Elmbridge CAN is a small charity, based in Elmbridge, Surrey, UK. We aim to build a culture of welcome to refugees within the local community, and work to achieve the settlement of more refugees in the Borough of Elmbridge. Funded by individual supported donations, with some special funds gratefully received by Walton Charity.
The global migration crisis is an historic event that has seen the largest number of refugees since World War II. From Ukraine, to Syria to Somalia and Libya to Afghanistan , people are suffering brutality, impoverishment and displacement because of war and political regimes.
Our charity was formed in 2016 at the height of the Syrian refugee crisis, by local people moved by what they saw happening as families fled terror. They were determined to ‘do something’ as their duty to fellow human beings in need.
We believe that we all have the power and responsibility to make a difference to those whose lives have been affected. But we also recognise that this can't happen without a collaborative, cross-community effort. We facilitate this within the Borough of Elmbridge - bringing together residents, businesses, community groups, charities and the local authority.
We believe that Elmbridge CAN make a difference.
- Improving the lives of refugees in Elmbridge
We provide grants, material donations and activities and services that promote social inclusion and well being among refugees and asylum seekers.
- Raising awareness
We help people be aware of and sympathetic to the lives and needs of refugees.
WE DO THIS THROUGH
- Financial and material resources and grant giving
We raise funds through grants and public fundraising campaigns to support the needs of refugees and asylum seekers in Surrey. We provide grants directly to refugees through our refugee support funds (RSF200 and UASCfund) for things like travel, essential household items, educational and extra-curricular activities and clothing. We collect material donations to furnish homes and provide starter packs for families coming through the Resettlement Schemes.
- Direct family support
Our team of refugee support volunteers provide practical and emotional support to help refugee families adjust to life in the UK. Our volunteers help with administrative tasks, accompany families to medical appointments and provide local orientations and language support.
- English Language tuition (ESOL)
We run regular ESOL classes for refugees and asylum seekers in Elmbridge. The course focuses on the language needed for successful day-today living, social interactions and work readiness and incorporates aspects of cultural literacy to support families adjusting to life in the UK.
- Events and public speaking
We have a growing network of supporters. We use our website, Facebook page and newsletter to share stories, updates about our work and ideas on how people can get involved. We organise community events for people to come together, chat to the team and meet some of the people we've supported. We speak at local gatherings to raise awareness of our work and the needs of refugees.
- Networking and partnerships
We collaborate with local and national refugee-related organisations, sharing learning and resources to ensure the successful resettlement of refugees and asylum seekers in Elmbridge. We work with schools, faith groups and businesses and mobilise financial and material donations for refugees. We are also a member of the City of Sanctuary movement.