Around 40 people gathered in the hall on Saturday 11th November for another ‘Refugee Supper’ in support of Bishop Richard’s Diocesan Migrant Fund. The event was co-ordinated by Catherine and Alan Hughes and supported by a team of helpers. Catherine and Alan decided on a Mexican theme for the meal. The guest speaker was Aidan Cantwell, the Diocesan Justice & Peace / Social Action Adviser, and Steve Rowden was Master of Ceremonies.
Aidan Cantwell gave an illustrated talk before dinner on the practical response of the diocese in enabling care for refugees locally. Aidan explained how the diocese is continuing to support, promote and fund local organisations working with destitute migrants and how one of the key priorities for this year has been identifying and providing properties to local authorities to enable vulnerable families from Syria to be resettled.
Aidan thanked St Pius X for the tremendous fundraising activities they continue to undertake and went on to explain how the ‘Diocesan Migrant Fund’ is being used to fund, in particular, critical services for destitute migrants, specialist legal advice and accompaniment and support work.
Aidan shared the story of a family from the Damascus area, with three children under 5, who were housed in a parish property in Peacehaven this summer. The family are extremely grateful and are ably supported by volunteers from a local refugee group.
The Mexican-themed dinner was served after Aidan’s talk. This is what was on the menu:
Tortilla Chips and Dips
Speciality Fair Trade Ice Cream
Mexican Fruit Salad
The cost of the food was covered by anonymous donations so all the contributions made on the night were eligible for Gift Aid – the only exception being the sale of raffle tickets.
The numerous raffle prizes included two tickets for the Gala Dinner held at the University on 29th November to benefit the Number 5 Homeless Shelter.
A grand total of £1,441 was raised, inclusive of both Gift Aid and £255 from the sale of raffle tickets.
Congratulations and thanks to Catherine and Alan and their team for all the hard work which contributed to this great outcome, and for everyone who so generously supported the event. Special thanks also to Aidan for taking the time to visit us again and to update us on the work of the Diocesan Migrant Fund.