Social Action - More Information
On a single Sunday afternoon each month, West London Synagogue welcomes families who have been made destitute while seeking asylum in the UK. We provide a hot meal, grocery vouchers, clothing, companionship and advice for parents and children who have fled life-threatening violence or persecution in the countries they are from. We count on volunteers from our community to provide a warm welcome to people who are commonly shunned by the larger community as a consequence of the popular misconception that they are here by choice.
How can you help:
There are many ways to support our Drop-In Centre, from donating nappies, basmati rice and clothing (in good, wearable condition), to pitching in at the centre on the third Sunday of each month. Keep in mind that all of our volunteers were once first-time volunteers, so inexperience need not be an impediment to your participation! All sessions run from 1:30pm through 5:30pm at WLS. To volunteer, or enquire further, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Winter Shelter Night Shelter: October – May
West London Synagogue runs a Night Shelter every Saturday night from October to May for fifteen local homeless people. We provide a warm meal, warm company, and a place to stay whilst they participate on a programme with the West London Day Centre to get them back into housing.
Our guests are people from all walks of life – from British people who have hit a run of bad luck; to asylum seekers and refugees for whom this project is their only lifeline. We always have a warm atmosphere, playing games and talking. We also make plenty of healthy home cooked food.
To volunteer for this initiative, please email email@example.com.
Please join our team in providing a number of services on and throughout the night, including:
- Set-up and hosting (3 volunteers) – Arriving at 6pm to meet the coordinator and set up the space including blowing up the air beds and preparing the dining area. Greeting the guests and hosting them when we open the doors at 7.30pm. Eating with the guests and helping sort out any small needs. This shift finishes at around 10pm.
- Cooking (3 volunteers) – One lead cook who prepares the menu, and a team to prepare a meal for around 25 people and clean up afterwards. The team arrives at 5pm and washing up is normally over by 10pm. There is less interaction with the guests, although you all eat together. There is also the option to sign up to be a lead cook. We have a healthy budget for food and produce a delicious meal each week. No serious food experience needed.
- Overnight (1-2 volunteers) – Arriving at 9.30pm to spend the night at the shelter (Night volunteers sleep in a separate room and we have two WLS security on reception all night). The guests go to sleep almost immediately after dinner. Wake up at 6.15am to wake guests, prepare a small breakfast, and send the guests on their way at 7.30am. Do a quick clean up.
- Breakfast (1 volunteer) – Arrive at 6.15am to wake guests, prepare a small breakfast, and send the guests on their way at 7.30am. Do a quick clean up.
West London Synagogue are working with Feeding Folk to deliver meals to London’s street homeless one Sunday a month. Feeding Folk are a group of Muslim young adults who set up this projects in one of their member’s kitchens. Each month we prepare 60-100 warm and healthy meals here at the synagogue, before packing them to deliver across London.
We will open a second monthly Drop-In at the start of 2017, this one directed at refugees with status. There will still be a social element, but the main focus will be on helping with job skills and support establishing lives in London. To get involved contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
West London Synagogue is partnering with St. Paul’s Church in Marylebone to open a new hub of FoodCycle. FoodCycle is an organisation that helps volunteers collect surplus food from supermarkets to then cook free community meals to combat food poverty and social isolation in their local area. We use this food to serve community meals, in partnership with St Paul’s church in Lisson Grove, bi-weekly on a Wednesday evening.