Let's Pull Together To Aid Refugees - Rev John Proctor, Chairman
The people of Salisbury have a tradition of opening their hearts to people in need. 25 years ago, our community pulled together and Alabaré opened its first home for vulnerable women and children. We didn’t just sit back, we took action. This local charity (which now works throughout the country) was born out of a desire by local people to help those who were in need with nowhere else to turn. As its Chair and founder it has been my privilege over the years to see lives restored and families recover.
I have been humbled by the warmth and generosity of our volunteers and supporters . Thanks to them, Alabaré now provides homes, shelter and support to thousands of people each year, helping them recover from crisis and discover a meaningful place in society.
Now I believe we face a new challenge. I am not alone in seeing parallels with the Syrian refugee crisis happening across Europe. The scale and root of the problem may be different, but the desperation of individuals we have seen on our televisions, and the distress of parents seeing their children’s lives shattered touches a common humanity.
We have seen women, children, families, old and young alike, travelling in desperation across continents searching for safety and sanctuary . We have collectively been moved to tears by the suffering and trauma they are enduring on a daily basis.
And we all agree that action must be taken. The government has taken a step for us as a country and now I am calling on the people Salisbury to open their doors and their hearts and show the same generosity to women, children and families from the Middle East who now so desperately need our help.
Last year we were able to help one Syrian refugee family that arrived in Salisbury. We helped furnish a flat, provided them with clothes, helped their children settle and then worked with them to find work and somewhere permanent that they could call home.
I have therefore asked my team at Alabaré to put our 25 years experience of mending broken lives and helping people get back on their feet again to be ready to help other families from Syria; to be at the heart of what I hope will be a community endeavour to welcome these refugees to Salisbury.
And I am calling on the people of Salisbury to be as open hearted today as you have done in the past but above all to be generous of spirit – so that when the families arrive here – they will know not only that they are safe – but that they are welcome.
If you would like to help us, by volunteering, by contributing to the costs of support and care, or know of suitable accommodation that could be available , or can help in any other way – my team would love to hear from you. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01722 344478.
Rev John Proctor