Two friends from London took a punch for refugees this week, by participating in a charity boxing event to raise money for a Jewish-run befriending service.
Daven Chopra, a volunteer befriender with the Jewish Council for Racial Equality’s JUMP project, and his Jewish friend Alex Springer, raised more than £1,000 for the JCORE Unaccompanied Minors Project (JUMP).
The initiative will train and matches volunteers with young refugees in the UK without family, who “face loneliness and isolation on top of the trauma of fleeing their home and family,” according to JUMP coordinator Vivienne Jackson.
Chopra said: “It means a lot to me. I have been befriending a young man from the Congo for nearly a year now, and he has been through a hard time.
“It’s great to see him settling in now to London life. I’ve even been able to involve him in my passion for sport and fitness.”
Springer and Chopra run HitClubUk, a charity set up in 2016 by Jewish 20-year-olds who wanted to make an impact, give back to society and “fight for change”.
They train more than 20 men over a three-month period. Those trained then “put their neck on the line” to help the most vulnerable.
JCORE is among the many Jewish groups to have urged the Government to do more to help vulnerable refugees in the UK, and the organisation’s director Dr Edie Friedman is to address the anti-Trump rally in Trafalgar Square this week.
The JUMP service, which began in 2007, inspired by the Kindertransport, provides one-to-one befriending for vulnerable asylum-seeking young people and children who have come to the UK without their parents.
Trained adults meet young people every two weeks to support them. More than 100 such people have been supported so far, and the service currently supports 25 befriending pairs but hopes to double this.