The Parishes of Bateau Bay, Gosford, The Entrance and Woy Woy have recently provided 50 backpacks for Syrian refugee children who are making their new homes in Newcastle.

In September 2015 the Federal Government announced it would accept 12,000 extra refugees affected by conflict in Syria and Iraq. Very slowly, these refugees are being processed and relocated in Australia.

Helen Larkin is a case manager at Navitas English, a service provider for newly arrived refugees. She recently contacted the Church to ask if we might be able to provide some backpacks and supplies for refugee children about to start school. A quick call went out to a number of parishes on the Central Coast to see if they might be able to help out. The response was quick and generous as parishioners donated 50 backpacks filled with books, pencil cases, lunch boxes and more.

Helen has expressed her heartfelt thanks for this generosity. “I have witnessed first-hand the joy and appreciation of the children when presented with their new backpacks. For many the packs symbolise a return to normality. For others it’s a chance to finally attend school which was previously only a dream.”

The backpacks will be delivered by Navitas English to various schools in the Newcastle area where they will be presented to their children on their enrolment.

Well done to all those who contributed to this appeal! We hope that the children enjoy these gifts as they begin their new lives in our community.

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