Faith groups and NESCU join together to launch donation appeal for New Scots' Syrian families

The Church of Scotland Presbytery of Gordon, Aberdeen Mosque and Islamic Centre (AMIC) and the North East Scotland Credit Union (NESCU) have joined together to launch a donation appeal for the families who have arrived in Aberdeenshire during the last few weeks from UNCHR refugee camps near Syria.

The appeal is part of the work of the Aberdeenshire Partner Refugee Group’s support to safely resettling vulnerable families in the Shire.

Nine families are settling in well to their new homes in Aberdeenshire, with neighbours providing a friendly welcome often baking for them and giving them gifts to make their houses feel like homes.  All of the families lost their personal belongings in the war and are having to rebuild their lives from scratch.

Aberdeen FC Community Trust has played a crucial role helping the young people to settle in by organising football and sports sessions.  These activities have given the young people pleasure, exercise and a normality they have not experienced for years.

Aberdeen FC Community Trust Chief Executive, Ally Prockter - “Aberdeen FC Community Trust exists to provide support to local communities, and we feel that this is a group of people who will benefit from our support.

“Being forced from your home must be a traumatic experience, and AFCCT is happy to play its small part in supporting these families to settle in as quickly as possible to the North East of Scotland.

“I encourage everyone to sympathetically help out wherever possible to assist these families to establish a safe and happy home in Scotland.”

The partners who have been involved in the resettlement process are continuing to work together to support the families as they adjust to life in Aberdeenshire.

The families are very independent and are grateful for all the support they have received but they do require some essential items.

That is why a corporate account has now been set up by North East Scotland Credit Union to allow people to donate money so these items can be purchased for the families as the need arises. The fund will be managed by representatives of the Church of Scotland, AMIC and the Aberdeenshire Partner Refugee Group. 

Rev Stella Campbell, Minister of Skene Parish Church and Finance Convener of the Presbytery of Gordon said: “We have been involved in welcoming the families to Aberdeenshire. None of us can even begin to imagine what they have been through so we wanted to do what we can to help them settle in to their new life here in Scotland.

“Children made welcome cards for them which were placed in their homes ahead of them arriving so it would be one of the first things they would see when they got to their new home.

“Now they have settled in we have a good idea of some of the practical items they need. We are therefore asking people to donate what they can to help make life a little easier for these families. That is why we are delighted to be working with AMIC and NESCU in launching an account so people can donate money.”

Payments can be made by on-line transfer using: S/c 608301 act 20139906. When using this process you must put your name and 10017 as reference for the payment.  Cheques can be made payable to NESCU and sent to 7 Finnan Place, Torry, Aberdeen AB11 8RG. Alternatively contact NESCU on 01224 899688 / 0300 66 63728 or email info@nescu.co.uk

Hassan Ghanduri from Aberdeen Mosque and Islamic Centre said “We have been overwhelmed with offers of support and kindness from people across Aberdeenshire who would like to help. The launch of the donation account means people who want to help can now do so.

“The families need help with practical things like purchasing school equipment, shoes, warm coats, child seats etc. We hope to be able to use money raised through this appeal to provide necessary items for them as the need arises and are delighted to be working with partners to make this happen.”

Dave Sims from North East Scotland Credit Union added: “NESCU are always looking at ways to help people and organisations with any financial services.

“We are pleased to be helping the families who have come from Syria. NESCU were part of the relocation partners group from the start and are fully behind the donation appeal. I did not need to convince people here that it was something we should be involved in they all agreed that we should help where we can.”