We are delighted to announce that Catherine Bridgwood (pictured below) has been appointed to the role of Befriending Co-ordinator at Restore from a very strong field of candidates and after a recruitment process that included a presentation and role play. Catherine’s new role will include leading all the women’s befriending work.
Catherine currently works as a Refugee Support Worker with Ashley Community Housing and brings experience from the voluntary and faith sectors including Fatima House, Brushstrokes, St Chad’s Sanctuary, Carrs Lane Lived Community and the Columban Lay Missionaries. Having been a Restore befriender, she understands the role from a volunteer’s perspective which will help in supporting befrienders, particularly new volunteers.
Reflecting on her experiences, Catherine writes, “The greatest joy in all of this has been the amazing encounters I have had with people. I have found work with refugees and asylum seekers to be deeply challenging, seeking to walk alongside people who have faced such trauma and loss, but at the same time hugely life-giving in the way I have been welcomed into people’s lives and stories. I look forward to working for Restore where encouraging these life-giving relationships is at the heart of what you do.”
We are looking forward to the range of experience and understanding that Catherine will bring to the Restore staff team and her help in achieving our vision to welcome, value and integrate refugees and asylum seekers.
Mauricio Silva, Chair of the Restore Management Committee and a Trustee of Birmingham Churches Together (BCT) writes, “On behalf of the Management Committee and the BCT Trustees, I am delighted to welcome Catherine as the new Befriending Co-ordinator. She joins an excellent team which serves asylum seekers and refugees with compassion and professionalism. May the Hospitable God grant Catherine a life-giving journey with her new colleagues, with Restore’s asylum seeker and refugee friends, befrienders and supporters.”
Catherine will start work with Restore on Tuesday 6 April and early priorities will include getting to know those we work with, interviewing new volunteers and making new befriending matches.
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