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Fundraising event to help Syrian refugees

A SURF-THE-SKILL session has been organised, which will take place on Good Friday, in order for people to get together to share skills and help raise enough money to settle two Syrian families in the Cardigan area.

People arriving in Newport Pembs Hall at 5.30pm on April 14 will be met by a choice of skills on offer at different tables. For the price of £10 you can do six 20 minute sessions, or spend longer on one.

The skills on offer are diverse. You can choose between power tool woodwork, crafts for all ages, introduction to Arabic, how to install and live within wood warmth or hydro, wind or solar electricity and more.

Having enriched the mind, it will then be time for supper, made by a Welsh chef with Eastern flair and local veg.

At 8.15pm BBC presenter Kim Thomas will lead an auction. Local businesses have generously donated prizes for every taste: From essentials such as an MOT to exceptional art works, dining out in Newport, yoga retreat, holistic massage to a golf lesson or a Newport holiday with hot-tub. People can pick up a bargain or pay generously, as they choose, all topped off with a raffle!

The volunteers are raising the funds to welcome two Syrian families into Cardigan to escape the trauma of war and refugee camps. The proceeds will go to Croeso Teifi, which is a charitable organisation working with the Local Authority and Home Office.

Community sponsored settlement isn’t quite like government schemes, as the community has to raise the money, find homes, meet the family at the airport and ensure they have all they need to heal and integrate, without the council’s involvement.

Vicky Moller, secretary of Croeso Teifi, said: “If they do not become valued members of the local community within the first year or so, we will have failed in our job. The young Syrian children living in Cardigan will learn through Welsh, so they will have two languages to learn.

“Preparing to welcome a few families is a momentous journey, all kinds of people are helping. We are amazed at their generosity and enthusiasm. The Christian churches of all denominations have been awesome, so have local businesses, and people in queues outside the job centre have offered to help because they can understand the trauma and despair Syrians have experienced. It is quite moving.

“The positivity is partly a reaction to the tragedy in Syria which was a lovely country, and partly because our method of welcoming a few chosen families into a networked community is the right way to do integration. It is in stark contrast to what is happening in many cities and the negative reaction this provokes.”

This charitable event is just one of a series of sociable fundraising events. For more information, you can contact 07791 809 810, or visit www.croesoteifi.org.

Everyone is welcome to the free entry skill sharing event on Good Friday, lifts to and from Cardigan can be arranged.

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Tamsin Mathias

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