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Your Monthly Update - March 2019

Dear <<First Name>>, 

Thank you to everyone who came along to our AGM on 25th February! We would like to thank all of the speakers who contributed to the evening, particularly the two young leaders from the Hummingbird Project, Damien Jordan from Fairlight Primary school, Sam Beal from the council and artist Gil Mualem Doron. It was wonderful to see such a large turnout and the evening generated lots of interesting discussions. See below for an overview of the speeches and the key points from our discussion about tackling racism in the city. 

Coming up in Brighton and Hove this month:
The Sussex Centre for Migration Research are beginning their series of Spring migration-related events throughout March, April and May. There are lots of interesting seminars and workshops and film screenings which you can look out for on their Facebook page. Plus the Migrant Lives Matter Day 2019 hosted at Sussex promises to be an exciting day of activities. 

Don't forget you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter

We also try to promote any refugee or migration-related event going on in the city by sharing 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. 
Local Updates 
Sanctuary on Sea AGM 2019
We'd like to thank everyone involved for contributing to another successful AGM. The theme for this year was 'Young People and Racism in Brighton: Challenges and Responses'.

Our chair, Richard Williams, began with an overview of the successes we have had this year across the city, including the biggest Refugee Week yet in June 2018, four more School of Sanctuary awards handed out, the first Nursery of Sanctuary and the first ever Club of Sanctuary award given to Brighton's Global Social Club.

Two young leaders from the Hummingbird Project, Mo and Naqueeb, then spoke powerfully about their personal experiences of racism in Brighton. They explained how they receive dirty looks and aggressive behaviour just walking down the street. It's a Brighton that most of us are not familiar with, and it was even more jarring to hear in a city known for its diversity and tolerance. But the reality is that these young people - and many others - experience a type of hostility that often people in the city are unaware of. Mohammed expressed his determination to change this, imploring us not to feel sorry for him but to support the work he and other young refugees and migrants are doing.

Damien Jordan, headteacher of Fairlight Primary School in Brighton presented us with a project that children as young as five have been completing at his school where they fill a box with personal items, mementos and family history to ensure they feel pride in where they have come from. He spoke of the diversity at his school - where over 30 languages are spoken by students and teachers - and the efforts he has made to foster acceptance and solidarity among such a diverse cohort of students. For him, the most important sentence in Fairlight’s recent OFSTED report was, “it’s a happy school”.

Sam Beale from Brighton and Hove City Council talked about the importance of identity and belonging and how a lot of good work was going on in the city, but more needed to be done, for instance in tackling offensive ‘banter’ in schools. Resources are always an issue, but schools can buy in support from the excellent Ethnic Minority Achievement Service (EMAS) and get help from the Community Safety Team to tackle any hate incidents. 

Artist Gil Mualem Doron then presented us with the latest stage of his New Union Flag project. His re-working of the union jack incorporates textile patterns from the many places in which British people have heritage, from Ireland to Bangladesh. 

Lots of interesting discussion arose after the presentations as the floor was invited to discuss the challenges of racism in the city and our possible responses. We'd like to thank everyone who contributed to the discussion and raised ideas about how we might go about challenging the issues of racism and intolerance in our city.
Refugee Valentine's Evening

More than 100 people turned up to celebrate love and diversity on February 14th at the Rose Hill pub. Refugee Valentine's, organised by Sussex Refugee and Migrant Self Support Group and Brighton Migrant Solidarity, featured several live bands, dancing, food and even an art auction. The evening was also in aid of Momodou Saine, an artist and refugee based in Brighton who is currently facing potential deportation. We asked in a previous edition for support on his behalf in order to fund his legal fees - he has been selling his artworks to raise money. We're pleased that the evening raised £400 in painting sales to go towards this. Read a review of the evening by one of the guests here.
Refugee Week 2019

Plans for Refugee Week are bubbling away, but June 17–23 is only just around the corner now and we need to get cracking. We have a classical concert in Brighton College on 20 June, World Refugee Day and a night of refugee and migrant bands in the Latest Music Bar on Sunday 23. On the 23rd, we will have whole of the Dome and Brighton Museum to fill with activities.

