NBO Wash Blocks x Refugee Council

November 21, 2016

NBO Wash Blocks x Refugee Council

I am sure you know, but every product you buy from Nathalie Bond Organics is handmade. At this very moment our workshop assistant, Leanne, is crafting your next order of organic skincare. One of the problems with this set up though is sometimes products can come out a little inconsistent. This is certainly the case with soap, which is super sensitive to any alterations in temperature. Recently, the weather took a bit of a sharp cold turn and messed up a batch of our Wash Blocks. Although they are perfectly usable, they don’t look as pretty as we’d like. We now had a whole box of spare soap and barely any space in the workshop. What to do?

We decided to give our friend Helen a call, who works for the Refugee Council. Helen and her colleagues provide amazing support for refugees and those seeking asylum in the UK. On arriving in the UK, many refugees have lost everything, and the Refugee Council helps them to start rebuilding their lives. So, Helen popped round and we filled her car boot with soap bars for her to distribute to clients. The work of the Refugee Council is so important and offers a helping hand to some of the most vulnerable people in society. It was an absolute pleasure to be able to offer some assistance even in a small way.

Helen told us our soap bars would go towards the food and care parcels that are given to families on the first day they arrive in the UK as part of the Resettlement programme. Helen explains Resettlement in the following way: “Resettlement is different to the mainstream asylum process in the UK. Refugees are resettled around the world to a third country, due to there being virtually no long term hope of returning to their homeland. For example, a Somali refugee has fled Somalia, sought asylum in Kenya and is living in a refugee camp. Kenya is already inundated with refugees, so is very reluctant to accept any more people. The Somali refugee is then resettled to a third country (like the UK), to live permanently and have an opportunity to make a new life here. Some 18-year-olds we support have spent their entire lives living in a refugee camp. Individuals can live in a refugee camp for 20 years plus.”

Obviously when a resettled refugee arrives in the UK they are in need of much support, which is where the Refugee Council steps in. Helen outlined for us some of the work they carry out in Sheffield, “We support resettled refugees for 12 months to help them get started with life in the UK. In summary, we help people access mainstream services, from how to operate a kettle, use the bus, register with the GP, to looking for work, managing finances and family matters such as domestic violence and dealing with trauma. We work in partnership with many stakeholders in the City. Since 2004 we have worked with refugees from Liberia, Burma, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, Bhutan, Iraq and Syria.”

We loved hearing about the incredible work of the Refugee Council and the impact it has upon individual lives. News headlines often focus on numbers, but we found our chat with Helen reminded us of the people behind the headlines. Helen also gave us this super handy guide to provide us with some facts about the current situation with regards to refugees and asylum seekers. In a world where opinion is often much louder than facts, we found this leaflet to be really helpful http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/assets/0003/7967/Tell_it_Like_it_is_May_2016.pdf

To find out more about the Refugee Council, visit https://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk

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