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Your Monthly Update - September 2019


Dear <<First Name>>, 

Welcome to your update of events, activities and campaigns happening in Brighton & Hove for the month of September. We have some great news to share this month, as our friend Luqman, who many of you may know, won his immigration appeal after an eight-year struggle. This fantastic outcome was made possible by the dedicated campaigning of migrant groups and the support of the wider community.

We also wanted to flag the fantastic selection of photographs taken at this year's Refugee Week in June. The photographers did a great job of capturing the fun and creativity of the event and they are all up now on the Brighton Refugee Week page - see if you can spot and tag yourself! 

In the newsletter this month:

We try to promote any refugee or migration-related event going on in the city by sharing it on our Facebook page. If you would like us to promote your event or flag a campaign, just drop us a message on Facebook via Messenger. 

Don't forget you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: 
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Local Updates 
Home Secretary in talks about channel crossings
The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, visited France at the end of August to discuss the recent migrant crossings of the English channel this summer. This comes after 64 migrants were rescued on 23 August along the coastline, having arrived in small boats. The Home Office said five boats were intercepted off the coast of Kent and a further one on a Sussex beach. More than 900 people have attempted to cross the channel this way since the start of the year. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said recently that those newly arriving illegally in the UK may be 'sent back'. However, campaigners have urged MPs to put the welfare of migrants at the centre of their policies and others have argued that making it harder for migrants will not deter them from seeking sanctuary here. A key part of the solution to the problem is to offer people a safe alternative to risking their lives in small, dangerous boats.
Successful campaign to stop the deportation of Luqman Onikosi

You may remember in the previous newsletter that we flagged the ongoing campaign against the deportation of Luqman, a valued member of our community in Brighton & Hove. We are so pleased that after a long, eight-year struggle, in August 2019 Luqman won his appeal on human rights grounds, as he needs life-saving medical treatment that is not currently available in Nigeria. Over 7,000 people signed the petition and many friends and supporters attended his hearing on 23 August. Some testified that it would be a huge loss to our community if he were deported. Many also took to Twitter to tweet #LetLuqmanStay at the Home Office. This outcome would not have been possible without the continuous campaigning and support from groups in Brighton and members of the local community. You can follow groups such as Brighton Migrant Solidarity and Thousand4£1000 to support the rights of other disabled migrants in Brighton & Hove.
New service for EEA migrants in Brighton & Hove
Migrant Help are now offering a new advice service in Brighton & Hove for vulnerable EEA migrants who need help to register under the EU Settlement Scheme. Sessions are aimed at people who may find it hard to apply by themselves for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) - specifically EU nationals or family members who are currently homeless, living in Roma and traveller communities, young adults who have left care, the elderly, victims of modern slavery, and people with disabilities, literacy or health issues. 

Migrant Help adviser Charlotte Cheeseman will be based at Voices in Exile's drop-in advice sessions on Tuesdays (1.30-4.30) and Fridays (11-2) to advise on what is needed to apply and make the applications directly. To apply, people will need to bring a valid ID (passport, national identity card or biometric card), plus evidence of UK residency (NI number or dated documents like bills, doctors letters, council tax). Charlotte is Migrant Help's adviser for East Sussex & Surrey and will be delivering outreach advice in Hastings, Eastbourne and other towns as well as from other venues in Brighton to be confirmed. You can get in touch with her at: charlotte.cheeseman@migranthelpuk.org / 07483090715. 
'Windrush presence' - call for artists, 15 September
To celebrate Windrush's Anniversary, Brighton Museum's BAME Heritage Network and SEAS (the Socially Engaged Art Salon) are putting on a unique month-long exhibition and series of events. They are looking for digital art, photography, collage work, painting, sound works, films and installations and performers that document or reflect on the Windrush generation, afro-Caribbean culture and their contribution to the UK. BAME artists are encouraged to submit works, but the exhibition is open to any artists with works on these themes. The submission of the works and participation in the exhibition is free, and some expenses can be paid. See more information here. The deadline for submissions is 15 September.
Cowley Club fundraising success 
The Cowley Club, a community space in Brighton, reached their fundraising goal of £11,700 for essential repairs to the building. We mentioned their fundraiser in the previous newsletter, so thank you on their behalf if you helped out at all. The club will now be able to continue providing a unique space for several groups that benefit refugees and asylum-seekers in the city, such as the Jollof Café and the Migrant English Project. The club will also be hosting a welcome back community meal on 5 September from 7pm to celebrate the re-opening - all are welcome to come and enjoy delicious home-cooked vegan food. 
Ambigo seeking Event Manager for Interfaith Week
Are you aged 18-25, living in the Brighton area and do you identify with a particular faith? Ambigo, who ran the successful Refugee Week event, 'What can we do to make our city more inclusive?' are looking for someone to be an Event Manager. This is a one-off, paid opportunity for a fun, one-day activity during Interfaith Week 10 – 17 November. No previous experience required. Email hello@ambigo.co.uk to find out more!
Coming up in Brighton and Hove
Gardening days at Common Ground, 3rd - 24th September

