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Your Monthly Update - January 2019


Dear <<First Name>>, 

Welcome back to Sanctuary on Sea in the New Year! We hope you enjoyed the festive season and are feeling refreshed. With the new year upon us, we thought we would take the time to look back at some of our highlights from the year:

2018 Round-up 
  • March 2018 saw the first School of Sanctuary award of the year given out in Brighton and Hove to Dorothy Stringer High School for their efforts to increase awareness of refugees and promote diversity. Since then there have been many more schools, universities and other organisations to join the list across the country for their great work encouraging empathy and solidarity with refugees and migrants.
  • 22nd - 24th June was the second Great Get Together in honour of Jo Cox MP, who was murdered in a hate crime in the summer. Events focused on the importance of community, and bringing people together to show that we have more in common than that which divides us. Our Great Get Together event, "Together" was the highlight of Refugee Week.
  • 18 - 24th June was Refugee Week 2018, the 20th to take place, with no less than 24 concerts, talks, exhibitions, workshops and stalls to celebrate the diversity and richness that refugees bring to this city.
  • Brighton Table Tennis Club was visited by Jeremy Corbyn in September, who praised it as a 'club of hope' and a great place of sanctuary for young people. 
  • In November Sanctuary on Sea attended the annual South East regional gathering for the City of Sanctuary network. It was an inspiring day with lots of stories told bravely. It was also a great day for sharing our achievements of the past year and considering how to proceed going forward.
  • November also saw the fifth Sanctuary in Parliament event, where 40 MPS and members of the House of Lords gathered alongside sanctuary groups to advocate for a more compassionate asylum-seeking system in the UK. It was another successful and inspiring day, with lots of powerful personal testimonies shared. 
With your support, we look forward to having another successful year in 2019. 

Looking for things to do in January? There are lots of things coming up this month, including:
Local Updates 
Huge turnout for Understanding the Refugee Crisis public meeting 
On November 30th, Calais Action Brighton, The School Bus project and Sanctuary on Sea collaborated to host an evening exploring the ongoing refugee crisis. To understand its origins and break down myths were a panel of experts in the area: professor Mike Collyer from the University of Sussex's Centre for Migration Research, Richard Williams, Chair of Sanctuary on Sea, Rowena Gerret from the School Bus Project and Professor and film-maker Sue Clayton from the University of London. Around 100 people turned up to take part in the Question Time-style panel where the audience were invited to pose questions to one of the speakers. We're so pleased so see so much interest and hope that people found the evening interesting and informative.
Burning of the Clocks 2018
The young people from the Hummingbird Project's Global Social Club took part in Brighton's annual parade to celebrate the winter solstice on December 21st. They have been working with Same Sky Brighton, an artist-led charity helping out with art projects in the city, helping them to bring their ideas to life. They wrote poems and carried heart-shaped lanterns as a sign of love and solidarity. 
Donate to a Good Cause in the New Year 

The City of Sanctuary national network relies on the kind donations of our supporters to run our work in Brighton and Hove. To help us at Sanctuary on Sea and our partner groups nationwide continue our work please consider donating:

Donate here

You can also pledge your support for our work, which doesn't cost a thing!
Coming up in Brighton and Hove
Songs and Sustenance, 12th Jan
The School Bus Project are hosting a big fundraiser this month at Exeter Street Hall. For your ticket price you will get:
  • A three course, vegetarian Indian meal, cooked by the superb cook Meeta Johnson, of The Masala Tin restaurant 
  • Performances by the fantastic musician Robb Johnson,
  • The opportunity to enter a raffle with fabulous prizes, including vouchers for La Choza and a haircut at Headmasters!
This promises to be a really special evening with great food and music. Perfect for a January evening! Get your ticket here.

Never Again! Holocaust Memorial Day 2019

Stand Up to Racism are hosting an event for Holocaust Memorial Day 2019. The theme for this year is 'torn from home' and will explore how we can help the current refugee crisis whilst commemorating and remembering the tragedies of the previous century. The event will include speaker David Rosenberg from the Jewish Socialists’ Group, who is also a member of the Unite Against Fascism organising team that leads annual educational trips to Auschwitz/Krakow for anti-racists and trade unionists.

