Ongoing Engagement...


We all have crises in our lives from time to time, and we get through them with our own personal strength, with the help and guidance of God, and with the kindness of others. St Margaret's Benefice has decided that we should be those "others" and to find practical ways to help those that find themselves in a crisis. This page will provide details of current needs we are responding to and provide ways for anyone who wishes to make a difference.  

Samphire logojpg

Indre, from Samphire, writes to us with information about a volunteering opportunity:-

"I am writing in reference to a volunteering opportunity at our office in Castle Street, Dover for the period of the 2nd – 13th of September.

The Ex-Detainee Project is conducting a telephone survey for all ex-detainee clients who currently access our services (656 individuals to date!).

It will involve calling individual clients and asking a series of questions and recording their answers.

We would like to have two volunteers in the office at one time making the calls, therefore it would involve creating a rota, pending how many people are available to do it, and how often a person can volunteer their time.

Therefore, if you are interested in taking part, please can you let me know by the 21st of August at the latest, what days and times you would be available on weekdays during the period of Monday, the 2nd of September - Friday 13th of September between the times of 10.00am-4.00pm.  

A minimum of 3 hours at a time would be preferable so a person can settle into the task.
If you have any questions regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01304242755 or email ex-detainee@samphireproject.org.uk

Thank you for your time and commitment to Samphire and I look forward to hearing from those who are available."

Kind regards,

Indre Lechtimiakyte
Senior Ex-Detainee Project Coordinator

Tel: 01304 201535
Text: 07714 490981

Freephone (landlines): 0800 9179397  
Mon/Tues/Weds/Thurs/Fri between 10.00am and 1.00pm.

World Refugee Day 20th June 2019

St Margaret's was delighted to host the culmination of a week's effort to highlight the campaign:Screen Shot 06-25-19 at 1054 PMPNG

Refugee Service 2019 pic1jpg  Refugee Service 2019 pic3jpg  Refugee Service 2019 pic7jpg

Led by Domenica Pecoraro, Canterbury Diocese Refugee Project Officer, people gathered at St Margaret's Church, carefully sporting the banner made the previous weekend.

Refugee Service 2019 pic9jpg  Refugee Service 2019 pic15jpg

It was carefully gathered up, and the party processed up through the village to the top of Bay Hill, overlooking the Channel, where across the water, a matching gathering was happening in Calais.  The banner was unfurled and the declaration read out, as it was at the same time in Calais:

Dover_Outreach_Centre logopng

We are delighted to have the latest update from DOC:-

I write to thank you for your prayers for the Outreach Centre and specifically for coming to pray with us.


This month we will have been open for two and a half years. In that time we have helped over 100 people into accommodation; helped over 70 into employment; enrolled six into long term Christian Rehabilitation Centres for severe addiction problems; given Mental Health support to over 100 people; located four people who were listed, by Police, as missing and reunited 17, previously estranged, families. We have lost count of how many cups of tea we have made, letters we have written for people, or forms we have helped to fill in! Oh yes, and three Winter Night Shelters.

As we do not open our doors without first seeking the Lord’s guidance and help, nor close them without giving Him the praise for anything we see achieved, it is clear that all the glory goes to our Father for these things.  Your prayer support has been invaluable.

 You will know already that He has now given us a new challenge and we have recently (today - as I type this) taken over the lease of the old Seafarer’s Mission building on Snargate Street. We will relocate the Outreach Centre there as soon as the building is ready to do so (we estimate late May, but that is only an estimate.)

Our own, Dover Outreach Enterprise, have already moved in and have begun clearing the area ready for redecoration (and some internal alterations to suit our needs)

Anyone who knows the building will be aware that it has two distinct ‘halves’ and one of those is accommodation complete with residents, so we have taken them on as well.

 As you can see this is a BIG, new, slightly scary, project but we are clear that the Lord has chosen this building because Noel and I walked the current Centre, room by room, praising God for all He had given and describing (in quite minute detail) those things we would ask of a new Centre. Every last ounce of it is in place. ALL that we prayed for is there.  Praise His Name!

 Please pray for us as we go forward, that we continue to hear from the Lord, that He will move in ahead of us and take over the new building, that His Name will be glorified in all that happens there, and that He will be as blessed by it as we are. We have re-named the building in His Honour. It will be called Victory House.  

Bless you for all the support you have given us to get us to this point. As soon as we have a place to plug a kettle in we will be inviting you to come and see the building and to share your thoughts. Meanwhile please be assured of our prayers for you and your church.


Love & blessings,

Vee Bentley
Centre Manager.
Dover Outreach Centre
103 Maison Dieu Road
Dover
CT16 1RU
01304 339022
07518 382639

Maria Skobotsova Housejpg Looking for a meaningful way to use your time and skills? - Maria Skobtsova House and Caritas France are part of the church's response to refugee needs in Calais. They are looking for volunteers over the age of 18, for a minimum of 1 month, to help in different operations in aid of refugees. There are many varied roles you could fulfil and if you want to find out more, please email mariaskobtsova@gmail.com for an information sheet and application form.

