Thursday 17 September 2015

Refugee Crisis

It has been impossible to miss seeing the harrowing photographs in the News of Syrian refugees, many of whom have died fleeing into neighbouring countries. The most harrowing image for me was that of the three year old Aylan Kurdi’s body, which was washed up on a beach in Turkey. That image urged me to do something to help these people.

Garden House Solicitors of Hertfordshire
Article by Patricia Ling
I have found that people do not know how to help and I was not sure what to do for the best myself, so I contacted a local friend, Charles Ledsam, who was able to put me in touch with Acorn Camps in Hungary. Acorn Hungary Trust (known as AcornCamps) was founded in 2001 and is based at Bicske, not far from Budapest. It is now led by Anglican priest Andy Oatridge and his wife Zsofi. They moved to Hungary in Summer 2013 with their three young children.
The Trust’s original aim was to provide summer camps with Hungarian churches for teenagers in Hungary. However, in the last few weeks things have taken a rather different turn.

Charles told me that some years before being ordained, Andy worked with asylum seekers and refugees in Sheffield. Later he took the TEFL qualification which enabled him to teach English as a foreign language to asylum seekers, such as doctors, dentists and nurses enabling them to get employment in the UK. Little did Andy realise that his experience then would place him a quite unique position now.
Andy, who is related to Charles’s wife Debbie, has guaranteed that every penny raised for AcornCamps will be used for the benefit of the refugees, many of whom are still crossing the border into Hungary in their hundreds, on their way to other European countries.

The AcornCamps HQ was only 200 metres from the local station and roads, down which many of the refugees have recently been heading. As I write, the Acorn volunteers are still helping the refugees, mainly women and children, as they enter Hungary and try to pass through to other European countries. The situation is changing every day but the need remains huge.
Just today, urgent medical supplies and other vital equipment were being transported by Andy and his team to the borders of Serbia. Hungary, which is quite a poor country, is not one in which the refugees and migrants can stay. It is surrounded by other European countries including Austria, Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, Croatia and Romania. Tensions are running high and there is not a clear plan in Europe yet, hence the urgent need for humanitarian aid and my desire to help.

Garden House Solicitors, in conjunction with Jungle Bar Hertford, are hosting a fundraising event on Sunday 11th October 2015 to raise vital funds for AcornCamps. We are charging £10 per person and will provide an afternoon of music and entertainment. For an extra £5 per head, we will be serving a Caribbean curried goat and rice dish and an equally delicious vegetarian option.
Friends of mine have shown their kindness by donating promises which will be auctioned on the day. These will be listed on the Garden House and Jungle Bar Face Book pages, so please look at them and follow our regular updates as the situation changes.

My husband Ken and I are joint owners of a beautiful beach house in Pervolia, Larnaca, Cyprus. The house sleeps 8 people. We are offering a week’s stay at the Beach House on a date to be mutually agreed as an auction item. (See; The property number is 87608).
Other promises offered so far include:

  • A scenic horse and carriage ride for two and dinner and wine at the Three Horse Shoes, Hinxworth.
  • Acrylic painting entitled Angel (Crossing Over) by professional artist Livi Maylon
  • 2 x £25 Jungle Bar vouchers
  • A reading by international clairvoyant, Warren Day
  • £200 worth of domestic work by a qualified electrician
  • Pony grooming for a child
  • A tour of hidden parts of the City of London plus sandwich and wine lunch
  • Personal training session in private gym in Hertford
  • An hour of dog walking in Hertford
  • A Dog training lesson with professional dog behaviourist
  • Help writing your CV
  • Private yoga lesson for two with Alana at Secret Space Studio in Hertford
  • Consultation with Alison Sheldrick, Nutritional Therapist, at Natural Health, Hertford
  • Shellac manicure by Janine at 15, Hertford
  • Private dance lesson for two with Charlotte Middlemiss of Jive Swing
  • Bespoke real Horseshoes wine rack 
  • Chimney sweep for private residence.
If you would like to donate a promise, however small, please contact me because every pound raised through the auction will make a huge difference.
The Syrian refugees have suffered unimaginable loss and suffering and I hope that you will show your compassion by doing whatever you can to help.

If you would like to buy a ticket for the fundraising event or would like to donate a promise or make a cash donation please contact me at
We would be grateful if you would show your support by liking the Garden House Solicitors and Jungle Bar Facebook pages.

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Garden House Solicitors in Hertford

Tel: 01992 422 128

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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