Bring your boots! 

Over the past two weeks here at The Grove we have been running a boots and trainer collection for a walk-in centre that helps support asylum seekers. One of our long-serving staff members, Mr. Lambert, volunteers at the centre weekly and has written about his role as a volunteer and the work that the shelter does.  

“About 18 months ago, an opportunity came my way to work with asylum seekers at a weekly drop in at a hotel near Leeds. I have always felt a huge amount of sympathy for those forced to leave their home, friends, families and loved ones due to conflict, war, persecution, fear for their lives and many other reasons.  

So this group was set up by volunteers from local churches but welcomes anyone who has a heart for these unfortunate people. We meet every Monday for two hours and although the group varies from week to week, many attend every week. In all, there are nearly 200 people being looked after in this hotel. 

 We have a very small budget, but we do what we can to provide for essential needs, given that they have a tiny amount of money, less than £10 a week, to fund whatever they need. We organise collections of clothes, trainers, and other essential items as often as we can, provide bus tickets and phone credits, just to give a few examples. However, the most important thing we do is to offer them a warm, welcoming, compassionate, and safe environment. We ask a few questions, but always offer a careful listening ear. “ 

 At the grove we recognise that sport and exercise are extremely important for the overall wellbeing of people. For these people in need, it may be the only escape they have. We asked members of the school community to ‘bring your boots’ and were amazed to see the generosity demonstrated by pupils and parents. With over 100 pairs of boots collected we have been very proud to offer our support as a community to Mr. Lambert’s efforts and the shelter and all the amazing work they do.