A dedicated support group that has helped refugees in Reading for decades has rebranded to reflect the work it does across Berkshire.

The Reading Refugee Support Group has been rebranded into the Refugee Support Group to enable the charity to be more widely recognised for the services it provides across Berkshire, particularly as those fleeing persecution in Ukraine come over to the UK.

Although the charity is proud of its Reading roots and history, it has in fact provided support for refugees who have found themselves in other towns in Berkshire.

For example, it is currently helping Syrian and Afghan refugees who have been resettled in Wokingham, Reading and Newbury, Ukrainians who have fled to Reading and Newbury, and many other refugees from across the world fleeing discrimination and prejudice not currently reported widely in the news or in the headlines.

READ MORE: More visas approved for Ukraine refugees fleeing to Reading

Last year, Wokingham council leader John Halsall (Conservative, Remenham, Wargrave and Ruscombe) suggested people in the area could help Afghan refugees by donating to the support group.

The charity is playing an increasingly vital role in Berkshire as a leading frontline service helping refugees and asylum seekers to integrate into the community.

Nick Harborne, Refugee Support Group’s CEO has called for people to leave a gift in their Will to enable the charity’s vital work to continue, including providing caseworker and legal support to those who need it most.

Mr Harborne said:  “First and foremost, the UK government must do everything it can to oppose Russian violence and protect Ukrainian lives.

“We have partnered with Reading City Of Sanctuary and Reading Ukrainian Community Centre to help Ukrainian refugees in Berkshire but we need the Government to take action now including introducing a funded Resettlement Scheme for people fleeing Ukraine and waiving all visa requirements for Ukrainian refugees reaching the UK.

“Regarding our name change, we’re proud of our 29 year history in Reading but we have grown over recent years and need to acknowledge that our work reaches beyond Reading and into other areas of Berkshire, now more than ever.

“We are calling on the local community to consider leaving a gift for the Refugee Support Group charity in their Will to enable our work to continue.

“With our services in ever increasing demand, we desperately need Berkshire’s support.”

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You can find out how to leave a gift in your Will here.

Services the group provides includes tackling social isolation and helping the refugees recover, as many of them have already faced unimaginable persecution, hardship and sometimes torture, by the time they reach the support group team.

The charity helps by providing trauma suport, assisting refugees by finding work and volunteer opportunities in Berkshire and helping children with education, including running homework clubs.