Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers
This year SDCAS is celebrating its 21st birthday and it feels as if we have known the Dutch Church for nearly as long. Our relationship seems to have started when one of your members, Tony Bienfait, one day brought us loads of apples from his garden in Coulsdon. Tony was very conscious of the Dutch Church’s tradition as being the Refugees Church with its Royal endowment. Saskia and Dirk visited us at our drop-in session at Crossways, a URC church on the Heygate Estate at the Elephant and Castle, now being demolished and hundreds of very unaffordable houses being built. I remember very well that one year we had a social work student on placement with us, Olivia, who came from Holland and was there for bilingual studies and made good contact with the church. One Sunday a few of us attended the English speaking service and afterwards joined in a delicious parish lunch.
Our services are very much the same at each of our drop-in’s: a hot lunch cooked on the premises, English classes, gardening, advice and advocacy, the provision of food bags and donations, and general socialising to break down the isolation that so many of our clients face. Children are important to us and Vanessa, our children and family worker, does her best to make sure that children are ready for school, when they are 4-5 years old. School holidays and half terms are when we meet up with older children. We are indebted to volunteers for making all the services work and for creating a welcoming and compassionate ambience. Funding ‘oils the wheels’ and is a constant preoccupation, so many thanks to all of you for support and encouragements.
Zoals u heeft kunnen lezen heeft de Nederlandse Kerk al jaren een band met de Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers en de diaconie beveelt deze collecte dan ook van harte bij u aan!
U kunt meer lezen op de website van deze organisatie: www.sdcas.org.uk
Namens de diaconale werkgroep, Saskia Verwey