An exciting message about the future direction of Restore from Mauricio Silva, Chair of Restore’s Management Committee together with an update on funding.
New vision: Wouldn’t it be amazing to be part of a society that showed compassion and commitment towards those who have fled persecution, rather than them experiencing a hostile environment?
Only last week, a refugee popped into the Restore office to update us on his situation. Two years ago, he’d joined Restore as a newly arrived and isolated asylum seeker. He spent a year meeting others and learning about Birmingham through Restore’s men’s social activities and commented that he now takes new people to those same places. He was linked to a befriender who offered regular support and encouragement. This was particularly important when his asylum application was refused as he was shocked by that decision and spent the next few months struggling with low mood. The consistent emotional support of the befriender was vital as the asylum seeker waited anxiously for his asylum appeal. That appeal was successful so with his newly granted refugee status he was keen to rebuild his life. His befriender helped him explore new possibilities. He applied for and was granted a scholarship to embark on a Master’s degree. Having just graduated, he is now optimistic about finding employment. How we love happy endings and hearing how Restore’s work makes a difference!
Back in January, we received a very positive strategic review report of Restore’swork. It also recommended that Restore developed its strategic planning to: “become more intentional in its approach to achieving its aims and objectives.”
After a period of transition, discernment and deliberation, we are launching Restore’s new vision statement which describes the future Restore longs to see:
Restore’s vision is for a society into which all refugees and asylum seekers are welcomed, valued and integrated.
Restore will worktowards our vision becoming reality by:
Building relationships and equipping for integration
through befriending, group social activities and employability training.
Motivating for action
through raising awareness of refugee issues and opportunities to make a difference.
Working for change
through partnering and campaigning with others to improve systems and services that affect refugees and asylum seekers.
We recognise the need to work at the micro-level supporting individual asylum seekers and refugees but also the need for change at the macro level in how host communities and Government respond.
We recognise that Restore cannot achieve this alone. Not only will we work in partnership with other organisations, but we need our committed core of befrienders and supporters to join us and help us fulfil the vision through action and financial support.
What next? We aim to incrementally and sustainably develop the work of Restore. We are drawing up a business plan covering both immediate needs as well as more distant aspirations. We want to build capacity to increase motivating for action work and to restart employability training. To implement this, we will need more than our current 114 volunteers, more than 3.4 staff and more funding.
We know from years of experience that work with refugees and asylum seekers is not easy to fund. Sadly, this vital work is not a popular cause. We are therefore extremely grateful to all who fund us: grant-making trusts, individuals who give regularly via Standing Orders or one-off donations, churches and those organising community fund-raising.
Funding needs: To enable us to start to grow Restore’s work, we need to boost current funding for the remainder of this year and next.Some costing has already been done,so ideally we’d like to hit a target of a further £32,800 of new income this year and £53,000 next year (that is an increase of 20% in our annual income compared to 2018). We are busy applying to grant making trusts to secure more funding but it is really important to maintain a diverse funding base. At the moment we receive £1,100 each month from Standing Orders from individual supporters. We would love to see a growth in income from regular and one-off donations. Can you help us? If you are excited about the vision of Restore and the difference we can make, please consider supporting us financially.
How could your donation help Restore?
£5 provides hospitality for a Restore staff member to meet with a newly referred asylum seeker informally over coffee.
£10 enables one refugee or asylum seeker to attend a men’s or women’s social group activity.
£30 trains a new volunteer.
£60 funds a Restore staff member’s one-to-one work with refugees for half a day.
£100 part funds coach travel for a Restore family activity.
£500 funds all of Restore’s current costs for one working day.
A refugee said, “In the country I fled, so many people were trying to break me down. Through Restore and befriending I have learnt the beauty of being built up. This was new to me.” How do we put a ‘price’ on that impact?
How can you donate?
It’s easy to donate online! Please click here However, if you pay via Virgin Giving they take a 2.5% admin fee, so it you want all your donation to go to Restore please donate via BACS or cheque.
To make a one-off online payment by BACS the details are:
Account name: Restore
Account number: 00087958
Sort code: 40-52-40
To set up a regular standing order please click here for a Restore Standing Order form to complete and return to your bank. For those who bank online, you may be able to set up a regular payment online.
If you can Gift Aid a regular or one-off donation please click here for a Restore Gift Aid form to complete and return to the Restore office.
Thinking about organising a fundraising event? Enjoy baking, music, sport or got a birthday coming up? Why not make Restore your nominated charity? Let us know how we can help with publicity.
Help from churches: Churches have given generously to Restore’s work for many years. Some continue to give regularly, but so far this year we have seen a drop in our income from the church sector. If you are part of a church or other group, please encourage them to donate towards Restore’s work with refugees and asylum seekers.
For those who pray: Please join us in praying for wisdom as we continue the strategic planning process, for the impact of our work and for the resources we need to continue and expand the work of Restore.
Thank you: Thank you for your ongoing support of our work. We look forward to you partnering with us in the next phase of our journey to achieve Restore’s vision for a society into which all refugees and asylum seekers are welcomed, valued and integrated.
With best wishes
Mauricio Silva, Chair of Restore Management Committee