Student Action for Refugees (STAR) Campaigns Coordinator Anastasis Mauriac spotlights STAR this December
Kate O’Neill – President
Eve Hankin – Secretary
Grace Campbell – Treasurer
Josh Williams – Project Coordinator
Sara Varachhia – Publicity Officer
Anastasis Mauriac – Campaigns Coordinator
Jess Glennie – English Conversation Class Coordinator
Tharuka – Women’s Project Coordinator
Megan Goddard – Film Coordinator
Who We Are – National level
Student Action for Refugees (STAR) is the national network of students building a more understanding and just society where refugees are welcomed and can thrive in the United Kingdom. Our vision is a society where refugees are welcomed and can thrive as equal members of the community. STAR is also a national charity that offers non-judgmental support by befriending refugees, campaigning for them, and raising awareness.
Who We Are – Birmingham level
STAR has local branches in many cities in the United Kingdom, including Birmingham. At STAR Birmingham, we aim to provide a safe, friendly environment when interacting with refugees. We have regular volunteering sessions throughout the week. We also run campaigns on refugee issues, such as equal access to university, indefinite detention and family reunions, and organise events to raise the money needed to enable our volunteering sessions to run and be improved.
Currently, we run the following activities for asylum seekers and refugees in Birmingham:
English Conversation Classes are run weekly on a thursday 3-6 in the Edgbaston hotel in the evening. It is an opportunity to share some useful language skills with the individuals staying at a local accommodation centre. Different topics are covered every week and it is a chance for the adults at the centre to put their English language into practice. No previous experience is needed, and not regular commitment required. You just need to sign up for each week that you want to volunteer. Only requirement is to have attended the training at the beginning of the semester.
Women’s Project Sessions include makeup lessons, henna sessions, arts and craft and sewing workshops. They will run approximately once a month and will take place in a women and families accommodation centre in Birmingham City Centre. Volunteers will meet at the university or Selly Oak to take the train together to the project. Female presenting volunteers only are allowed to maintain the female safe space we create for residents of the hostel.
Film Nights run twice a month in the city centre accommodation centre. Volunteers will chat with hostel residents before and after the session and discuss the film. Snacks will be provided for residents and volunteers. Volunteers will travel together from the university and Selly Oak.
Football Sessions: We have partnered with Sport4Life to offer football sessions for asylum seekers. Organised every Monday afternoon, volunteers will come to the sessions to play football and chat with participants.
Recent and Upcoming Events
4th of December – Quiz night: 7:30 pm-10:30 pm
We have regular volunteering sessions with English classes every Thursday from 5-7 and
Football every Monday afternoon. The Women’s session and Film session will start soon as well.
We are currently organising a Panel speaker event that will happen at the beginning of Semester 2 with speakers ranging from activism, political and academic backgrounds. We are planning to organise more socials in the second semester so stay tuned!
How to Get Involved
No previous experience is necessary! We have a new volunteer training at the beginning of semester 2 so follow our Instagram (@Starbirmingham) to stay updated.
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