About Us

سيفن أوكس ترحب باللاجئين Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees هي منظمة خيرية محلية تم تشكيلها في عام 2017 للمساعدة في دعم اللاجئين من سوريا الذين أعيد توطينهم في منطقة سيفن أوكس Sevenoaks، كجزء من برنامج إعادة توطين الأشخاص السوريين المستضعفين (SVPRS) التابع لحكومة المملكة المتحدة. وقد تطور هذا البرنامج الآن إلى خطــة الحكومة العالمية لإعادة التوطين في المملكة المتحدة.


نحن منظمة صغيرة ومتنامية ، مع حوالي 100 متطوع نشط. نحن ندعم حاليًا إعادة توطين 8 عائلات سورية لاجئة في منطقة سيفينوكس ، ونأمل في العثور على سكن لمزيد من العائلات هذا العام.

Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees is a local charity formed in 2017 to help support refugees from Syria resettling in the Sevenoaks district, as part of what is now the UK Government's global UK Resettlement Scheme. We are also helping refugees from Afghanistan and Ukraine to resettle in our area.

We are a small and growing organisation, with about 100 active volunteers. We are currently helping to support the resettlement of 8 refugee families from Syria and Afghanistan in the Sevenoaks district area, and are hoping to find accommodation for further families this year. On Ukraine, about 35 families (c. 80 people) have now been matched with local host families.

We work in close partnership with Sevenoaks District Council, Kent County Council and the support agency Clarion Housing Association, who are commissioned by KCC. We provide local practical support to refugee families in our area - welcoming, help with learning English, finding jobs, providing lifts, sourcing necessary household items, and making small grants - and find private landlords willing to take part in the government-funded rent payment scheme. Our Constitution document is here.

The first refugee families here are part of the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (SVPRS). This scheme involves particularly vulnerable refugees coming directly from the Middle East to resettle in the UK. In late 2019 the government amalgamated all its refugee resettlement programmes into one, called the global UK Resettlement Scheme. Refugees resettled under this scheme can be drawn from anywhere in the world, and participating councils can request refugees from cultural backgrounds they are best placed to support.

Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees is also now playing an active part in the Afghanistan refugee resettlement programme, in which Sevenoaks District Council is participating. But we urgently need to find more private sector landlords/properties.

Please see Ukraine Crisis for the latest updates on our role in helping refugees from Ukraine.

For more information about refugees visit UNHCR and the UK’s Refugee Council.

A collection of traditional, home-cooked recipes have been incorporated into a book by the refugee families with the help of pupils and teachers from Sevenoaks School. For more information click here.

ACCOUNTS & ANNUAL REPORT 2020/21

Here are the Annual Accounts and the Annual Report for the financial year 2020/21. The Accounts are here, and the Annual Report is here.

For the year 2019/20 the Accounts are here, and the Annual Report is here.

Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees has a safeguarding policy in order to protect the wellbeing of the refugees and volunteers within its community. Further details can be found here.

Trustees

My background is in finance, most recently in the fund management area where I was a co-founder and director of a specialist investment management firm, responsible for general management, distribution and finance. I have held various management positions within the investment banking area and was a partner in a stock broking firm in Johannesburg.

Other community/volunteer work I have been involved in includes the Sevenoaks Bicycle Users Group, a food distribution charity in Zurich and a charity in Tanzania, aiding underprivileged children to attend secondary school.

I am a retired Head Teacher having completed over 30 years working in the education sector both here in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. My specialisation was working with and supporting young people with mental health and behavioural difficulties. I am fully trained in Child Protection and Safeguarding.

I have over the past few years volunteered with the homeless charity Crisis and helped out in their Day Centres over the Christmas period here in London. I joined SWR just over two years ago to help out with the English Language sessions, which I now coordinate as a Trustee alongside my wife Jeanette Nunn.

I qualified as an accountant in 1980 at Unilever, for whom I worked for 17 years in the UK and abroad. I subsequently worked for Lloyds TSB, the NHS, and DEFRA and retired from the role of Head of Financial Accounting for the Department of Energy and Climate Change in 2015.

I am also involved in several other charities including Empathy Action, Safe Passage, Future Men and Action for Happiness, working in both finance and non-finance roles.

I worked for Lloyds Bank for 36 years, mainly working within the branch network. However I finished my time managing the bank’s intranet team within IT.

Since leaving I have taken on several part time roles including taxi driving and administration of the Vine Evangelical Church. I am also involved with the work of Age UK and am a trustee of two other charities, Vine Evangelical Church and Sevenoaks area youth trust. I think I offer a wide level of operational experience from the other trusteeships and my time as administrator at Vine Evangelical Church.

I am a retired Relationship banker whose career spanned the UK, Australia and New Zealand. I manage a site owned by the banks Sports’ and Social club as well as being the database administrator for the Pension committee of ANZ Bank.

I joined SWR just over 18 months ago and recently became a trustee. I coordinate the English Language sessions alongside my husband David Hinks. I am involved in the charities Silver Coast Volunteers as well as Banco Alimentar, an organisation that coordinates a food bank initiative among other things.

My background is in marketing and communications, with a series of roles in the social enterprise, private and government sectors. I also worked for Oxfam in Africa for 3 years managing aid programmes in Sudan and Somaliland, and for one year in a fundraising role at Oxfam’s head office in Oxford. I have experience in leading teams and projects as an Army officer, a director and as a senior civil servant. I am also a trustee of The Lord Deedes of Aldington Charitable Trust.

I retired in May 2019 after many years working for the Foreign Office. During that time I have undertaken a wide range of roles and served in overseas posts ranging from the extremes of Bangladesh, East Berlin and Paris while maintaining our home in Sevenoaks.

Most of my overseas postings have involved some level of support to local charities. In Bulgaria, I assisted local charities to find support from U.K organisations e.g. to support orphanages, and street children in Bulgaria. In recent years I have visited the Middle East on numerous occasions and can appreciate the challenges faced by the families from Syria.

My professional background is as a teacher, but early on I qualified to teach blind and partially sighted children. I spent the largest proportion of my career in senior roles at a charity for blind and partially sighted children, young people and their families. I was the headteacher at a school for blind children, and also the principal of the charity’s College of Further Education. I was also responsible for setting up a variety of other services, including a Family Support Service.

All of my roles included much work and negotiation with Local Authorities and other voluntary organisations and being involved with government departments regarding education and disability policy. For most of my time I was the Safeguarding lead for the organisation which included delivering training to staff, writing and revising policies and being responsible for the implementation, monitoring, reporting, referring and, when necessary being involved with statutory services.

I have been a volunteer with SWR for 18 months, supporting as part of 2 family teams.

Partners

Thank you!

Many, many thanks to the pupils and teachers at Sevenoaks School who have led the development of this website as part of their service programme; to SWR volunteer Sam who has been outstandingly helpful; and to everyone else who has contributed comments, material and assistance. Please let us know if you have web and other digital skills and would like to get involved as a volunteer.