Messiah in a Day – raising funds for refugees

Local musicians and singers will be learning and performing Handel’s great choral masterpiece, The Messiah – in just one day! All participants are volunteers and are aiming to raise money for RAS and also for Oxfam’s refugee efforts. The event will take place at Stroud Subscription Rooms on Sunday 19 March at 7.30pm. A wonderful idea from our local community and indication yet again that in Stroud at least, the plight of refugees is far from forgotten…

Please see the Stroud News & Journal for details


This Friday, December 2nd is Goodwill Evening in Stroud and Rasmachaz, our fundraising shop, will be opening late for shopping, accompanied by a live band, the Solementos! We will also give you the opportunity to escape the freezing weather by visiting our tropical photo booth and have some ‘holiday’ snaps taken!




A total of £4725 allocated this week to grassroots organisations working in France and Greece to keep refugees fed, warm and able to call their families….Thank you Stroudies!

£1500 to HOT FOOD IDOMENI – the little group of experienced volunteers who began with a tiny field kitchen feeding stranded refugees at the Idomeni border and are now working in Northern Greek camps – and in Belgrade, Serbia serving hot meals in the absence of any other NGOs..
£1000 to REFUGEE COMMUNITY KITCHEN – RCK are still feeding refugees in Dunkirk & scatttered groups in Calais and are now expanding and going mobile this winter – “with the aim to serve the same hot, nutritious meals that every human deserves,in camps across the continent”
£1000 to CARE 4 CALAIS – working hard to locate & help refugees dispersed by the eviction and living in hidden camps, those sleeping rough in Paris & elsewhere and offering support & assistance to those now scattered throughout France in accomodation centres and facing an uncertain future
£300 for PHONE CREDIT FOR REFUGEES – vital for refugees far from home – to keep in touch with their families and friends, and with the volunteer groups supporting them as they negotiate complex asylum procedures – particularly important for the unacompanied children
£725 worth of WARM HOODIES – sent directly to Calais warehouse for distribution there and elsewhere



RAS MEETING: Thursday 20th October @ Prince Albert, Stroud, 6.30pm onwards – time for an informal get together, drink and chat and see where we are heading into winter…ALL welcome, no agenda or any formalities, basically just to see who is still interested/has time to spare in the coming months for any RAS activities…we will have a volunteer recently returned from Greece, so will have an update on situation there – and hopefully some info on the Calais situation/eviction…please come if you can, be lovely to see you all x


And we’re back!!

Apologies to all for the lack of posts over the summer – all the busy RAS volunteers have been having a bit of a sabbatical for the last 2/3 months to catch up with their lives/jobs/holidays/relatives and other such everyday concerns. However, our Facebook page, the Rasmachaz fundraising shop, trips to refugee hotspots, small scale & individual fundraising efforts, etc. have all been merrily chugging along, with the shop in particular becoming a popular Stroud institution and any news or important events posted on FB as they occur…

Now summer is over and we are re-grouping to continue our vital work. This crisis shows no sign of ending and is, in fact, becoming worse for the thousands of suffering people forced to flee their homes and seeking safety in an increasingly hostile Europe. The situation in northern France is worsening – over 9000 people are now living in dreadful conditions in the Calais camp, many of them unaccompanied children, and the small, grassroots organisations working there are struggling to provide food, clothing and necessities. In addition, our contacts in Greece tell us that conditions for the thousands of refugees stranded there range from barely adequate to appalling.

So, it’s as important as ever that RAS and our supportive Stroudies continue to fundraise and collect donations – our community has done us proud so far and hopefully will continue to do so. Thank you Stroud x

ashram calais kitchensidomeni hot food rck



Stroudies may have seen the Razmachaz blackboard outside our fundraising shop which list the various destinations of the funds we raise – mostly known and trusted grassroots organisations and individuals helping refugees. We’ve recently added up all the funding on the various boards since the shop opened in late February and it comes to an astonishing £33,600!! All this has been raised in 3 months via a combination of shop takings, specific appeals (e.g. the Syria container), regular standing orders from supporters and a combination of local fundraising events. Not bad for a small town…


In other news, we will be doing another jumble sale next Saturday, 18th June in the old town hall in the Shambles, so come along, grab yourself a bargain and keep them funds rolling in!




Food for Syria on its way…

24 PALLETS OF FOOD HEADING TO SYRIA!! Well done Stroud and Gloucestershire –  thanks to the generosity, compassion and hard working efforts of our community, we’ve been able to send around 720 family food boxes to the suffering people of Syria, in both the internal refugee camps and, hopefully, some beseiged areas too. The 40ft container of food is on its way to be unloaded in Turkey where commited volunteers will transfer it all into vehicles and drive it over the border into Syria straight to those in need.

Huge thanks  to all of you who donated food and funds to enable us to do this. Also to the charity, One Nation who organise the monthly food parcels like these and provide the funding for the container and shipping, as well as liaising with local Turkish/Syrian charities who deliver and distribute the parcels. Please check out their  website for info and videos of food parcel deliveries in Syria.  We would also like to thank the wonderful Shazia Malik from Bristol who was instrumental in putting us together with One Nation, helped us buy food in bulk, found the warehouse for packing, helped to pack, and more. We truly could not have done so well without her – she is an inspiration! Thank you all x

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Last Chance for Syria Food Appeal

This weekend we’ll be packing up boxes of food to send to the people of Syria who are suffering appalling conditions in their country. If you haven’t already, please consider donating the items on the poster below or contributing via our bank account: RefugeeAid-Stroud, Lloyds Bank account no. 19336860, sort code 30 95 96 with the reference ‘Syria Food‘, so that we can purchase items directly. Donation deadline day is this Friday, 15th April but, as we’ll be boxing up at Trainspotters, Libby’s Drive, Stroud (see address on poster) on Saturday, please feel free to drop by with any donations on the day. We’ve had a great response from various groups around the area so far, so let’s make the final push and fill that container!

syria poster drop off points syria food example