A letter from Ksenia Afonina, Chair of Trustees of CamRuSS
Thank you very much for your time and productive discussion on Thursday 24 March as well as sharing suggestions prior to our meeting. I am aware that some of you were not able to join us, but have decided to share this concluding message with you. If you would like to join our working group email list for sharing further ideas and suggestions on the subject of our help and support for refugees and their hosting families in the UK and specifically in Cambridgeshire, please write to us.
Please find below a short summary of the core points that we decided as a result of our exchanges on Thursday:
- To form a committee of 3 people as a main point of contact for coordination of any initiatives/advice/help for refugees and their hosting families in Cambridgeshire. It was suggested that it should include native speakers of Russian, Ukranian and English.
- To create and maintain a list of volunteers/helpers for assistance with interpreting/translation, English language tutoring, psychological help, and social welcoming/adaptation initiatives. Isabella Warren kindly volunteered to run a spreadsheet.
- To arrange a 24-hour telephone helpline for advice/support for Russian and English speakers (refugees and hosting families). Sayana Namsaraeva kindly volunteered to oversee this initiative, but she would require helpers.
- It was agreed to create a dedicated Hardship Support Fund at CamRuSS for the targeted support of local initiatives and families hosting refugees.
I spoke to Cambridge City Council on Friday 25 March and they promised to put us in touch with their committee dealing with refugees next week so that we can potentially work together on this. They said that they would very much appreciate our contribution.
Irina Abnizova’s cousin Iryna Tsepova is coming from Kharkiv this weekend. She is a teacher of Ukrainian and Russian and can potentially join the committee and act as our consultant as well as ambassador when dealing with our Ukrainian counterparts.
I suggest that we include a call for helpers in our next newsletter, but wait until we have spoken to the City Council before rolling out further initiatives.
Please let me know if you think that I have missed anything or you have any further suggestions at this stage.
Many thanks for your help!