If you are interested in joining the Organising Committee, please come to the Baobab Restaurant at 6–7pm on Monday 11 March. We would particularly welcome people with fundraising skills and people from refugee and migrant communities. If you have an idea for an event, or an activity (workshop, food, performance) for the Dome or Museum, please come to the Baobab Restaurant at on Monday 18 March 6–7pm. The Baobab is at 8 Trafalgar St, Brighton BN1 4EQ. We look forward to hearing your ideas. If you want to get involved or get in touch with Refugee Week organisers for any reason, please email
New research shows young refugees wrongly thought to lack ambition

Refugee students tend to set their sights high, but new research on young refugees’ education in Brighton and Hove has found that their low level of English is often interpreted as a lack of personal ambition.
The University of Sussex has carried out research in partnership with Sanctuary on Sea and The Hummingbird Project and found that language barriers effect students from refugee backgrounds in communicating with fellow students, understanding the curriculum and responding to exam questions. Dr Linda Morrice from the university concluded that 'Much more could be done to support this group to progress and thrive in the education system.'

You can read our blogpost and the report in full here.
Call for Submissions - 'Limbo' Art Exhibition - Deadline 5th April 
The Socially Engaged Art Salon (SEAS) are calling for entries to go into a new exhibition of social art titled 'Limbo', to be held at the BMECP Centre from 4th May–2nd June 2019. Artworks displayed as part of Limbo will encompass any of the following themes:

'From Brexit to the state of exclusion, from refugees to economic insecurity, from being mix raced to being non-gendered, from social practices to transgressive objects, and everything in between.'

If you'd like to submit an artwork, contact the curator Gil Doron here. The deadline for submissions is 5th April at 12pm. Artists from under represented groups and BME Artists are encouraged to submit work. 
Refugee themed workshop to launch Young City Reads 2019

Primary school children in East Brighton will be taking part in a refugee themed workshop to celebrate World Book Day.

Brighton Festival revealed in November 2018 that their Young Reads choice for 2019 was Onjali Q. Rauf's 'The Boy at the Back of the Class', a heartwarming tale about friendship and acceptance among children from different backgrounds. Its selection as this year's Big Read means that children across the city will have access to it though school libraries and other services. Primary school teachers and home educators are invited to register online and agree to read The Boy at the Back of the Class between 7th March–22nd May 2019. Registration is free, and can be done here

Young City Reads will be collaborating with Crisis Classroom on World Book Day (7th March 2019) to bring a fantastic workshop to children from City Academy Whitehawk and St.John the Baptist's Primary School in East Brighton, with the support of Brighton and Hove Libraries.

Stand Up to Racism Solidarity Trip 8-9th Feb

Early in February a delegation of trade unionists and anti-racists, organised by Stand Up To Racism (SUTR), went to support 1,500 people trapped at the UK’s border in Calais.

These people - fleeing war, poverty, religious and ethnic persecution and dictatorships in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea or Sudan - are desperate to come to the UK and claim asylum. Having completed arduous and terrifying journeys across seas and through Europe they are now stuck in makeshift camps on waste land around Calais and Dunkirk and dependent on volunteer organisations for food, clothing and shelters. 

The SUTR delegation helped Care4Calais provide food, clothing, sleeping bags and tents, items for personal hygiene and access to phone chargers and electric razors to these displaced and trapped people. Alongside this essential aid, the delegation was able to show solidarity with these desperate people and demonstrate that there are people in the UK who oppose racism and defend freedom of movement and the right to claim asylum in the country of choice.
Aidan Pettitt, Stand Up to Racism 

Brighton & Hove Stand Up To Racism is organising a follow up volunteer mission to Calais leaving on 12th April and returning 14th April. To support or join this mission:
  • Collect waterproof clothing, tents and sleeping bags and other items of aid;
  • Propose your trade union, political party or community group sponsor the volunteering mission (and contribute to the cost);
  • Email to book a place on the trip.
Coming up in Brighton and Hove 
Cook, Eat and Learn, 11th March–8th April 

Cook, Eat and Learn is a totally free cookery course for refugees and migrants or anyone in a similar situation. It's a great chance to improve your English whilst learning to cook delicious new dishes. An English class is included in the workshop. Plus, enjoy a home cooked three-course meal at the end! There are still places on the course beginning 11th March - to apply, email Anna at
or call 01273 563375 to get an application form.
Multi-Cultural Volunteer Fair, 16th March

The multi-cultural volunteer fair is a family-friendly event hosted by Sussex Interpreting Services (SIS), open to all ethnic backgrounds, with practical advice and information about everything to do with volunteering. Discover how helping out in your community can help you meet new people, learn new skills, improve your English, enhance employment prospects and feel part of the local community. This is a great opportunity to see what volunteering might have to offer you.
Plus: no booking required, free travel to the event if you go by bus and free refreshments provided. It will take place on Saturday 16th March, 1–4pm at the BMECP Centre, Fleet St, Brighton BN1 4ZE. See more info here

