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Refugee centre seeks storage shed funds to open up space for community activity

Peterborough Asylum and Refugee Community Association (PARCA) is raising money to build a storage shed at its community hall – to give the charity more space to do more for refugees and vulnerable people across Peterborough.
PARCA has launched a fundraiser to build a new storage shed, to create more space in the hall for community activity (Picture: Moez Nathu)

Prior to the pandemic, PARCA offered free ESOL lessons, a women's friendship group to combat loneliness, a youth group, plus help with employment, accommodation and education opportunities. During the current crisis, the charity has kept up as much of these efforts as possible, while also handing out food and toiletries to those in need, as well as free face masks and shields within the local community.

The centre re-opened in July, post-lockdown.

Beckie MacLellan, outreach manager at PARCA, said: "At Christmas we organise gifts for the many children in the families we work with, as these children may not receive much otherwise due to low incomes. We hope to offer more drop in skills sessions once Covid restrictions allow us to. Our aim is to enable integration and inclusion within the community.

"The storage shed would mean that we can use the main space we have at PARCA much more effectively. We currently have lots of items stored in the main hall, such as equipment for the youth group, chairs and donations that we receive of clothing (and other items) for giving to those in need who visit us. This means space is more restricted and, especially in the current climate, more space would mean we can work with more people and allow community groups to use the space for dance classes and more."

PARCA has set up a GoFundMe to help raise funds to build the storage shed.