Refugees are often placed in hotels for long periods of time, with entire families living in a single room. So during half-term, we worked with The Cowshed charity , Care 4 Calais Reading and Reading School to put on special family fun days for 200 refugees.

Horseman Coaches and Stewart’s Coach Hire donated their services to collect the families from the hotels to bring them to a community hall by a playground. There was a BBQ, arts & crafts, sports activities – and even a free ice cream van!

The children made photo frames, then one of the volunteers took family portraits and printed them out for the children to put in their frames. And at the end of the day, they were given rucksacks (donated by Iqvia) filled with crafts and toiletries for them to take back to the hotel.

The level of thought and detail put into the day was incredible, even down to the giant fruit basket. I watched one little boy happily loading his t-shirt up with bananas and oranges (they sadly don’t get much opportunity for fresh fruit in the hotels they’re placed in).

A massive well done to The Cowshed for organising such a brilliant event, and thank you for letting us be part of it. Seeing so many happy faces and spending some time with these families was a very special thing.

None of these things would be possible without our amazing 52 Lives community, who enable us to help fund events like this.

~(Photo via The Cowshed charity, shared with permission)