughout school holidays, CARAS runs Family Activity Days where parents and their children can take part in creative workshops, eat a meal together and get to know other CARAS families. Sessions aim to build positive relationships between parents and children by running inter-generational activities.
Youth Club is a place of fun, friendship and food for young refugees and asylum seekers.
Young people aged 11-19 are welcome. Regular activities include table tennis, pool and air hockey, with volunteers on hand to join in games and chat with. A group always cooks a meal and we finish each week by sitting down and eating together. We host a monthly immigration advice session, run by Coram Children’s Legal Centre, and have run a range of creative sessions with other partner organisations.
YOUTH CLUB ATTENDEE
” WE HAVE FUN AND I CAN MAKE MORE FRIENDS IN THERE, AND WE CAN SPEAK ENGLISH WITH EACH OTHER AND MANY MORE THINGS. THANK YOU CLUB! “
CARAS runs an all-female drop-in every Tuesday morning which gives women of refugee background the opportunity to make new friends, engage in a wide range of activities and workshops, and improve their English.
We also provide a creche space to ensure that women with young children are able to access, and get the most out of the sessions.
WOMEN’S DROP-IN ATTENDEE
” WHEN I CAME TO THIS COUNTRY, I DIDN’T KNOW ANYBODY AND I WAS SCARED TO TALK TO EVEN MY NEIGHBOURS. I WAS HIDING. SINCE I AM WITH CARAS, I FEEL MORE INDEPENDENT AND FREE. “
Study Group is a place for young refugees and asylum seekers to come and get help with their homework, whatever subject or level.
We will help with phonics and literacy in English or GCSE science. Young people bring along their work and can get individual help, work together with their peers, or simply have a quiet, friendly space to concentrate in. Study group is also a time when people can ask advice about their educational pathways, complete college application forms, or seek support with any challenges they are experiencing at school.
STUDY GROUP ATTENDEE
” THEY REALLY HELPED ME WITH ENGLISH AND WRITING, ALSO THEY HELPED ME WITH READING BOOKS. “
Saturday Club is a place of fun, friendship, food and learning for young refugees and asylum seekers.
Each session starts with an English class and after this one-to-one homework support, fun activities and workshops are available. Young people aged 14 – 21 are welcome. Regular activities include table tennis, pool and air hockey, with volunteers on hand to join in games and chat with. A group of young people always cooks and we sit down and share lunch together.
SATURDAY CLUB ATTENDEE
” I HEARD FROM MY FRIEND THAT HE HAS IMPROVED A LOT IN HIS ENGLISH LANGUAGE, SO I STARTED TO COME EVERY SATURDAY AND I REALLY FOUND IT HELPFUL. “
WE’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU IF YOU ENJOY SPENDING TIME WITH CHILDREN, HAVE SOME TIME TO GIVE, AND WOULD LIKE TO VOLUNTEER WITH US!
**Bilingual applicants are encouraged, especially if you speak Somali, Tigrigna, Urdu, Pashto or Dari.