SDCAS Autumn Roundup

A roundup of key events that took place at SDCAS this Autumn.

September

Volunteer Training

In September, all SDCAS volunteers had the opportunity to participate in a series of training sessions. The main topics covered during the presentations included boundaries, confidentiality, safeguarding, de-escalation, and suicide awareness.

The first training provided answers to questions such as: What are boundaries? Why do we have a boundaries policy? What is safeguarding? What are our responsibilities as volunteers? What constitutes abuse? The second training focused on de-escalation, differentiating between psychiatric interviews and situations volunteers may encounter at Copleston Centre and Trinity College Centre. The last training concentrated on suicide facts, intervention, and practice, offering insights into initiating conversations with individuals in need.

Thanks to this initiative, SDCAS volunteers were able to acquire and enhance their knowledge about the training topics. This mandatory training aims to support volunteers in their future work with clients at SDCAS.

Copleston Centre Concert

On September 23, we hosted a concert at the Copleston Centre. This biannual event is organized to raise funds for SDCAS and attracts many attendees.

In addition to local talent, two students from the Guildhall School of Music and Dance participated in the concert, having been invited by Frances Barnett. It was an amazing experience, and we look forward to the next concert scheduled for January 27, 2024.

Volunteer Away Day

On September 26, 2023, we hosted a Volunteer Away Day at Cinema Centre, with numerous SDCAS volunteers participating. To begin, everyone took part in a well-being session led by Robert, our SDCAS volunteer gardener.

Following this, volunteers had the opportunity to attend a presentation on trauma, which provided a comprehensive understanding of various aspects of trauma, including types, formation, and strategies for dealing with such situations.

The rest of the event featured a brainstorming activity designed to address questions about the benefits of volunteering and areas for future improvement. The volunteer responses highlighted the importance of active listening, creating a space for open communication among SDCAS members, and receiving feedback after meetings.

Following the brainstorming session, the programme included the Expert by Experience Project, where a volunteer shared her personal experiences related to her voluntary work at SDCAS.

October

Women’s Group Launch

In early October, we launched our new Women’s Group, thanks to the efforts of our wonderful team of volunteers: Felicia, Adela, and Viki. You can read more about this initiative here.

Film Workshop

In October, two students, Tara and Eric, with a keen interest in the film industry, conducted a stop-motion film workshop at our Trinity College Centre for both volunteers and clients. The workshop spanned two weeks during the Trinity Day Centre.

Initially, participants crafted plasticine characters that were later featured in the short film animations. The end result was astonishing, and everyone enjoyed spending their time creatively.

November

Fundraising Event at Peckham Rye Station

The autumn months have been busy with fundraising activities for SDCAS. On November 1st, we hosted a fantastic evening at Peckham Rye Station.

During the event, participants had the opportunity to enjoy performances by Sudanese Singer Sharooq Abu el Nas and Iranian sitar music. Attendees also enjoyed delicious vegan food donated by a local Indian restaurant and cakes baked by SDCAS volunteers.

This event proved to be highly successful for everyone involved. A special thanks to Bettina, who played a key role in organizing the SDCAS fundraising event at Peckham Rye Station.

Southwark Cathedral Concert

On November 17, the Southwark Cathedral Classical Concert took place and a total of over £800 was collected.

The audience had a unique opportunity to enjoy the performance of the London Dockland Singers. A highlight of the concert was the splendid rendition of Verdi’s Requiem, conducted by Andrew Camphill.

During the fundraising concert, one of the participants shared insights into SDCAS’s work and recounted a personal experience of receiving help and support from SDCAS volunteers and staff members after fleeing their country.

First Aid Training

On the 29th of November, we provided training opportunities for volunteers, including our First Aid training, which was offered to 12 dedicated volunteers at Trinity College Centre. The course was conducted by Siren Training.

The training day was a valuable experience for all participants, allowing volunteers to enhance their understanding of health and safety. Knowing how to respond in specific situations, particularly when influenced by emotions or stress, is crucial. The primary objective of the First Aid training was to acquire basic knowledge that could potentially save someone’s life in the future.