Belfast Charitable Society continuing to support new communities

There is no doubt that the cost-of-living crisis is affecting a huge number of individuals and families this winter. However for marginalised groups, including asylum seekers and refugees, this crisis is often overlooked. The challenges they face are just as tough, as many have arrived in the UK with just the clothes on their backs, ill equipped for the cold winter months ahead.

Many of these individuals will be provided with temporary accommodation and food, however little to no allowances are made to provide material items like winter coats or shoes.

David Watters, Chair of Belfast Charitable Society, stated that “we have become more and more aware over the last few weeks of the issues facing asylum seekers and refugees in Belfast through the connections we have and the ongoing work we are doing with our new communities and their support organisations. The need is great, and the Society we could do something to help.

The Belfast Charitable Society’s ‘Chair and Chief Executive’s Fund’ is a small funding allocation of £1,000 which is targeted at the discretion of David Watters, as Chair, and Paula Reynolds, as Chief Executive. This year, working with Anaka Women’s Collective, the funding will go to support five families with the purchase of new winter clothing.

Paula Reynolds explained “Earlier this month, with some additional financial and logistical support from Dunnes Stores in Cornmarket, some families, which included 21 children, went to shop for their new winter clothes themselves, allowing them the dignity that most of us take for granted. We acknowledge that this is a drop in the ocean in terms of the need out there, but hopefully we have taken some pressure off a few families.”

Speaking on behalf of the families, a representative from Anaka said “We are delighted that Anaka Women’s Collective was awarded Belfast Charitable Society’s Chair’s and Chief Executive Fund this winter. We are very grateful for this support as it allowed a number of our members to benefit from some new warm winter clothes for their children. As the temperatures drop and cost of everything goes up, this support is more important than ever. Thank you Belfast Charitable Society for your continued support of our work!”