The School Council organised a collection during Refugee Week. These were small items such as colouring pencils, activity books and small games to donate to Rainbow Club, a Saturday school attended by refugees and funded by AFRIL.
Kieran, the Headteacher from that school, came along to collect the donations and to talk to the children about how the school works. We found out that 90 children attend the school each week, and that as well as music and drama the pupils at Rainbow Club also go on day trips and recently had a sports day!
A big thank you to all who donated - all the items will be distributed to local refugee children to keep them busy over the summer months.
After a busy year organising Prayer Day, leading worship, developing our spiritual corners and raising funds for charities at home and overseas, our children's Faith Group enjoyed visiting a local CoE Primary School, to meet with their Faith Group. We learned all about the work that St James' children have done and we agreed that we would like to work together in the future on joint projects, including how we offer sanctuary to our communities.
We celebrated refugee week last week by taking part in the Big Live Assembly where we spoke to refugees in a Syrian camp. We have also been displaying our orange hearts of welcome for all the community to see and had a fabulous collection of items through the week for children at Rainbow Club.
Thank you to all who donated items for local refugee children. The School Council will be delivering all the items to the Rainbow Club this week and we know that each and every item will be put to good use. Your generosity is amazing!
We were thrilled to receive a copy of the Every Child Should Benefit Action Report 2023 from Citizens UK. The report argues for the urgency to extend eligibility for Child Benefit to ALL children in the UK.
In this document you can read all about the workshops that took place at St Mary's School this term - starting on page 32. Read it here.
The report makes compelling reading and we are proud to have played a role in its creation.
St. Mary's welcomed Natasha, Charlie and Simmone from the Lewisham Renters Union to deliver a workshop for parents about housing rights. Everyone has a different story and experience to share, however there were many common threads including disrepair and frustrations at dealing with landlords both in private and public sectors. LRU taught us about what we are entitled to expect under current housing law and what to do when things are not as they should be. There are many organisations available to help including;
St Mary's took part in a very special International event as we joined a live online global assembly to learn more about child refugees. Thousands of children took part in the event. Children were interviewed as they shared their experiences and there were live reports from refugees camps. This has helped to raise our awareness of these issues in advance of Refugee Week.
Year 5 students followed up on workshops with students from UCL to attend an action outside Westminster to demand that every child should receive child benefit regardless of their parents' immigration status. Currently, children whose parents have no recourse to public funds are not entitled to child benefit (which helps pay for uniform, food, school trips) and this means that they are £1,248 worse off each year.
With other schools, students and Citizens UK, children from St. Mary's took part and created some noise. Sameera took to the microphone and spoke very eloquently about the injustice of the current system for those who are less fortunate than others. Well done to Sameera and to all the children for being such brave and courageous advocates!
Our journey to becoming a Sanctuary School is included within this Resource Pack (see page 20) and why not enjoy all of this valuable resource to find out more about the work of Sanctuary Schools.
School of Sanctuary News Blog
Events and activities from our work as a School of Sanctuary