Dover Food Bank logopng We have a collection box for Dover Food Bank in the porch at St Margaret's Church. Click on the Food Bank logo to see what they are most in need of right now.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Porchlight_logopng have an emergency number available 24/7 for anyone who needs to access their services, either for themselves or someone else - 0800 567 7699

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

'Period Poverty' is a relatively new phrase that has been in the news recently - it means not being able to afford sanitary products which leads to girls and women missing out on school and work because there is no way they can keep themselves clean and hygienic out of the house, or resorting to using rags and even newspapers as alternatives. We are not talking third world countries here. This is happening in the UK, in our own towns and cities. 50% of the population are female, yet the realities of one week in four are still a tabboo - we can't talk about "womens' things". Well we can, and we will. Girls should not be missing out on school because they can't afford sanitary products. They are an essential not a luxury. Dover Smart Project has a collection box in St Margaret's Church porch just for donations of sanitary products, so please feel free to drop them in when you are passing. We no longer live in an age where they are put in a brown paper bag so no-one knows what you've bought, so please do not feel uncomfortable either leaving them there or seeing them there.
Along similar lines, a great website resource is agnesforgirls.com - a life guide for teenage girls - which has great honest information and support for teenage girls, and honestly, it wouldn't hurt for boys to read it as well.

Thank you for continuously showing the generosity of spirit that thrives in St Margaret's.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Street Link apppngThis is a fantastic website and phone app (for Android and iOS) that enables you to report the presence of a rough-sleeper to a central agency, Street Link, who can then pass on the information to the relevant local services to go out and engage with that person. It doesn't matter where you are in the UK, they have all the contact details, all you need to do is follow the simple instructions and give as accurate account of the situation as you can. This will help the local services find the person you are reporting, as often they are in tucked-away, hidden from sight places to keep themselves safe.

Download the app, fill in your simple registration details and have it ever ready on your phone. Time is often of the essence - it could make it more difficult to locate the person in need if you wait until you are home and at your PC.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Seeking Sanctuary logojpg

Seeking Sanctuary says "Treat migrants as human beings."

In the perilous years of World War II many refugees took the dangerous and uncertain route through the Alps out of France in search of safety and freedom. Many who made the journey in the freezing winter temperatures did not survive.

And 75 years later these journeys are being made again, but in the opposite direction. Many young migrants who have survived the hazards of the Mediterranean are now making the journey from Italy to France along tracks at altitudes as high as 1700 metres. Clad in unsuitable clothes and with light footwear, they are at risk of falling victim to the dangers of seeking sanctuary in one of the most severe winters in recent years. We have learnt of a young man who had to have both his feet amputated in France because of frostbite – but he was still deported to the frontier with Italy after his operation

Ben Bano, one of the Directors of 'Seeking Sanctuary', commented: On this day when Pope Francis has again asked the world to remember the suffering and challenges faced by migrants every day, we appeal to all concerned by these experiences to put pressure on elected representatives and other authorities to resist the downward spiral of condemnation and vilification of migrants attempting to reach safety and to ensure that they are treated with dignity and respect. As Pope Francis again reminds us, 'every migrant has a name, a face and a story'.
Phil Kerton & Ben Bano,

Co-Directors.

'Seeking Sanctuary' aims to raise awareness about people displaced from their homes and to channel basic humanitarian assistance from Faith Communities and Community Organisations via partnerships with experienced aid workers. Our special concern is for those who arrive in north-western France, mistakenly expecting a welcome in the UK. Almost all the 8,000+ migrants in Calais in October 2016 were moved away, hopefully to better accommodation. 1616 unaccompanied minors also left, along with hundreds of vulnerable women and children, hoping that claims to stay in the UK or France would be processed. Many judge that they have been let down, and hundreds have returned to sleep rough near Calais and along the coast. The Grande-Synthe camp near Dunkirk burnt down in April 2017, displacing around 1400 people, over 950 of them moved elsewhere, whilst the rest remain nearby, joined by scores of newcomers weekly.

 

They need food, good counsel and clothes, which are accepted, sorted and distributed by several Calais warehouses, which also supply needs further afield.

 

Further information from Ben Bano on 07887 651117 or Phil Kerton on 01474 873802. See our latest news at www.seekingsanctuary.weebly.com

There are three organisations working together in our area to support the refugees and asylum seekers in the South East:-

KRAN logojpg Kent Refugee Action Network is an independent charity based in Canterbury that provides help and support to young unaccompanied asylum seekers and refugees who have arrived int he UK, so they can feel safe, belong and to build hope for a better future.

  • Samphire logojpg  is a Dover-based charity who have worked with the Dover Immigration Removal Centre supporting and advocating for ex-detainees who face destitution and hardship after detention.  It engages with communities to challenge widely held misconceptions about immigration.

Migrant Help logojpg Migrant Help are a national organisation with offices in Dover who help vulnerable migrants across the UK feel protected, safe and supported so that they are able to move forwards with their lives.  They are supporting two Syrian refugee families who have been resettled in our area, and St Margaret's has liaised closely to provide for their needs as part of our Crisis Response strategy. If you would like to be involved supporting refugees you need to go through their volunteering process. This ensures the safety and welfare of everyone involved and provides the necessary training and support to enable you to be effective with your time. If you would like to become a volunteer with Migrant Help, Diane has all the necessary forms.