24th Oct, 2017

Bishop calls for hope as Coventry charity relocates to Hillfields building in need of repair

PEOPLE in Coventry are being urged to help build hope in the city by supporting a charity’s move to a new home.

The call came from the Bishop of Coventry, the Right Revd Dr Christopher Cocksworth who announced Coventry Refugee & Migrant Centres (CRMC) move at its annual meeting last week.

CRMC is moving as its present home is due to be redeveloped.

The new base, at Norton House in Hillfields, is very run down and needs a lot of work done to it to make it usable.

The Bishop is asking local traders, businesses, community groups and members of the public for help with this.

He said: “The move will cost a great deal of money, most of which the charity does not have and therefore I am appealing for your help.

“Coventry has a proud and longstanding tradition of offering peace and sanctuary to those that most need it.

“For the past 17 years CRMC has sat at the heart of this welcome, helping vulnerable refugees to rebuild their lives in dignity and begin contributing to our city.

“By helping with this move, you would be helping to continue this tradition and build hope in the city.”

Coventry City Council helped identify Norton House as the charity’s new home.

However basic structural repairs and additional work is required before the space is usable.

Sabir Zazai, chief executive at CRMC, said: “Our vision is for a centre which is a representation of Coventry, which tells of the city’s proud history of welcome, peace and reconciliation.

“We want it to be a place where hope is renewed and bridges are built across communities, helping to encourage integration and overcome cultural and racial misconceptions.

“From donations of money to free labour, every little will help us to achieve this.”

The charity helped 3,500 vulnerable people last year – including refugees fleeing war in Syria and people supported by its weekly men’s group which provides food, clothing and a brief respite for those that are homeless in the city.

Baraa Alsaadi, who was forced to flee his family home in Syria when the war began in 2012, is one of many to benefit from the charity’s work.

He said: “Our neighbourhood was under heavy shelling.

“People we knew were getting killed or injured and so we escaped to a refugee camp in Jordon.”

“From helping me learn English, to explaining how to apply for college, CRMC helped me every step of the way.

“Staff at CRMC provided me with housing while I was finding a flat to live in, and they also supported me in securing an apprenticeship with Timpson’s.

“Anything I need, they have helped me with.”

Email info@covrefugee.org if you would like to support CRMC with its move to Norton House.

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