EYST's monthly E-Newsletter
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April 2022 Newsletter

It has been another exciting and busy month in EYST! We are settling in after a season of unprecedented change in EYST with our long-serving CEO Rocio leaving, but we are confident in our skilled and passionate team and the leadership being delivered by our Co-Directors Helal Uddin (Head of Services & Partnerships) and Lloyd Williams (Head of People of Governance).  As the month comes to an end, we wish all the best to our friends, colleagues and clients celebrating Eid and to those who celebrated Easter earlier in the month. As the days get longer and sun starts to feel a bit warmer, we are optimistic about the future we are excited about welcoming our staff back to the office to return to some form of “normality” to meet clients face to face and getting back to do what we do best!

Our annual report 2020 can now be viewed here.

EYST is a charity for the people, supported by the people. To continue the important work we do, every little donation helps.

Donate today:
Easter Art Competition - Winners Announced!
The Easter holidays saw our youth team hold competitions with prize vouchers up for grabs in 3 different age categories. We asked young people to draw or paint a piece of artwork to represent what Easter means to them. This could be in the form of a poster, comic or video. We were mesmerised by the entries we received! See more below as we announce our winner... Well done to all the young people who took part 😊
Solomon (right), was our runner-up.
This was our winner! A fantastic display of eggs featuring some of our favourite cartoon characters! Drawn by Muhammad.
With Eid fast-approaching, we have another competition on the horizon. Closing date is 8th May with the task of designing an Eid greeting card or artwork! Prizes to be won so do apply 😀

To submit your work, please email and don't forget to add your name, age and phone number.
A Warm Welcome to our new Fundraising Manager ☺

We were pleased to welcome Sara Shahroozi to the EYST team in April. Sara comes with a wealth of experience in fundraising, having completed a thirty year career in Local Government in Wales. She didn’t look back and having made Swansea her home in 1990, living in St Helen’s Road, she feels like she has come full circle as she returns to the same street but this time at EYST HQ.

Sara says she feels like a, “Gamekeeper turned poacher” as she remembers working with a fledgling charity of EYST members back in 2005, when she was the Head of Community Regeneration with Swansea Council and Rocio Cifuentes, Helal Uddin and Nicky Nijjer knocked on her door for funding. “I feel so excited to be bringing a breadth of skills, knowledge and experience to such a successful and dynamic charity which has grown successfully since those early days.  This chapter of my life is a new one and I am pleased to join the Third Sector with whom I have closely worked throughout my career". 

Sara continues on: “I love this country and its people and particularly the diversity of Wales and Swansea in particular. I will have my work cut out for the next 12 months shaping and delivering EYST’s fundraising strategy but I am sure I will add value to the dynamic team and staff of EYST.”

Great to have you on-board with us, Sara! 😊
Linus delivers Equal Power, Equal Voice update

The Equal Power Equal Voice mentoring programme is in full swing, supporting around 100 under-represented mentees into public life. The programme helps mentees develop an understanding of change making, gain experience and build skills to shape the future of Wales!

Since December, the mentees have had training sessions on influencing the Senedd, board roles & local government, campaigning for public office, and media training, as well as attending sessions on race & cultural awareness to ensure that we’re all represented across Wales.

We’re less than a month away from a trip to the Houses of Parliament – keep an eye out for photos in the coming months!

All Wales Team pulls out all the stops in April!

The All Wales Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Engagement team worked hard throughout April, to get submissions for paid Independent Panel Member positions. The Panel will scrutinise the work of the Criminal Justice in Wales system in relation to the Anti-Racism Action Plan. We are overwhelmed by the response and the submissions have been impressive. Thank you and Good Luck to all the applicants!

In addition, a Race Equality Training session was delivered to mentees from the Equal Power Equal Voice project earlier in the month. The session was well-received by attendees. We also delivered a forum at the end of April, “Everyone has the right to seek and enjoy asylum!”, with discussions centred around the differences in treatment of refugees from around the globe. Many thanks to our key speakers (and colleagues!) who offered their insights on the subject - Sophie de Marco, Awder Ahmed and Aliya Khalil. Our next forum will focus on the needs of the elderly members of our Minority Ethnic Communities. Keep an eye on our Twitter for the latest updates @AllWalesEYST. If you would like to be added to our forum mailing list, then please get in touch with

The BME Invest Project leaves behind a legacy
The making of a short promo video for our BME Invest Project!