Thousand 4 £1000 Quiz Night, 16th March

Thousand 4 £1000 are hosting a quiz night to raise money for the amazing work they do tackling enforced homelessness among migrants in the Brighton area. Bring a team (6-8 people) or come on your own and they will find team mates for you. Doors open 6.15 for a 6.45 start. Plus, the bar will be open and a vegan meal will be provided around 8.30 when the quiz finishes. Tickets £10/£5 concession - get yours here or contact Jenny: for more information.
UN Anti-Racism Day 2019 Demonstration, 16th March

As cities march across the world to mark UN anti-racism day, join them to say No to Racism and Fascism. On Saturday 16 March, demonstrations will take place in London, Glasgow, Cardiff and across the world to protest against the evident rise of the Right. In Britain, a new far-right street movement is attempting to take advantage of the political crisis by scapegoating migrants, refugees and the Muslim community. In the US, the Trump Presidency continues to incite this wave of racism and gives strength to the growth of the far right around the world. From Bolsanoro in Brazil and Le Pen in France to the AfD in Germany and the FO in Austria, racists and fascists are moving away from the political margins and into centre stage. This has been accompanied by Islamophobic hate crime and a resurgence of antisemitism.
This UN anti-racism day we need the biggest, broadest international display of opposition to racism and fascism we have ever seen. On Saturday 16th March, join us to show that the anti-racist anti-fascist majority is on the march and we will not stop until the rise of racism and the far right has been defeated. More information about the day here and book a coach seat here.

There will also be a Refugees Welcome bloc on the march - see info here. 
The Refugee Crisis: What Can We Do? 22nd March

Want to know what you could do to help the migrant crisis? Calais Action Brighton are hosting an evening with guest speakers, discussion and opportunities for action. Speakers include Caroline Coxon (Calais Action Brighton), Paul Hutchings (Refugee Support Europe), Mel Steel (Voices in Exile) and Avril Loveless (Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group/Refugee Tales)
  • At: Exeter Street Hall, Brighton, BN1 5PG, 7–9.30pm more info here
Stand Up for Refugees, 23rd March
Hope for Refugees invites you to their Comedy Fundraiser evening with a host of comedians. All of the money raised will go to supporting community based organisations based in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, which currently houses over 60,000 refugees. See the full line-up and more info about the evening on their Facebook here
Sussex Centre for Migration Research - Spring 2019 Events Series 

The Sussex Centre for Migration Research have a new series of migration-themed lectures, seminars and film screenings coming up for Spring 2019. They are hosted at the University of Sussex campus but open to everyone. For the full list of events see here. Here are some to look out for:
  • 7th March - Francis Collins (University of Waikato) speaking on 'Provisional Migration and Settler Colonialism in Aotearoa/New Zealand'. 1–3pm, Arts C, Global Studies Resources Centre
  • 13th March - Shahaduz Zaman (University of Sussex): Seminar 'Where Shall Thou Rest: Death and Dying of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon'. 3.30–5pm, Arts C, C333.
The following two events will be part of Sussex University's One World One Week event taking place 18th–22nd March:
  • 18th March - Yehudi Sharim (University of California), a film director, brings a screening of 'Seed of All Things' 6–8pm, Arts A01 Lecture Theatre.
  • 19th March - Sharim will lead a documentary filmmaking masterclass: 'Documenting Migrant Lives', 5–7pm, Fulton A building.
Migrant Lives Matter day 2019, 30th March
Global Lives and the Sussex Centre for Migration Research are running their third annual 'Migrant Lives Matter' day at the University of Sussex  campus on Saturday 30th March, 10am–6pm. To celebrate migration and diversity, they are organising a day of music, talks, workshops, installations, comedy, food and films. Q&A sessions and panel discussions will run alongside talks and workshops on migration-related issues. Food will be provided by anti supermarket-waste group The Real Junk Food Project and there will be table tennis coaching from the Brighton Table Tennis Club. Everyone is welome to attend, and all proceeds from the day will also be fundraising for local refugee support organisations in Brighton and Hove. More info about the day and booking a place here. Local refugee and migrant organisations who would like to have a stall on the day should contact Rosa Weeks at
How to Make A Difference: Take Action to Change Your World, 1st–3rd April


Are you someone who really cares about other people? Do you look around and see problems in your community and across the planet that you want to solve? Have you always wanted to make a difference in the world but didn't know how to start? The Human Hive, set up by two volunteers who taught refugees in the Calais camp and then founded Crisis Classroom, have put together a course to teach you the essential skills.

