In February 2022, the Edinburgh Refugee Sponsorship Circle, supported by the Vegware Community Grant, joyfully welcomed a second sponsored family comprising two Kurdish women. Utilizing the grant, our dedicated volunteers transformed the new flat into a warm and inviting home, overcoming language and cultural barriers. As we move forward, our focus remains on aiding the sponsored family’s integration and raising community awareness about refugee issues, with heartfelt gratitude to Vegware for their invaluable support.

Throughout March 2023, the Edinburgh Refugee Sponsorship Circle remained deeply engaged in facilitating the integration of the recently arrived Kurdish women into Edinburgh’s community. Our primary focus was on providing personalized assistance, enabling them to navigate their new lives with more confidence. Leveraging the Vegware Community Grant, we acquired essential language learning materials that catered to their specific needs, fostering effective communication.
Furthermore, our commitment extended to the first sponsored family, as we assisted one of their children, an ardent football enthusiast, in enrolling for football practice, reinforcing their sense of belonging. A highlight of the month was our memorable Eid barbecue, made possible by the grant, which not only celebrated a significant cultural event but also facilitated meaningful interactions and connections among the families and our volunteers. We are grateful for the continued support of Vegware, empowering us to make a tangible difference in the lives of refugees in Edinburgh.

During April 2023, the Edinburgh Refugee Sponsorship Circle directed its efforts towards enhancing organizational management and ensuring comprehensive reporting and charity governance procedures, a task greatly facilitated by the support of the Vegware grant. This groundwork is vital for the sustained success of our initiatives. Simultaneously, we remained dedicated to our core mission of supporting the two sponsored families. Through the grant’s assistance, we orchestrated a range of social activities to foster connections and a sense of community. We also extended health support, providing access to necessary services, and offered crucial benefits advice to empower the families as they navigate their new circumstances. The Vegware grant’s ongoing contribution enables us to create a multifaceted support network that positively impacts the lives of refugees in Edinburgh.

In May 2023, the growth of the Edinburgh Refugee Sponsorship Circle was evident as our team expanded to encompass over 25 volunteers, a considerable number of whom possess first-hand experience with the asylum system and displacement. Bolstered by unrestricted funds, we have been able to invest in comprehensive training and robust support mechanisms for all volunteers, fostering a cohesive and effective team. In line with our commitment to aiding the recently arrived young women, we facilitated her exploration and navigation of the city by providing a monthly bus pass. This support is especially significant as she also carries the responsibility of being a young carer. As we continue to evolve, the dedication of our team and the flexibility afforded by our funding sources ensure that we can address the unique needs of those we assist in Edinburgh.

Throughout June 2023, the Edinburgh Refugee Sponsorship Circle maintained a strong momentum of support. We orchestrated a variety of engaging social activities, including sightseeing bus rides and museum visits, enriching the experiences of the individuals we assist. Our dedicated volunteer team played a pivotal role by conducting three weekly language lessons, ensuring that language barriers continue to diminish. Simultaneously, their unwavering dedication extended to comprehensive support for our beneficiaries. One standout achievement was the young woman we support successfully learning to swim, a significant milestone made possible through the commitment of our volunteers. These collective efforts reinforce our commitment to creating a holistic and nurturing environment for refugees in Edinburgh.

In July 2023, the Edinburgh Refugee Sponsorship Circle continued its impactful work, with a special focus on providing support to the first family we welcomed. As the new school year approached, we assisted them in preparing for their four children’s educational journey, ensuring a smooth transition and access to necessary resources. Additionally, our commitment to creating enriching experiences persisted, as we organized a boat tour and a trip to Glasgow, providing a chance for cultural exploration and memorable outings. Through these efforts, we remain dedicated to fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment for the families we support in Edinburgh.