US Centre News

Be a part of our new drop-in centre for asylum seekers
Date Uploaded: 
Tuesday 6th March 2018

As you may have seen in You & US, the United Synagogue is setting up a drop-in centre for Asylum Seekers for two hours a month in Hendon, with the first session launching on Sunday 29th April. There are 28,000 asylum seekers in the UK waiting for the home office to grant them refugee status. During this period, they get minimal financial support from the government, and are not allowed to work. These people need support during the months (or in some cases years) that they are waiting. 

This project will need to be shared by various United Synagogue communities, since it is too large for one shul to handle. Each session will need over 100 volunteers from across the United Synagogue shuls. It is a fantastic way to engage with a range of your community and perhaps with people who may not ordinarily be involved. 

As you will see below, there are many opportunities to volunteer. If you are able to help in some way, please email specifying what area you would be interested in. 

The mini drop centre will be run by United Synagogue volunteers and will include the following areas:

  • Mentoring: professional members of United Synagogue including lawyers, doctors, dentists, accountants etc. These people will be able to give professional advice to help them with some of the issues they face.
  • Befriending: members of our community will be able to spend time talking and befriending the asylum seekers. They are very lonely and sometimes just want someone to hear their story. They will also be able to help them with mundane day to day issues/chores.
  • Food: volunteers will cook hot vegetarian food and serve it to the visitors. This gives a space for the volunteers and asylum seekers to eat together, socialise and befriend.
  • Coffee, teas, biscuits and cakes: this gives another area to relax and socialise
  • Kids area: our youth groups will be running activities for the youth, and a crèche service for the younger children. Activities may include tshirt decorating, arts & crafts activities and group games.
  • Donations: there will be an ongoing collection by our shuls for clothes, shoes, toys and toiletries. They will be sorted and put out by size, so that the asylum seekers will be able to easily find suitable items for themselves and their children.
  • Food vouchers: The asylum seekers will receive vouchers for supermarkets. This will be funded by money that will be raised by our communities, government grants, funds from foundations and some angel investors.