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Local Heroes attend Norwich match

Shelagh Allsop and Rachel Tanner from Refugees Welcome Hounslow joined us in the Board Room earlier this month

23 November 2021

Our Principal Partner Hollywoodbets is proud to highlight and reward the great impact of companies and individuals in our local community with the initiative Hollywood Heroes. So far this seson, individuals and companies who worked with our Community Sports Trust have been chosen Hollywood Heroes. Refugees Welcome Hounslow joined us for our match against Norwich City earlier this month.

Refugees Welcome Hounslow (RWH) grew out of an initiative by a local interfaith group, Hounslow Friends of Faith, to try to help some of the 20,000 Syrian refugees arriving in Britain on the Government’s Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. Today, RWH is an all-volunteer group that directs 100 per cent of its donations into supporting newly arrived refugees settle and integrate in the borough. RWH’s nomination for the One Hounslow Spirit Award came from Sanaa, a Syrian woman who has received support from the group since arriving here.

She wrote: “I can’t describe the support they have given us since we got to Britain. They were our brothers, our family in our new country. They stood with us in hard situations and were the support for us in everything.”

RWH provide friendship and support to people arriving as refugees from harrowing situations. Volunteer befrienders help new arrivals to orientate themselves in an entirely new culture. They must deal not only with a new language but also learning to read and write in a new script.

Support with learning to use public transport, finding the way to mosques, schools, shops where they can find familiar food, parks and leisure facilities is where befrienders start. Help with English-learning through conversation and social interaction is also vital. RWH ensures that the families they support get help with homework, IT connectivity, bicycles and leisure activities – all of which are important for children’s development and integration.

Past fundraising activities have included lunches cooked by RWH’s Syrian friends, and RWH has recently resumed regular gatherings where volunteers and their refugee friends meet and socialise. Hounslow is now ready to settle five more Afghan households and RWH is preparing for this in partnership with Hounslow Borough Council and the Islamic Integration Community Centre - a well-established and respected Afghan Community Group and Mosque in Hounslow.

Hollywood Heroes was launched in conjunction with Principal Partner Hollywoodbets to highlight and reward the positive impact of volunteers and individuals in our local community. Hollywoodbets have provided nominees with boardroom hospitality tickets to say ‘thank you’ for all the hard work they have put in. Housing provider A2Dominion and the Hounslow Community Foodbox have also been recognised this season.

If you would like to nominate a Hollywood Hero, please contact and request an application form. More information can also be seen here.

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