Striving to raise awareness of modern slavery and the plight of refugees is a key part of our work. The Diocese seeks to encourage practical support for people affected by these issues at both parish and deanery level, and to develop effective responses alongside clergy and lay volunteers.
Our areas of focus include:
- promoting the integration of refugees and asylum seekers
- finding ways of helping victims of modern slavery
- finding support for groups with insecure status struggling to attain citizenship
- working in partnership with other organisations seeking to combat the poverty experienced by vulnerable migrants
- helping those who are involved in welcoming and reaching out to people in need.
How we help
Supporting asylum seekers
We have put together a list of resources for supporting asylum seekers in the Diocese of Southwark
- One of our tasks is to raise awareness of the existence of modern slavery in our communities and help parishes to find ways of responding.
- We also link up with the Clewer Initiative and other organisations working in this area.
English language classes
- The Diocese promotes and resources English language classes and conversation groups.
- We also draw together parishes and other groups within the Diocese to use the teaching of English to vulnerable non-English-speaking migrants as a form of outreach in order to help those with limited language skills access services and integrate.
- The JPIC Team investigates ways we can help those in our communities struggling to belong as citizens, whether they were born in the UK or have chosen, or been forced, to settle here.
Resettlement and integration of refugees
- We promote community sponsorship, supporting parishes working with refugees through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) and giving advice.
- Furthering the commitment as laid down in the motion passed by General Synod in July 2019 to assist refugee and asylum-seeking professionals in finding jobs commensurate with their skills.
- Reset is the Government-sponsored charity which offers advice and support to individuals and groups considering community sponsorship to support resettled refugees. They offer training, advice on applications, an application checking service and an advice line for issues that arise post-arrival.
- There are many wonderful videos available about the impact of community sponsorship in transforming lives. Here is a short 90 second introduction; there are also many videos available on the Reset website.