This list is far from comprehensive and misses many wonderful things going on across the city. For more detailed information and for other volunteer opportunities, please visit bit.ly/leedsrw
1. Donate clothes for new arrivals residing at the Induction Centre in Wakefield
Men’s clothes and new men’s basics (t shirts, jogging bottoms, warm tops, socks, underwear) are particularly needed, plus volunteers.
There is a collection point at Ebor Court in Leeds. Contact [email protected] to arrange a drop-off time.
2. Donate clothes and other items to refugees in Calais and beyond
Visit Yorkshire Aid for details of collection points for donations and what’s needed.
Between 3-14 Oct, the Leeds2Iraq appeal will be collecting:
- Warm winter clothing
- Maternity packs for pregnant women
These essential supplies will go to refugee camps in Iraq.
The collection point will be St Lukes Church, Malvern Road LS11 8PD. For further info, please see the Facebook page.
3.Donate food and other items to hungry refugees and asylum-seekers in Leeds
PAFRAS (Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum-Seekers) provide a hot meal at their weekly drop-in plus much-needed food parcels. They need donations of:
* Tins: Tomatoes, pulses, beans baked beans, spaghetti, chickpea, vegetables and fruit, fish and meat (except pork). Custard, rice pudding etc. are also good.
* Dry food: Sugar, rice, pasta, couscous, pulses, cereals, (these are split down into portions, so catering size bags are useful), tea, small jars of instant coffee, cereals.
* Sweets: Dried fruit, nuts, biscuits, chocolate bars and cakes.
* Long-life milk, fruit juices, and diluting juice/squash, cooking oil.
* Toiletries such as soap, shower gel, shampoo, deodorant, tooth paste and brushes, safety razors and sanitary towels. Things like babies’ nappies, talcum powder, baby wipes, etc. are also always helpful.
* Clothes, blankets and sleeping bags.
Details of drop-off points can be found here.
4. Sign a petition
It only takes a minute. Here are a couple for starters:
‘Accept more asylum seekers and increase support for refugee migrants in the UK’
‘Britain must accept its fair share of refugees seeking safety in Europe’
5. Offer your spare room to a homeless sanctuary-seeker for the night
LASSN (Leeds Asylum-Seeker Support Network) runs a hosting project for refugees and asylum-seekers who have nowhere else to stay. Volunteers provide a hot meal and accommodation for 1 night or more.
UPDATE: LASSN are now not taking on any more volunteers until after Christmas but in the meantime, you can learn more on the LASSN website and if you’re interested, email [email protected] after Christmas.
6.Show an asylum-seeker who’s new to Leeds around and help them get settled
Volunteers are needed for ‘Welcome to Leeds’. Volunteers meet new arrivals 3 or 4 times and show them around their new area, including services that will be useful to them. Contact [email protected] for more info. Volunteers who speak a language commonly used by refugees (eg. Arabic, Farsi, Tigrinya, Albanian) are particularly needed.