All posts by Moderator

Happy to be on Standby?

Once out of the news, the refugee crisis is easy to sweep under the carpet as we move onto the next global tragedy. This crisis however is far from over. Here in the UK, far fewer than the promised number of refugees were admitted to the country through the Dubs Amendment, however some are now arriving, and need our help.

Merton Welcomes Refugees was established not as another charity or trust, but as a place for local residents to offer their skills, services, spare rooms or spare cash, to those who need it most.

As admins (Jackie, John and friends) when required, we will call upon the ever-growing database to hopefully continue to supply the needs of those in our area who are far from their home. This is our collective way of offering a hand of friendship to the most vulnerable in Merton.

Note: It is still very rare that we have had to call upon the kind offers, but some of you will have been contacted.  There is no judgement if you feel you cannot offer what you have put forward by the time a need arises, we understand that situations change.  Please do pass this onto anyone else you know in Merton who may want to offer something.

To whet your appetite – could you offer any of the following?

  • Collecting resources (e.g. clothes)
  • Befriending/mentoring
  • Helping with youth groups
  • Offering temporary accommodation
  • Fostering
  • Speaking to the media
  • Writing letters to local press/commenting on websites
  •  Art/music/craft/sport projects
  •  Making food
  •  Delivering parcels
  •  Offering a professional skill
  • Making a regular donation to a local refugee charity
  • Joining the steering group
  • ?????????

If you answered yes to any of the above – simply fill in this short form to get involved.



My Life In South London

Read More… and see the full gallery ]

First published by the SLRA June 2016

jo cox

TRIBUTE TO JO COX | Join the Centenary Refugee Rally


TRIBUTE TO JO COX | Join the Centenary Refugee Rally

Featuring keynote speaker Lord Alf Dubs, child refugee campaigner and himself a wartime refugee.

When: 6:30pm, Friday 24 June
Where: Rushmere Pond, Wimbledon Common

jo cox**In light of the tragic news of the death of Jo Cox MP we have decided to hold our centenary rally as a tribute to Jo Cox. **


Just over 100 years ago, on 17 October 1914, hundreds of residents attended a meeting on Wimbledon Common called by the Wimbledon and Merton Refugee Fund.

Its purpose was to help Belgian refugees fleeing their country at the start of World War 1.

Without passionate campaigners like Jo Cox,

Come and show how much Merton residents still care about refugees 100 years on from the original rally!


Alf Dubs
Just over 100 years ago a meeting was called on Wimbledon Common by the Wimbledon and Merton Refugee Fund to organise support for Belgian refugees fleeing from German invasion. As a result 473 refugees were offered support and accommodation in the borough.
100 years later we want to repeat this rally in order to call for support for refugees today. We have invited Lord Dubs to address us. He was a child refugee himself whose life was saved by the Kindertransport initiative. He will be able to tell us about his amendment that will compel our government to accept unaccompanied children.
Bring picnic, a blanket and your friends and neighbours


The weather forecast is good for tomorrow but there is a chance that the ground might be wet. Please can you bring plastic bags, camping chairs, blankets etc to sit on. We only have a small platform so we will need people to sit.
It would be great if someone could bring a camping chair for Lord Dubs to sit on as he is coming by public transport (and maybe even a flask of tea for him?) – Any volunteers?
If you have offered to act as a steward could you turn up from 5pm to help us set up. It would be great if you could bring clipboard and pens. I will bring some high vis vest.
We are looking for a couple of people to help us carry speakers from the car at around 5pm. Please let me know if you can help. if there are a few of us it will be a quick job.
Please feel free to bring pictures, flowers tributes etc  to place in front of the platform or wave in the air but we will have to ask you to take them back with you as we have no place to leave them permanently.
If you are from an organisation that would like to ask us to something to build Jo’s legacy please contact me ASAP so we can arrange to get your request shared. It would be good to get them added to the list of things people can pledge to do.
Children and young people are especially welcome so please do bring them along if you can.
Finally, almost exactly 100 years ago Merton residents stood up up against xenophobia to reach out the hand of friendship to refugees fleeing their homes. In the memory of Jo Cox let’s do that again tomorrow. Let’s make our rally a massive demonstration of love and solidarity with Jo Cox and her remarkable family and build her a legacy we can be proud of.

Refugee Real Life Story: Gulwali Passarlay in Conversation with Samuel West



Merton Welcomes Refugees (in association with Wimbledon Bookfest) are proud to be hosting Gulwali Passarlay, in conversation with Samuel West at Wimbledon Odeon.

As the months pass, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and numb to the scale of the refugee crisis, however Gulwali’s story reminds us that behind the headlines and statistics are human beings.

Everyone should come to listen to his powerful story and realise something of the part we all can play in this harrowing global situation.  Monday 25th April 7pm – Wimbledon Odeon. Book here

WBF16 Event eFlier Gulwali Passarlay

Who we are – PRESS RELEASE

Merton Residents Welcome Refugees

In September 2015, as the refugee crisis across Europe was intensifying, local residents Jackie Schneider and John Merriman observed a desperate need to connect local people’s compassion, with needs locally, in Calais, and across the world.

Within 5 days, they contacted (via social media, the local press and word of mouth) almost 100 residents to begin a conversation with Merton Council and various refugee organisations already at work locally.

people inside

During the open meeting, many residents spoke up displaying their passionate desire to get involved, and as a result, an ever-growing online database has been set up, where residents can offer their time, skills or finances.

We are intentionally not set up as a trust or charity, since there are fantastic organisations already at work who we are forming strong relationships with across the borough, and further afield.

Our aim is primarily to provide a warm welcome to refugees, who by no fault of their own, have ended up in our wonderful borough.11990583_1497027390609234_791854126514579245_n_edited



Refugee Christmas Meal

File_000Friday December 11th, a large number of the Merton Welcomes Refugee family met to host a Christmas Meal. The intention was both to offer the hand of welcome to refugees, and also to continue to build and deepen relationships with those who care for creating a warm welcome.

Thank you to local residents who cooked, served, hosted and came up with new ways to prepare to welcome refugees in Merton.

Many local councillors came along too – not for any political reason, simply to show a unified welcome.

At this event the latest appeal was launched. Nappies!! Morden Baptist Church has offered to be a drop off point for nappies. More information and current needs are on our Facebook page now.