The OpenARMs London Trip
Our OpenARMs programme at Sufra aims to empower asylum seekers, refugees and migrants to become independent and start a new life in our community.
This work takes place on a personal level, where each guest works with our Refugee Resettlement Officer to develop a Personal Support Plan, identifying their specific needs, long term challenges and personal resettlement goals. Tailored welfare advice is provided, as well as signposting and referrals to specialist services.
But we know that dealing with the challenges of the UK immigration system can be isolating and take a toll on their mental health, so we also support the guests by arranging social inclusion activities. These are a variety of fun sessions including yoga classes, ESOL classes and coffee mornings – where guests get to cook for the whole group, make arts & crafts, and develop new friendships with migrants from different cultures.
Last week, Sufra took our OpenARMs guests on a mini-tour of London. When our ESOL teacher Anaam asked one of our guests what they like to do fun, they replied ‘Go to the GP’ and we simply could not stand for it.
The asylum seekers, migrants and refugees on our OpenARMs programme often don’t have the funds for a trip like this, with asylum seekers living off £8 a week. So, Sufra topped up their oyster cards for the trip and provided lunch to ensure the trip was cost-free. This is one of many touristy trips we have planned to support our guests’ resettlement in the UK.
The cutest moment was one of our guests’ 3 year old daughter staring up with at the London Eye completely bewildered.