Our ‘Meet and Greet’ family support sessions happen every Tuesday lunchtime at a Youth and Community Centre based in central Birmingham. In 2017 an average of 25 individual children and 20 adults attended each session.
2018 promises to be just as busy. Children housed in initial accommodation are not attending school so our Meet and Greet offers some respite to families living in cramped hostel accommodation.
During the session we organise a programme of play, sports and arts activities for children. We have a pool of around twenty volunteers supervising activities alongside the BIRCH Volunteer Co – ordinator and staff members from The Children’s Society. We also have a team of volunteer cooks, kitchen helpers and individuals assisting in the distribution of donated clothes, toys, books, toiletries and other essential items.
Every month we hold bread making workshops organised by the Bread2Share project. The ‘Meet and Greet’ session is supported by Birmingham MIND who have a dedicated worker and volunteer supporting anyone who may have mental health or well – being issues. In 2017 we had visits from a qualified a masseuse (head, hands and shoulder massage), cricket coach and volunteer English teacher. Thanks to dedicated volunteers we also have knitting and crochet which is very popular with our visitors. The range of activities on offer varies depending on the offers of support we receive.
We also run a small resource bank for families which operates from the Meet and Greet. If you would like to find out more about the Meet and Greet please contact David,BIRCH’s Refugee and Migrant Support Practitioner (firstname.lastname@example.org).