WMP charity donations spread some Christmas cheer
A charity that supports asylum seekers and refugees in Birmingham has received a Christmas donation of toys, bus passes, clothing and hygiene packs thanks to kindhearted staff at West Midlands Police.
The packages, collected from across the force, were presented to St Chad’s Sanctuary at the annual Christian Faith event held at police headquarters on Wednesday (11 December).
The sanctuary is based in the heart of Birmingham city centre and helps around 300 asylum seekers and refugees every week.
Supported by the Salvation Army and St Chad’s Cathedral, it opens its doors to people five days a week to offer support with food, clothing, free English lessons and schooling for young children.
Sister Margaret Walsh, who runs the support service, explains: “Young families, men and women will walk for miles to visit the sanctuary to access the service. The people we see have come into this country with no possessions, only the clothes on their back.
“Without access to services, housing and work they really struggle to make ends meet having to survive on less than £5 a day. These people have no other choice but to depend on charities like ours.
“We do struggle to give them what they need but every little helps. Where we can, we offer to pay for public transport to get to the centre and last year it cost us around £10,000 in bus fares alone.
“They have to walk everywhere and buying a good pair of walking shoes is often beyond their financial reach. We would welcome donations of shoes, hats, scarfs, gloves and umbrellas at this time of year and if anyone can make a donation towards a bus pass we would be extremely grateful."
If anyone would like to make a donation they can do so by contacting Sister Margaret at St Chad’s Sanctuary http://www.stchadssanctuary.com/ or by contacting Vic Kennedy our voluntary force chaplain who works for the Salvation Army and supports the scheme. http://www.birminghamcitadel.co.uk/