Common Ground is an organic food-growing project working with migrants and refugees. The drop-in sessions are open to everyone interested in getting involved in nature and take place every Tuesday between 11 and 4 at their plot in Stanmer Organics (Stanmer Park, Brighton, BN1 9PY). Feel free to come for an hour or two, or the whole day! The team hope that this will become a place of learning and creativity, so all levels of gardening experience are welcome. Days at the plot will not just be limited to gardening and there will be an opportunity to get involved with a wide range of activities, from permaculture design, eco-building, foraging, green woodwork, story telling workshops, plant-based nutrition, organic food growing workshops and other things. If you would like to join, please bring your own snacks/water and suitable footwear. Read more about the project and see the full list of dates here.
Collection for Calais Action Brighton, 7 September

 
Calais Action Brighton have a collection coming up at St Andrew's Church in Hove, from 12:00 - 15:00 on Saturday 7 September. The following items are needed: 
  • Roll mats
  • Sleeping bags & blankets
  • Tents & tarpaulins
  • Backpacks
  • Roll on deodorant
  • Baby wipes
  • Small shower gels
They are also looking for volunteers to help set up, run the collection, sort items and pack away. If you are able to help any time between 11:00 and 16:00 get in touch with them here.
Out(Law) exhibition opens at SEAS, 7 September
What does it mean to be banished and excluded from the law? What does 'outlaw' mean to us today? Etymologically, ‘outlaw’ means ‘fugitive from the law’, from the old English ‘utlaga’ - ‘one put outside the law’ or from Old Norse ‘utlagi’, meaning the act of being outlawed or banished. Being banished means no longer having legal protection, being exempt, and vulnerable - a state that many refugees and migrants find themselves in today. This exhibition at SEAS (the Socially Engaged Art Salon) explores what being outside of the law can mean today, from those who have fled their countries, those living outside with no shelter, to animals whose individual rights are still outside of our legal frameworks. The artists showing are: Jack Tan, Distant Animals, Layla Mi, Natalia Jaffe, Darren Calder, Cyren Aur, Micheál O'Connell and Janina Moninska. SEAS is located near Brighton Station - 10/a Fleet St, Brighton BN1 4ZE.
Coming up in the south east
First University of Sanctuary conference, 4 September 
The first ever University of Sanctuary conference will be held at York St John University on 4th September 2019. Academics, professional staff, students, sanctuary scholars and others will come together to discuss how Higher Education institutions could do more to establish a culture of welcome for those arriving in the UK. There are 10 Universities of Sanctuary, with lots more across the country in the process of applying. Register to attend the conference here. For enquiries contacben@cityofsanctuary.org
Cohere - Writing in response to dislocation, 7 October, 7.30 - 9pm
Cohere is a writing project that began in the north-east, put together by Brighton photographer Nina Emett. The contributing eight poets and writers (all migrants or refugees) collaborated with the poet Zaffar Kunial, whose poem ‘Us’ was shortlisted for 2018’s T. S. Eliot prize. The resulting work was interpreted by four visual artists, also refugees or migrants, to produce a series of artistic films which will be shown at Ropetackle and The Shoreham Centre throughout Shoreham Wordfest. This event, by artist and producer Geoff Brokate, brings the project to life with readings from participants. Register to attend for free here. At: Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham-by-Sea, High Street, BN43 5EG.
Save the date! Sanctuary in Parliament,
4 November

