More than £80,000 raised for refugees in Norfolk

The bishop's picnic for refugees in his garden.

The bishop's picnic for refugees in his garden. - Credit: Diocese of Norwich

The Bishop of Norwich has held a picnic in his garden for Afghan and Syrian refugees after helping raise more than £80,000 for those who have settled in Norfolk. 

Graham Usher is handling the refugee fund, at the request of Norfolk County Council, over the next months and years as individuals and families settle in the county.

At the picnic in his garden on Friday, October 8, children enjoyed kicking a ball about and running around while food was also served. 

Mr Usher said: “It was a joy to host Syrian and Afghan refugees in the garden and to present certificates to those who have been learning English.

"I had moving conversations with some Afghan men, who worked for the British Army and British Council and had only been in the UK for a few weeks.

“It is wonderful to be able to provide a safe harbour for those fleeing from, for most of us, unimaginable difficulties in their own home countries.

"I have been gladdened by the amazing generosity of folk in Norfolk who have contributed to our refugee fund which is now reaching over £80,000."

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Along with grants for TV licences to help with language learning, a further grant is being issued to provide bicycles for Afghan and Syrian refugees through the Welcome Wheels project, which is delivered by Bicycle Links in King Street in Norwich.

This project provides bicycles, safety equipment and road-safety training as part of a package for refugees.

The Diocese of Norwich has also made a house available to provide a home for an Afghan refugee family for two years.

It is a four bedroom property which is close to local shops, school and a mosque.

Mr Usher added: “My prayer is that this house will soon become a home for a family to settle and thrive in.

"May they find the welcome that so many strangers down the centuries have found in the wonderful city of Norwich.

"It’s another way of living out the Gospel of Christ in loving our neighbour.”

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