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Shoebox scheme launched to welcome newcomers to Sheffield

Sheffield skyline. Picture Scott Merrylees
Sheffield skyline. Picture Scott Merrylees

A brand new project aimed at providing welcomes packages to people arriving in Sheffield for the first time is being launched this week.

The Sheffield Box is a community based, city-wide scheme that is being launched on January 31 at Victoria Hall Methodist Church.

The Sheffield Box scheme is a new volunteer project that delivers a friendly welcome and a shoebox of small items and information to all new arrivals to the city.

It is available to all those who are new to the city; whether they have moved to Sheffield from another country for a job, an asylum seeker looking to make their home here, or other reasons.

The purpose of the project is to reach out and make people welcome in their new communities through friendship and care.

The Sheffield Box scheme is being coordinated by Victoria Hall Methodist Church but is supported by a wide range of people and organisations including Sheffield City Council and Sheffield Faiths Together.

It has been over a year in the planning.

“During the launch there will be a presentation about the project and also a short talk from a couple of people who have been ‘new arrivals’ to the city and how they found it.”

Reverend Phil Borkett said: “We believe the Sheffield Box is a fantastic way of reaching out to people in our communities by offering some much needed household items and friendship.

“Our City of Sanctuary is one that welcomes people for who they are - and the Sheffield Box helps to show that welcome in practical ways.”

Sarah Eldridge of City of Sanctuary said: “The Sheffield Box is an important new development in welcoming new arrivals to the city.

“City of Sanctuary Sheffield encourages people to initiate their own acts of welcome to refugees, and this will be a great way for local people to show what a hospitable city we are, to asylum seekers, refugees and anyone arriving new to the area.”