Staff and Volunteers working at our annual Diversity Festival in 2019
Sunrise provides a range of services, activities, classes and events for people across North Devon and Torridge. Our aim is to celebrate diversity, challenge discrimination, and change attitudes. Working predominantly with black, Asian, minority ethnic groups, refugees and asylum seekers, we also support those who are LGBTQ+, disabled, or identify as from other diverse or minority groups.
We feel it’s important to work within the community in raising awareness of the diversity across Northern Devon and challenging hate crime and discrimination. Northern Devon should be a place where no matter what your background or identity, people are supported, valued and celebrated.
Covid 19 and our Services
Since the lockdown we are seeing an increased demand for all our services; the people who come to us need our time and commitment to ensure they have everything they need- that could be food, medication, financial support, safety, and to know their rights. The support we offer is holistic, person-centred, and empowering, but it takes time and more time when we are working remotely and constantly translating and helping people adapt to new government advice.
Imagine coping during Covid 19 when you don't speak the local language very well. English is not the first language for many people we support, and we have found that Covid19 guidance in multiple languages is fragmented and not easily accessible. We work with people from 16 different countries and we are making sure they have up to date information to stay safe throughout the different stages of the pandemic. Not everybody can afford internet access or has a sufficient phone package so in addition to our updates on social media we are regularly phoning individuals and families to offer our support.
We are now in the third month of lockdown restrictions and seeing the impact of isolation on people’s wellbeing and know we need to continue to provide opportunities for people to stay connected. We are meeting online and through cooking, crafting and other activities helping individuals and families to cope.
The difference we make
We supported a woman with two children who had arrived in the UK through a period of hardship. We helped her to get a fridge and cooker. At first, she was depending on typing translations on her phone to communicate with us, she is now attending English classes regularly and has continued to do so as we moved these online during Covid. She wrote, “Grace is a very good teacher and everyone in the class helps each other… in 6 months time my English will be better and better”.
Another family were supported after being victims of hate crime. They said, “I feel very supported and very happy. I’m in a very different place from last summer thanks to the help from Sunrise.”
Please watch our video to see what our clients have said about our support since Covid 19…
We are Lottery funded but raise funds and awareness though events, especially our annual Diversity Festival. Reluctantly we had to cancel this year leaving a big hole in our accounts and a reduced number of new contacts so we need to find new ways to find income and new supporters.
What will this funding go towards?
£30 will fund two hours of 1-1 advocacy support
£50 will fund four English classes online
£100 will fund additional English classes and groups to meet new demand since Covid-19.
But all gifts of any size are welcome, however small and if you’d simply like to hear more from us, sign up for a regular newsletter.
Making a difference
We can’t put a price on people feeling connected, supported, and getting the help they need. Now more than ever, we want to make sure people from diverse backgrounds are supported, celebrated, and experience fairness and equality through all aspects of life.
Help us make this happen now- your contribution will make the difference for BAME and diverse people in Northern Devon experiencing hardship due to Covid-19.