January News: SES and Legal Aid Collaborations, Grant Successes & More

Welcome to our first monthly ‘News’ post! In these posts, we’ll be sharing ‘insider’ updates on all things SCARF in a summarised, easy-to-digest format. We’re hoping this will help you quickly get up-to-date with changes and plans so you can share in our growth as an organisation without taking too much time out of your busy day. Community and volunteer voices as well as program stories will be published in separate posts.

In usual SCARF style, January has flown by in a whirlwind of activity. Our programs teams have been busy planning for an impactful year ahead, we’ve partnered with some fantastic organisations to leverage our outreach and respond to new challenges, and we’re rolling out brand new initiatives – to name a few of the things we’ve been up to. Read on to learn more!

SCARF and SES collaborate:

SCARF is working together with SES to establish the first Multicultural Community Action Team in NSW. SES sought SCARF’s assistance to identify interested people from within our community and to recommend training needs. Six SCARF community members are currently completing SES fundamentals and first aid training.

Legal Aid Clinic at SCARF:

SCARF is collaborating with Legal Aid to deliver a monthly clinic to assist our community with legal support. This collaboration responds an increase in requests for support with complex documents such as citizenship, travel, immigration and family reunion forms. The clinics will begin on March 8.

Form-Filling Assistance at SCARF:

SCARF now offers form-filling assistance for general forms, including centrelink, housing and Opal Card forms. The drop-in sessions take place at the SCARF Office on Mondays and Fridays, 12-2pm. All community members are welcome to drop in without an appointment.

Grant successes:

In exciting news, SCARF has been granted funding from the NSW Family and Community Services (FACS) and the Premier’s Social Cohesion Fund (Multicultural NSW) for two separate projects. A grant from FACS will fund SCARF’s ‘Let’s Lead’ program, a project delivered in partnership with Explore Discover Act and which develops the leadership potential of young people from refugee backgrounds. The Premier’s Social Cohesion Fund grant will fund SCARF’s Community Education program – a core SCARF program that increases awareness about the refugee experience in the wider community – enabling us to expand and strengthen the initiative in 2018.

Business Connect Workshop:

On Sat 10th Feb, SCARF is hosting a Business Connect introductory workshop for community members interested in learning the basics of starting a small business.  The workshop will cover topics such as setting up a small business, business structure, business insurance and more. We have 15 participants registered to attend and we’ll host further workshops throughout the year to respond to interest within the SCARF community.

English Classes at SCARF:

SCARF has launched a 6-week informal English pilot program with the help of Francis, SCARF’s Community Worker from Burmese background. The English classes are specifically targeting our Myanmar community, many of whom have requested semi-structured English conversation sessions to build confidence and capacity in English for daily life, and who feel shy to attend SCARF’s existing Coffee and Conversation program. In response to this issue, Francis is running a 6-week pilot of English sessions focused on strengthening vocabulary, pronunciation and comprehension in daily conversation. The pilot started on 12th Jan and will finish on 23rd Feb. If there is strong interest for the sessions to continue, SCARF will likely extend the sessions and also expand the activity to include interested community members from other language groups.

Banner image: Bear Hunt Photography