DARE (Darwen Asylum and Refugee Enterprise) is a wonderful project which is led by local VCFSE stalwart John East (pictured).

Many thanks to John for passing on the synopsis of DARE and their great work to Mohammed Kathrada of Community CVS, which you can read below.

DARE started officially in 2017 however before that when the first asylum seekers and refugees arrived in 2000 Central URC, United Reformed Church, Darwen held a drop in and this expanded into Blackburn and set up ARC at Wesley Hall.

We now have 2 case workers supported a variety of fantastic volunteers who help and support new clients with various requests for wellbeing, health, education and essential needs.

The Case Work is now on Monday 10am till 1pm and Wednesdays from 10am till 1pm for a drop-in in which includes a hot meal provided by our wonderful partners at Tauhedul Girls High School, Blackburn.

The drop in has a variety of activities including sessions of Debt Management, Modern day slavery, Wellbeing and keeping fit, Opening bank accounts, Health Centre advice to TB, HIV and Hepatitis checks. We try to sign post to the various partnership agencies of Health/GP/ Dentists, Education for Adults and children, housing, extra food and Universal Credit support. We have incredible partners such as Whitehall Park Gardening Club, faiths groups, Blackburn Rovers FC Community Trust, IMO, and our partners at ARC, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Darwen Library, Kairos Housing and are always welcoming, especially volunteers who can be meeters and greeters and may have translation skills in Urdu, Pashto, Dari, Kurdish, Arabic, Farsi, Tigrinya, Aramaic, Sorani and Albanian.

We are part of a faith group Central United Reformed Church and take Safeguarding and inclusion and equal opportunities seriously. We have a full volunteering protocol of training, DBS check and ongoing safeguarding procedures.