Homes for Ukraine

Anne and I are learning that the essential requirements are unlimited patience and the ability to sit through endless zoom meetings. That said, the process of matching sponsor and guest is extremely complex and cannot be rushed.

This month we have made progress on two fronts:

I took part in a zoom meeting with Reset, the refugee charity recommended by the Methodist church, which outlined in detail the matching process. The message was simple. In the light of all the new information you have received, do you still wish to proceed?

Reset then sent a new email asking us to expand on the earlier information we had provided, the emphasis at this stage being to stress the advantages to the guest of coming to this part of the country: availability of local transport, schools, opportunities for part/full time work and many more. This is very important for rural areas because such areas in Ukraine can be very poor.

Refugees then receive three specially selected sponsor profiles from which they choose one or ask for a different selection. Only when your profile is selected does the sponsor receive the profile of their prospective guest. At this stage sponsor and guest are invited to communicate and explore the potential for putting the arrangement in practice.

Earlier this week we received an email inviting us to join the Local Authority scheme to make new arrangements for Ukrainian guests, already in this country, whose initial matches have not been successful. Our details have now been forwarded to SCC to be used in this process.

Ron Jordan

Refugee Aid from Taunton (RAfT): Charity No:1180367

On most occasions RAfT’s charity report advises you of the places to which donations have been sent. This Link’s contribution is a plea for your help!

We are seeing increasing numbers of Ukrainian refugees looking for shoes and clothing, but at the same time are seeking to fill a container of clothing to go to Afghanistan and our ‘in bay’ is mostly empty with only a little work for volunteers to do. If you (friends/neighbours/family) have good quality clothing for men, women, children or babies for which you no longer have a need, we should be delighted to receive it. If you can assemble it at your church just before I am ‘on plan’, I will happily load up my car. Alternatively, it can be brought to Unit 4, Enterprise Park, Priorswood Road, TA2 8FR (next to ‘Grubs Up’) on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays between 10am and 2pm. If you belong to any social group that might like a talk about RAfT, please contact me.

We are also able to take books to sell to raise funds to help pay transport/running costs. Thank you.

Elaine Dew

Care and Relief for Children (C.R.Y.):

Over the next 4 months, CRY will celebrate 30 years of inspiring projects, incredible people and amazing supporters with exciting events and fundraisers. They have operated in 30 nations and 30,000 children have been assisted. (Promotional video available to view on website.)

Francis Lewis

Action for Children:

July challenge to walk 5,000 steps every day for the whole month to raise money and awareness.

Supporting LGBTQ+ young people during June (i..e. Pride Month) – a time to celebrate LGBTQ+ communities, reflect on progress made and raise awareness of what still needs to be done to achieve inclusion and equality. Action for Children is home to ‘Transcakes’, an inspirational group for young people aged 13-19 that is paving the way for brighter futures for trans, non-binary and gender-questioning young people.

Information about celebrating Father’s Day in a special way, with fundraising opportunities towards fathers or families in need.

Also mentioned in earlier newsletter were suggestions of holding Jubilee picnics or a Big Lunch to raise money; nationwide photography project featuring young carers; young ambassador, Harleen, meeting Duchess of Cambridge at Royal Garden Party; celebration of volunteers’ week; online Book of Remembrance for those who leave money to Action for Children in their will.

More information

Francis Lewis

Charities and other Organisations Needing Your Support
or That Can Offer Support to You ...


The local pantry is an initiative partnered with FareShare Southwest providing fresh and cupboard food to families at a fraction of the normal price. Fareshare works with large organisations to help bridge the gap between food producers, supermarkets and landfill to ensure good, fresh (but surplus) food is not wasted. This food is delivered to us every week and all the food is within its 'best before' date. Our members pay £3.50 per week for food worth between £20-£25, so they save money whilst saving perfectly good food from going to landfill.

Somerset County Council and Somerset West & Taunton Council provided the funding for the essential core costs of the pantry which is now run by local volunteers under a Team Leader, to support the residents of North Taunton.

At the end of March the pantry celebrated the first year since it opened. There was also an Environmental Inspection done and we received a 5 rating. As you can imagine we were extremely pleased to be informed that we had distributed 6000kg of food, which could have ended up as waste, while also helping the 40 households we have on our books.

I wish to thank all the volunteers for the hard work they have done in the first year and continue to do. I am very grateful to all and particularly my daughter Heidi who took on the role of Deputy Team leader. There have been changes of both households and volunteers and we continue to receive requests from people wishing to join the pantry each week.

If you would like to join the scheme as a volunteer or member, please contact the team, by emailing You can also visit our Facebook page.

Gillian Flick (Team Leader)

plc is a trading company which imports a huge variety of artisan products and groceries from the developing world. All the products are Fairly-traded, the profits going straight to the producers to help them to sustain their families through employment.

Temple supports and promotes the aims of TRAIDCRAFT. It is hoped at some time in the future Temple will be able to offer a limited selection TRAIDCRAFT goods. Until then TRAIDCRAFT catalogues are available to anyone who wishes to peruse at their leisure what TRAIDCRAFT offers or you can see all available products on the TRAIDCRAFT Website -

Safe Families are looking for volunteers in Somerset who might be able to support a family virtually through telephone or video calls. Certain people may also be free to pick up shopping, but staying in contact through this period of isolation is a priority need. There is a checking process, training and oversight for any volunteers. (Don't be put off by this - it probably just means joining a short virtual training session.)

If anyone feels they are in a position to help in this way, you are able to sign up on the volunteer website page.

You can find out more about the work of the charity from the website, and - whether you are able to volunteer practically or not - we are encouraged to pray for their work.

The latest update is that they are doing ok for volunteers and the Council has given them delivery vans and drivers. However, they would welcome additional supplies. Please find details on Taunton Foodbank website of their updated list of items to shop for and also how to donate if you are unable to go out shopping.

As up to date as possible, the printable A-Z Food Suppliers Directory can be found here: Coronavirus Community Help Taunton

For details about Christian Aid and the work they do see

In the world’s poorest communities people are having to face coronavirus without access to running water and soap. Living in cramped and unhygienic conditions, social distancing simply isn’t possible. All We Can and the Methodist Church in Britain have launched an Emergency Coronavirus Appeal to help equip vulnerable communities across the globe to combat coronavirus.

YOUR NEIGHBOUR, aims to support the work that churches are doing to be good neighbours in communities across the UK during the coronavirus crisis. They will support vulnerable, people working as a coordinated national response, partnering with the UK government and other agencies.

MHA are looking to recruit volunteers across the country to help them through the coronavirus crisis and support their clients. The roles are flexible and will be allocated dependent upon the needs of services in your local area. You can find details of the roles here.

Action for Children is helping to provide essentials to the most vulnerable families they support across the UK and those potentially affected in the future. You can read more here.

Taunton Welcomes Refugees:
As more refugees and asylum seekers are resettled in Somerset and we have been asked by the council to be ready to help support them.

also see ...

Coronovirus (COVID-19) and Other Websites webpages