How it all started….

When a little boy’s body was washed up onto a beach in Turkey in 2015 it shocked the world as the victims of the Syrian conflict escaped. Following that terrible incident, a public meeting in Macclesfield town centre was organised and a group of like minded people came together to form Refugees Welcome Cheshire East. This charity works in partnership with Cheshire East Council,  initially set up to support five Syrian families who had fled the conflict in their country and found themselves in Lebanon. Supported by a strong and dedicated team of volunteers, five Syrian families arrived in 2017 from Lebanon, followed by five Afghan families fleeing Kabul in 2021 and then later they welcomed guests from all over Ukraine in 2022.

“Refugees Welcome has been supporting Refugees settled in Cheshire East since 2017. Our Volunteers are here to help with problems and issues around settling in and general issues of life in Cheshire East. Whether it is learning English, getting work or schooling, issues with bills and benefits we have been here for it all.” -  Anne Towers Trustee Volunteer Programme Manager

How does the CVS Cheshire East help Refugees Welcome?

CVS Cheshire East is a key partner to Refugees Welcome, it provides a project worker (Refugees Welcome Volunteer Co-ordinator) contracted to support the volunteering team and ensuring that the volunteers and families are supported. The volunteers undertake a wide variety of roles from teaching English to the parents, undertaking practical tasks, helping families to find their way around by navigating bus, routes and train times. More complex volunteering lies with the Family Support Volunteers who have an over view of the family and are lead volunteers being the first point of contact for a refugee family with the volunteer co-ordinator.

Working with Refugees A Volunteer Perspective

"We are a group of volunteers from different backgrounds and have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to work with refugees from a variety of nations, including people from Ukraine, Syria, Hong Kong, Morocco and Iran.

In the English classes we have covered a wide variety of interesting topics and enjoyed a number of visits to local places of interest and importance. The aim of the visits has been to develop language skills and enable integration in the wider community." - English Practice Volunteer

For more information about the project please contact Estelle Worthington, Sector Development Officer, on 01270 763100 or visit RW Home (