Supporters’ Summit 14th November – wonderful event – brief highlights
On 14th November 2016 we held a special ‘Supporters’ Summit’ to gather more than 180 of our supporters in one place. Together we met and welcomed the five Syrian refugee families now living in Milton Keynes. We celebrated the work of Refugees Welcome MK over the past year, heard heart-warming and heart-rending stories, and discussed plans for the future. It was a moving and wonderful event, as so many attendees’ comments made clear.
Political leaders from all three parties on Milton Keynes Council were there and received a wonderful thank you from Refugee children. Cllr Pete Marland, Council leader, was able to announce that there is going to be a big increase in the number of Syrian refugees welcomed into Milton Keynes over the next months and years.
If you were there, thank you for showing your support. Even if you couldn’t make it, please read the highlights below or the longer article additionally linked at the end of this section.
“Energetic” – “Heart-warming” – “Encouraging” – “Great to be with so many friends and supporters” – “What a show of strength” – “An inspiration” – “A humbling experience”
You are wonderful!
All in all, it was a day to remember. All the newly-arrived Syrian refugee families were cheered and applauded by over 180 people at a crowded meeting. Pride of place went to the new-born baby (1st November) who slept the evening away, in the arms of family and friends from across Milton Keynes.
A packed meeting of over 180 supporters and well-wishers at the RWMK Supporters’ Summit
[Left] Milton Keynes Council leader Cllr Peter Marland (Labour) addressing the Supporters’ Summit with Cllr Douglas McCall (LibDem) [Right] Cllr Alice Jenkins (Conservative) and Nour Sakr with two of the refugee children who presented flowers of appreciation to the MK Council leaders
What an event! Timely, moving, and informative. Here’s how some RWMK and MK Council attendees summed it up:
- “We had a very productive meeting with the Council, and I’m pleased to announce that the leaders have jointly committed to increasing the number of refugee families to be taken into Milton Keynes The summit was a great opportunity to bring the Syrian families together with people from different groups and walks of life under one roof, in one of the most friendly of events. Watching the way the families were greeted by the citizens and the officials of Milton Keynes brought faith to all of us that these families will finally find a safe a warm home here after their years of suffering.”
— Nour Sakr, RWMK Trustee and co-chair of the Supporters’ Summit
- “It was just wonderful meeting so many people who want to help. Right now we’re moving ahead to our project “Just one house”, as described below and we need your help.”
— Marie Gracie, RWMK Trustee and Furnishings Co-ordinator
- “Having experienced the summit, members will have realised that whilst the programme is complicated, the outcome in changed lives is immeasurable. We can be proud to say: we have made a difference – MK has made a difference. So with renewed vigour, like many others, I rededicated myself to the programme, able to meet the many challenges ahead as we bring many more families ‘home’ to Milton Keynes”.
— Jeremy Beake, Manager for the Refugee Programme, at Milton Keynes Council
- “Being a part of the summit was a true reflection of our partnership, and all that can be achieved by pulling together. There was so much support for the work we’re all doing, and this provides hope that we can do even more. What a wonderful evening, the families were amazed to hear the applause and meet so many members of the public wishing them well as they start to rebuild their lives here in MK”
— Kerri Chana, RWMK Trustee and Manager of Refugee Services at British Red Cross Milton Keynes