Since the theme of this year's memorial day is forcible displacement from home, the event will have a focus around the current refugee crisis and the important work being done to tackle it. Representatives from refugee organisations in Brighton such as the Migrant English Project will be there to highlight the important links between the past and current crises. The event will be on Wednesday 30 January, 7pm for a 7.15 start, at the Friends' Meeting House, Ship St, Brighton, BN1 1AF. All welcome - no need to book in advance. 

More information here
Songs for A Thousand, 20th Jan
Join local band Brilliant Mistakes for a musical evening in aid of Thousand 4 £1000. Thousand4£1000 are a local charity here in Brighton set up to tackle homelessness among forced migrants. Their aim is to pool together small donations from many people to provide for those who would otherwise be destitute. Come along on 20th January for an evening of music and food, and support the important work they do. Hot drinks and a vegan meal are included in the ticket price. Exeter Street Hall is a wheelchair accessible venue. All welcome. Tickets are available here.
Open Meeting for Refugee Week, 16th Jan 
We are holding a second meeting for people who might be interested in being involved in Refugee Week 2019 (17-23 June). If you are thinking of organising an event, or would like to run an activity or provide food at our event in the Dome and Museum on 23 June please come to our second planning evening on 16 January.  We will be meeting in the Foyer of the Dome at 5-7pm.  We would particularly welcome anyone from refugee or migrant communities who would like to join a steering committee.
Africa Night hosted by Brighton Migrant Solidarity, 12th Jan

A party to wash the winter blues away! There'll be dancing and music from across the continent of Africa. £5 suggested donation, with all proceeds going to Brighton Migrant Solidarity.
See the Facebook event here.


 
 
Fundraiser for Amal Learning, 2nd Feb
Amal Learning invite you to their first fundraiser! Their organisation provides online language classes to refugees and displaced people while they are still in camps or conflict areas, with the objective being a less traumatic integration process when they reach a safe country, and easier access to English-language aid and services to maximise opportunities for support. Event will include a raffle, speakers, activities, and food - come and learn more about a really great local organisation! Held at Hanover Community Centre, 2-5pm. Get a ticket here.
 Sussex Syrian Refugee Scholarships now open 

The University of Sussex is now taking applications for Syrian refugee scholarships in English language starting 21st January at the university. Students will attend 15 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Please note this course is not usually suitable for beginners or those with very little English, and it is only open to Syrian refugees.This will be their last recruitment for this year's course as there are only four more places left for the scholarships. Apply here.
Maté Café 
The Mate Cafe will be continuing throughout the new year, with the first ones taking place in January 2019. Come down to the Cowley Club for Mate tea, a vegan Syrian breakfast and music. Open 12.00 - 16.00 on Saturdays. Dates for the new year are yet to be confirmed but you can keep up to date with their latest news here. 
Jollof Café
The Jollof Cafe runs every Tuesday from 12.30 at the Cowley Club serving homemade West African vegan food cooked on site. It's family-friendly, open to everyone and all proceeds go to Brighton Migrant Solidarity. 
Coming up in London and the South East
PsycheDelight: Welcome to the UK,
Starting Jan 2019  

From the people that brought you the satirical show Borderline exploring the Calais Jungle, PsycheDelight are back with Welcome to the UK, a brand new performance taking on migration into this country with their sense of humour. Performed by a mixed ensemble, including those who have recently sought refuge in the UK, Welcome to the UK will have its world premiere at The Bunker, London this January. Their unique theatre group was created back in 2016 and has since become a Theatre Company of Sanctuary. Performances will take place 22 Jan through 16 Feb, Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7pm, at The Bunker near London Bridge. For tickets click here.











In Whose Best Interests? Detention, Deportation and Separated Families, 22nd Jan 
Despite the Home Office having a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship & Immigration Act 2009, it routinely separates parents from their children by sending them to immigration detention pending removal or deportation. The impact of this forced separation on children’s well-being is often detrimental. Parents also face the prospect of being deported without their children. In 2013, legal aid for deportation cases was removed. This left many families to navigate the immigration process alone and unaided. Bail For Immigration Detainees have been working to support families in these scenarios. Join them at their event, open to everyone, where you will hear from BID's  legal managers, a family that’s experienced detention, a journalist responsible for breaking the 'Windrush' story and campaigning MP David Lammy. Get a ticket here.
Solidarity With the Stanstead 15, 4th Feb
Last year 15 people peacefully stopped a secretive deportation flight from leaving the UK at Stanstead Airport. After a 10-week trial they were found guilty of a terror-related charge. Join us outside Chelmsford Crown Court on 4th February to stand with the Stansted 15 as they face sentencing and to demand an end to brutal deportation flights, inhumane indefinite detention, and the hostile environment. Coaches to London are to be confirmed - the date of the sentencing may also be subject to change, but will be in the week of the 4th February. You can keep up to date with what's happening here.

