When asylum seekers are found
It’s not just the asylum seekers whose lives are changed by one of the latest projects to win a URC Community Project Award. Laurence Wareing reports
The thing about DARE, says Negan, is that ‘you don’t have to go to them; they come after you!’ Arriving in the Lancashire town of Darwen, an asylum seeker or refugee, maybe with little or no English, doesn’t have to go in search of those who will help them; the volunteers of DARE are already primed to welcome newcomers and respond to their needs. Negan is one of countless individuals and families from places of conflict and oppressive regimes who have been ‘found’ by DARE, and whose lives have been transformed as a result.
DARE stands for the Darwen Asylum Refugee Enterprise. It operates out of Darwen Central United Reformed Church and is part of a diverse network of mutually supportive charities and service providers in the borough of Blackburn with Darwen. DARE offers practical aid in connection with health, legal matters and education. But it also offers community – as the project’s WhatsApp group quickly demonstrates. From good wishes for the festival of Eid to a notice for a fitness class, from information about Application Registration Cards to requests for a washing machine, the social media conversation is a lively hub of mutual support…
DARE was awarded £2,000 in the 2023 United Reformed Church Community Project Awards, sponsored by Congregational
This is an extract from an article published in the September 2023 edition of Reform