October 28, 2005

Meeting: 25/10/2005


For all of you who said you were keen to be involved in Jigsaw, but couldn't make the meeting on Tuesday, here's some of the things you missed:

  • The first Jigsaw session this year will be in Week 8. We're starting late this term, because we wanted to recruit new volunteers and get their CRB checks sorted, and also because a lot of the teenagers are involved in producing a play about refugee issues. If anyone wants to see the play, its on Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th November at 7pm, and Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th November at 3pm. It's at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry and you'll need to call 0247655 3055 to book tickets, which cost a few pounds each.

  • It's really really important to get your criminal records check sorted before you can come to any of the Jigsaw sessions! Youth projects are very strict about who can work with the children and so the criminal records check basically certifies that you're allowed to work with the teenagers. At this time of year, the Criminal Records Bureau take ages to process the checks as there are so many. So if you haven't already sent off for one and want to do Jigsaw, then pop into the Warwick Volunteers office asap and they'll sort you out with one.

  • One you've got your criminal records check back, you can start at the sessions! So let us know when you're ready and we'll plan when your first session will be.

  • If you've already got an up-to-date check, and are keen to start at the sessions in Weeks 8, 9 and 10, could you let me know please? We want to suss out who will be at the sessions as soon as possible. So just send me a quick email! Thanks :)

  • About the sessions- they run every Tuesday from 6:30-8:30 at Coventry Refugee centre. However, we also pick up all the children in a mini-bus to take them to the centre, and then take them all home again at the end of the evening. We aim to have all the children in the centre for the 6:30 start, so we leave campus in the minibus at about 4:30–5:00. Most of you will meet at the refugee centre at 6:30, but if any of you are particularly keen to help in the minibus, then let me or Marte know by sending us an email. It's actually really fun and a great way to get to know the kids!

  • If any of you have been driving for three years and would like to drive the minibus to help with the project, then we'd love to hear from you! We do struggle getting bus drivers sometimes and occasionally the sessions have to be cancelled for this reason. If you'd like to drive, you'll need to take a minibus test- ask at Warwick Volunteers for more info.

  • Your committment to Jigsaw does not mean you have to come to every single Tuesday night session. Whilst it would be excellent if you did make all of them, it's totally fine if you have something else on occasionally.

  • Once we've expanded the volunteer group, we'll be arranging regular meetings to discuss what activities we're going to organise with the teenagers. There will be a meeting before the end of this term- probably in about Week 9 and then every now and then throughout Term 2. These are really important, as it helps us decide what to do, who's going to organise what, etc. So it'd be great if you could all try to be at them. We'll let you know when the first meeting will be soon!

  • This blog, together with regular emails will be our main method of communication. Please add this webpage to your favourites and try to check every day or two. Once the sessions start, I will be updating the blog regularly with information about how the sessions went, what could be improved, etc. Feel free to post comments about improvements or any other issues that you feel are important. The blog will be important, as it will allow people who didn't attend a session in a particular week to see how the session went and any issues that arose. Any important stuff, like meetings, etc, will be communicated via email, but please do try to check the blog frequently!

  • Having had all this information, it would be great if you could all let me know if you definately want to committ to Jigsaw. It doesn't matter if you haven't had the check back yet, we just want to get some idea of how many volunteers we'll eventually have! So send me an email saying whether you're definately keen. Thanks.

This is a ridiculously long post, I know! Sorry…I do ramble on a bit eh? Hehe

Hope all this info helps; if you have any other questions, do contact me on L.J.van-poppel@warwick.ac.uk

See you all soon :)

October 26, 2005


Jigsaw is a youth group for 11 to 16 year old refugees and aslyum seekers in the Coventry area. The project is different to most other youth projects, in that it is directed exclusively towards the needs of refugee teenagers. We aim to encourage the teenagers to meet people their own age, as well as individuals they might be able to relate their experiences to.

Above all, we aim to have fun with the teenagers and provide activities which they might not otherwise have an opportunity to do. These include: bowling, swimming, orienteering, mini-olympics, themed nights and pizza nights! We hope that as this project expands and becomes more popular, we will be helping to raise awareness and understanding of refugee issues in the local community. At the moment, some Jigsaw members are working on a play which illustrates some of the issues young refugees face. The play will be performed in Coventry in November and hopefully will succeed in raising awareness. We believe that activities such as the play, which help to enhance confidence and social interaction, are important in facilitating the teenagers' integration within their local community.

If you like the sound of what we do, and want to become involved in a exciting, fun project to get you outside of the 'Warwick Bubble', then Jigsaw might appeal to you! The group meets every Tuesday from 6:30-8:30pm at Coventry refugee centre, where volunteers organise new and exciting activities for the teenagers to take part in. We feel that a mixture of sports, crafts and other entertainment is important as it maintains a variety of activities, and caters for a wide range of different interests. We always looking for new and exciting ideas, so if you have suggestions for future activities, we'd love to hear them!

If you're interested in becoming involved in the project, then contact me, Lucy (my email address is in the 'contact me' section) or Marte at M.Svare@warwick.ac.uk. An important point * to note is that before you can start working with the children, you need to have an up-to-date *Criminal Records Check, which basically just says that you're fit to work with children. It absolutely crucial that you have the check before you come to any of the sessions, so if you're keen to get involved with Jigsaw, pop into the Warwick Volunteers office and they'll sort you out with one!

Come along, share your experiences and ideas with some fantastic kids, and most importantly, have some fun!

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