The Doncaster Conversation Club provides a welcome to new arrivals into Doncaster focussing on asylum seekers and refugees. It aims to provide a sanctuary where clients can escape loneliness and isolation. For many who have experienced endemic corruption and brutality from the authorities in their homeland it tries to build bridges and grow the trust between them and the officialdom here.
The Club meets once a week and, apart from a friendly welcome, a cup of tea and soup, offers ESOL lessons, access to Migrant Help, internet access, support in filling in forms for claims, benefits or any of the bureaucracy they encounter, informal translation, food parcels, liaison with schools, and help with any other problem they bring. Volunteers include a retired GP who can focus on the complex health needs of some of the clients.
In support of these aims in February 2016, the Foundation awarded a grant of £1,730 to run the ‘Adapting to Life in the UK’ project. The project aims to improve attendees’ understanding of British society, equip them with the skills required to help them fit in and integrate as smoothly as possible and is broken down into three areas: work, money, and personal skills. The intention is that around 70 attendees will, by learning about the day-to-day life in this country, feel less stigmatised, less isolated and more confident to face the challenges of their new life