Winter Appeal In Solidarity with Refugees, 9th Feb
Stand up to Racism invite you to join them on their solidarity trip to Calais in the new year. They have been working closely with Care4Calais over the last few years as the refugee crisis has worsened. Today, death rates in the Mediterranean are at an all time high and the role the UK plays in this is dubious. Currently, it funds centres in Libya where refugees are tortured and starved. In 2018 the UK paid £145m to France to outsource the ‘management’ of our southern border where refugees in Calais have been brutalised and beaten. Many people in the area remain in desperate need of resources and aid. In February 2019 Stand Up to Racism and Care4Calais will be travelling to northern France to provide practical support and show politicians that we care. There is more information about the trip to France here.
End May's Hostile Environment Bloc: 'Broken Britain' National Demonstration, 12th Jan 



Stand Up to Racism are organising a bloc on the People's Assembly 'Broken Britain' demonstration calling for a general election now with their anti-racist message and demands for change around the treatment of refugees and migrants in this country. We want to show that we believe refugees are welcome in this country. They encourage you to bring banners, delegations, friends and family. Share and invite widely! The demonstration will start from the BBC in London at 12.00pm. 
National News and Updates From Our Sanctuary Network

1
Lift the Ban campaign success
This month, ministers have committed to reviewing the current policy banning people seeking asylum from working in the long-awaited White Paper on immigration. The Lift the Ban coalition of over 100 refugee organisations has been calling on the government to reassess the current ban on asylum-seekers from working in this country during the process of seeking asylum.

Refugee Action’s Head of Campaigns, Paul Hook, on behalf of the coalition, said: “While we are pleased to see the government making a commitment to review the current ban which stops people seeking asylum from getting into work, ministers now need to deliver and scrap this harmful policy.'

You can read more about this from Refugee Action here: 
https://www.refugee-action.org.uk/government-must-deliver-on-warm-words-and-give-people-seeking-asylum-the-right-to-work/


And you can still sign the petition to lift the ban here.



2
Asylum Guides Programme
Want to train to help people navigate the asylum process? The Asylum Guides scheme teaches volunteers in cities across the UK to assist those seeking asylum. Volunteers become Asylum Guides, matched up with asylum seekers to provide trusted information about the asylum process. Over the course of a few meetings, they explain the asylum system in a way that is accessible and easy to understand. Since 2016 there have been two successful pilot programmes in Birmingham and Manchester. You can find out more about the programme here.

3
Immigration White paper
The government has published its long awaited white paper on immigration. Chapter 10, 'Protecting the Vulnerable' outlines the government's plans for asylum policies going forward. Their commitments include support after 2020 to some of the most vulnerable asylum-seekers through 'resettlement schemes', improving the provision of English language education, improving and speeding up the decision-making process and looking into alternatives to detention. You can read the Refugee Council's response to the white paper here.

4
Channel Arrivals over Christmas
The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has responded to the arrival of several refugees by small boat across the Channel during the Christmas period by calling it a 'major incident'. He also raised questions as to how genuine those claims of asylum were. The Refugee Council has described his comments as 'deeply concerning'

5
Local Author Wins Prize for Refugee Book 'Far From Home'
Brighton author Cath Senker has recently won the 2018 National Educational Writers Award for her book Far From Home: Refugees and Migrants Fleeing War, Persecution and Poverty'. She has donated all of her prize money to refugee organisations in Brighton and Hove, including the The Hummingbird Project, The School Bus Project and the Migrant English Project. This would be fantastic teaching resource for
any School of Sanctuary.



 
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 
Copyright © 2019 Sanctuary on Sea, All rights reserved.


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