A Wonderful Day

By Liz Atkinson

Recently, we welcomed a new group from Teesside, 16 adult asylum seekers and refugees with their families. Some had only recently been sent to the area, knowing nobody, and having left countries where violence and trauma is the norm. Mary Frankland, who has dedicated her retirement to supporting people in desperate need, invited them to join us for a day in St Hilda’s Parish, Whitby.

The sun shone and we were lucky to be joined by Bishop Terry, who chatted happily to the visitors and took part in a photo shoot. After a light lunch, the visitors were taken out by helpers from the parish and friends for a wander around Whitby, climbing the 199 steps, some visiting the Abbey, while others wandered along the pier. Two other helpers took the families for fun in the park, splashing in the paddling pool and looking out over the sea from the whalebones.

We were grateful to have received MANY donations of food, toiletries, and gifts from parishioners, other churches in the town and from the Goathland community. Thanks must also go to those who gave their time so willingly, not just on the day, but in its preparation, and to Fr Pat Keogh who has encouraged us to continue supporting the asylum seekers.

We believe other parishes would gain great satisfaction from offering something similar. We are moved by the many stories of trauma, and uplifted when we see those same people finally achieve settled status so they can contribute to the society that has provided them with safety.

Please contact Liz Atkinson on 07810 644140 if you are thinking of having a go.