The sixth Sanctuary in Parliament will be held on Monday 4th November 2019 from 12 to 4 in the Atlee Suite, Portcullis House. Sanctuary in Parliament is an annual gathering of sanctuary seekers, members of the City of Sanctuary network and MPs to discuss the pressing issues related to refugee and asylum-seeker rights in the UK. Last year's event, 'Towards a Fairer System' was attended by 41 MPs including Caroline Lucas MP and Lloyd Russel-Moyle MP from Brighton & Hove. A panel of refugees with lived experience who gave compelling testimonies. A delegation from Sanctuary on Sea met Brighton & Hove MPs. If you are a a sanctuary seeker in Brighton & Hove and would like to attend please let us know. Further details will be announced soon. 
Regular events
Global Tots
Global Tots is a 'stay and play' group for refugee and migrant mothers with children under 5. They meet on the last monday of every month at the Friends Meeting House (Ship St, Brighton BN1 1AF). The idea is to provide English and social support alongside usual stay and play group activities, including arts and crafts/ sensory play, toys, free snacks and circle time.
Global Social Club
The GSC is a youth club for 14 - 25 year olds across the city run in collaboration between the Hummingbird Project, Refugee Council, Pathways to Independence and the Young Peoples Centre. They put on a range of fun, interactive sessions throughout the year open to all. It takes place on Mondays 5 - 7pm at Brighton Youth Centre (69 Ship St, Brighton BN1 1AE). More info here.
The Real Junk Food Café
Following a successful pilot, Real Junk Food have made their café a weekly occasion. Hosted on Wednesdays at St John the Baptist Parish Hall, in collaboration with Brighton Voices in Exile and Brighton Table Tennis Club, food waste that would otherwise have been thrown away by supermarkets is cooked and served by professional chefs. The meal and any spare produce is available on a pay as you feel basis. The hall is located at 2 Bristol Road, Brighton, BN2 1AP – see more info and all the dates here.
National news and updates from our Sanctuary network
1
University of Sussex offering two scholarship places for 2020 
The University of Sussex in Brighton has announced that it will be offering to fully fund two university places for asylum-seeking students looking to begin their studies in 2020. More details can be found here. For enquiries, please email scholarships@sussex.ac.uk.
2
South East regional gathering 26 October
The 2019 City of Sanctuary South East regional gathering will take place next month in Hastings on Saturday 26 October. Bookings will open soon - stay up to date here
3
Lift the Ban: Social Media Action to New Home Secretary
In order to ensure that the right to work for people seeking asylum remains high on the agenda of the new Home Secretary, the Lift the Ban campaign from Refugee Action has designed a short animation asking the Home Secretary if she’s looking for a policy which ticks lots of boxes such as 'lifts people out of poverty' and 'grows the economy'; offering Lift The Ban as the answer. The animation can be downloaded here - please share it on social media. Lift the Ban is campaigning to bring an end to the ban on asylum-seekers working.
4
Open letter to the new Home Secretary
City of Sanctuary has joined over 35 organisations who have signed an open letter to the new Home Secretary, Priti Patel, calling for a humane immigration and asylum system. Read the letter here.
5
Two new Cities of Sanctuary
Did you know that two new Cities of Sanctuary were launched this summer? Congratulations to Portsmouth and Oxford for joining the growing list of cities that have demonstrated their commitment to creating a culture of welcome for migrants and refugees. In Portsmouth, support for the initiative came from over 80 organisations alongside the City Council. In Oxford, a new 'Migrant Champion', Cllr Hosnieh Djafari-Marbini, has been installed to ensure a continued commitment to the Sanctuary status.

 
6
Have your say on visa fees

Migrant Voice are collecting experiences of migrants and their families on the impact of high visa fees in the UK. They would like to hear from anyone affected by the high costs of visas, citizenship, appointments for uploading documents, the NHS surcharge and anything related to the visa application process. The information will help them to understand how the costs of staying in the UK are affecting people as part of a new campaign tackling this issue. If you have any experiences to share see here or email anne@migrantvoice.org.
7
New Welcome Guide released for asylum-seekers
In August the Home Office released a new guide to public services and opportunities available in the UK for adults newly granted asylum in this country. The guide is available in 10 languages and covers topics such as employment, benefits, housing and healthcare. It is available here.
Directory of Services

Finally, we'd like to remind everyone that the Directory of Services available to refugees and migrants in Brighton and Hove is available online.

This directory lists organisations which offer support to, or are advocating on behalf of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. It also lists organisations which offer specific services of interest to refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, as well as a small number of refugee- and migrant-led organisations. Please read and share as widely as you can. Please let us know if you would like your service to be included in the directory, or if your existing entry needs updating.

Best wishes,

Ruby Cardona Senker
Volunteer
Sanctuary on Sea 
https://twitter.com/BrightonSanct
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