The BME Invest team has seen a cohort of 40 participants go through the Active Inclusion project,  funded by European Funds (ESF) and managed by WCVA (Wales Council for Voluntary Action).  We are incredibly proud of them and their amazing achievements as they work towards finding sustainable employment using their individual skills and qualities.

A big thank you however has to go to our incredible Host Organisations - 25 of them - who supported the participants through the experience of a 16-week supported employment placement.  In order to celebrate and promote the fantastic partnerships that have grown and developed as a result of the BME Invest Project, we are filming a short promotional video to give a flavour of the legacy that Active Inclusion has created in our community organisations.

Although this European funding has now come to an end,  we hope that new funding will be made available to the third sector to continue this much-needed work within our most disadvantaged communities.  We are working with other organisations to try to secure funding in the near future to enable us to offer a similar scheme to the BME communities in Wales, given the success of this Active Inclusion Achieve project at EYST since 2018.

For more info, please contact

Join Race Alliance Wales to continue challenging Racism in Wales

Recent news confirmed the passing of the Nationality & Borders Bill in Westminster. Now is the time more than ever to protect refugees and show our compassion - not criminalise those who are seeking safety while fleeing the most unfortunate of circumstances. That is why, we are proud to be able to call Wales a Nation of Sanctuary and to set the standard.

Join and support Race Alliance Wales' manifesto for a Wales that is anti-racist by becoming a member.


#AntiRacistWales #Rhetoric2Reality

EYST Multi-lingual Helpline: Support and Referrals going strong!

At the EYST Multi-lingual Helpline team, along with Helpline clients, we continue taking calls and texts from asylum seekers and refugees based in Swansea on behalf of the Sanctuary Team. Call numbers have increased steadily week by week. Based on our experience and helpline skills, we have handled distressed and angry clients and provided language support where possible to complete communication loops.

Alongside our multi-lingual team, the advisors also have access to a pool of interpreters in 80 languages to support clients in a 3-way call. Our leaflets have been translated and are available for circulation in 16 community languages.

Our regular fortnightly meetings with staff from Citizen’s Advice Cymru are held to ensure smooth referrals from the Helpline to the various branches of CAC across Wales. In addition, in April we continue to hold regular quarterly networking meetings with staff from the Office of the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, local teams of Careers Wales and Community Support Steering Groups.

Email for more info.

Call: 0808 801 0720
(Monday – Friday 10.00am – 6.00pm)
Text: 07537 432 416
LIVE Webchat
For more information, please visit our website:
Some Family Support and Fun over the Easter Holidays!

Following a successful grant application by EYST staff, local Syrian families were able to enjoy some gardening fun.  The funding came from the PEER SUPPORT GRANT in partnership with MIND Cymru & Diverse Cymru. Gardening resources all were provided by Rhian, the flower farmer and florist of small local business BLUEHILL FLORA in Pontardawe who kindly assisted with the planting and sowing skills. This joint venture enabled families to get together at Ystradgynlais Volunteer Centre to plant up some hanging baskets with flowers, start some sunflowers and also take pots of young lettuce, tomato and herbs home to grow on.

Pictured below are Hasan Al Jamal and his young family, Ayman Sattouf, Khaled Shaaban & Mrs Mirna Batrish enjoying ‘hands on’ learning with their new gardening skills.

In liaison with the ‘Winter of Wellbeing’ and National Museums Cardiff, we were also able to hand out activity craft packs to our clients’ children to enjoy over Easter. Drawing colouring and connecting outdoors encouraged the families to get together and enjoy something new over the school break. The packs had lots of ideas for finding fun ways to approach the outdoors and be creative.

Caroline Massey of EYST said “The Museum pack and gardening classes have provided a great opportunity for families to get together.  We all enjoyed the activities, adults and children alike!  We hope to continue with the gardening at the Volunteer Centre in some form, encouraging healthy outdoor activity for volunteers. We hope the families will be able to enjoy the fruits of their labour before too long.”

We're now on AmazonSmile!

Every time you make a purchase on Amazon, they will donate a small percentage of your sale to our important work 😊  Simply visit AmazonSmile and follow instructions to select ‘Ethnic Youth Support Team’ as your chosen charity.

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EYST, Units B & C, 11 St Helen's Road, Swansea, SA1 4AB
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Ethnic Youth Support Team · Unit B, 11 St Helens Road · Swansea, sa14ab · United Kingdom

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