Young asylum seekers enjoy Christmas cheer thanks to Warwickshire County Council - The Leamington Observer

Young asylum seekers enjoy Christmas cheer thanks to Warwickshire County Council

Ian Hughes 15th Jan, 2020   0

YOUNG asylum seekers and care leavers enjoyed some Christmas cheer thanks to Warwickshire County Council.

Parenting staff at organised a Boxing Day party for over 27 unaccompanied asylum seekers and care leavers.

For several months before the festive period staff from children’s safeguarding and support teams across Warwickshire set about fund-raising with charity bake offs, a Santa Dash and raffles.

One of the team, Calvin Smith a service manager in children’s safeguarding, raised over £1000 by doing a sponsored walk up Snowdonia.

His sponsors promised to double their donations if he completed the feat wearing his Christmas jumper, socks, hat and tie – so he did.

Guests were treated to a buffet lunch and presents were distributed afterwards. Gifts included some practical items such as socks, hats and toiletries, plus everyone received some chocolate treats.

Hassan Juma Abdullah and Aliza Deng Nyok Michar were two young people at the party who had both arrived in the country last year as unaccompanied asylum seekers from Sudan.

Hassan Juma, a full-time maths and English student said: “It’s the first time I’ve been to anything like this and it’s been really great. I’ve met lots of new people and I love the party food – I’ve been up three times.”

Aliza Deng Nyok Michar, an unaccompanied asylum seeker from South Sudan, has been here for seven months after fleeing the country because of the civil war.

She said: “I am very grateful to the council who have really looked after me and are now helping me to find my family who are still in Sudan. It was good to meet the other people who have been on their own this Christmas and nice to know I am not alone.”

John Coleman, assistant director for children and families said: “A huge thank you to all of our staff who volunteered to organise this party and fundraised to pay for it. It was great to get everyone together, at what can be a lonely time of year for some. I think they all enjoyed the lunch and presents and the chance to make some new friends. Warwickshire County Council and its teams will always help to support the most vulnerable members of society at Christmas time and beyond.”


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