They are hosting a three-day training event to help people get started in creating the change they want to see. Over the three days they will provide training in effective communication, being self-managed, setting up your own events and activties and much more. See the full itinerary here. Tickets are £150 for the training, resources, networking and lunches - this is half the price of the course they currently offer to organisations. Get a ticket here, or contact for further enquiries. 

BME Wellbeing Fair, 2nd April
The BME Wellbeing Fair is open to everyone from black and minority ethnic backgrounds in Brighton and Hove. It's a family friendly event with creative activities, practical advice and general support to improve your health and wellbeing.

  • Free hot lunch provided
  • Free travel to the event if you use the bus
  • No booking required
  • Interpreters will be available (Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Portuguese, Russian and Turkish). If you would like one, call Sussex Interpreting Services on 01273 234825 after 3pm and leave a name, phone number and message with the desired language.
It will take place at the BMECP Centre, 10A Fleet Street, Brighton BN1 4ZE. See more about the event here on Facebook, email for more information.
Maté Café
The Maté Café serves up maté tea and a vegan Syrian breakfast on Saturday mornings at the Cowley Club. They often have dance and percussion workshops, music and a multilingual choir. Keep up to date with the café on Facebook as the dates will be added on there.
Jollof Café
The Jollof Cafe runs every Tuesday lunchtime (12.30–3pm) at the Cowley Club serving homemade West African vegan food. It's family-friendly, open to everyone and the meal is just £4 or pay as you feel. All proceeds go to Brighton Migrant Solidarity.
Job Opportunity
The Racial Harassment Forum (RHF) are hiring for an Advocacy and Outreach Officer. The purpose of the post is to support people and communities affected by racially and religiously motivated hate incidents/crimes in Brighton & Hove and to work in partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC), Sussex Police and Community Organisations to promote the project and good practice. For the application forms, contact and the submission deadline is 22nd March by midnight.
Coming up in London and the South East
Storytelling Across Borders, 20th March

Refugees, migrants and those who have travelled to live in the UK are invited to take part in this workshop, co-hosted by Migrant Voice and the University of East Anglia, to explore how language and culture affects the stories we want to tell. In a new place, a new language and culture must be navigated - so what happens to stories when they are translated? 

In this workshop, three speakers who navigate these challenges in their everyday life and work will discuss some examples of storytelling across borders. Then, participants will be invited to work on planning and creating their own pieces of writing, art or performance that can help us tell our stories – and have the chance to present them to the group at the end of the session. Some of the questions that will be considered throughout are:
  • What happens to a story when you tell it in a new language?
  • How can I tell my story to people whose experiences are different to mine?
  • Can poetry, music or other art forms help us tell these stories?
This promises to be a really interesting and powerful session. It's also free of charge but places should be reserved, which you can do here. See more info on the event here. The sessions will be at Migrant Voice, 200A Pentonville Road, London N1 9JP.

Feel At Home, 21st March (7 week course)

Join Migrant Voice for a series of creative, hands-on workshops where they will explore the benefits of video making to tell stories of integration from your perspective as migrants. The seven workshop sessions will:  

  • Encourage creative expression through video making;  
  • Develop practical, introductory video making skills;  
  • Create powerful audio-visual messages

The course will have 7 sessions starting from Thursday 21 March, followed by the next 6 Thursdays 6–8.30pm`at Migrant Voice, Voluntary Action Islington,  200A Pentonville Road, London N1 9JP. To register your interest in the project visit the Migrant Voice websitecontact or

New Post Placement Support Project by Children and Families Across Borders (CFAB)

CFAB’s Post Placement Support Project will provide tailored support to children who are arriving in the UK under Dublin III or via other routes to live with extended family members. The project will provide early help support to young people and the family members who are caring for them, for up to 12 months. The project aims to support families through: 

  •  Support based on the needs of the child or young person, including the development of an individual support plan
  •  Increasing awareness and access to relevant local services 
  •  Advice & signposting regarding financial support & other entitlements in the UK 
  •  Support in navigating emotional and practical issues arising from changing family dynamics, including supporting carers with parenting skills, respite care, peer support groups and family group conferencing. 

Referrals must be made by organisations supporting families and with the consent of the individual. To request a referral form, email uk or or phone 020 3780 7225.

National News and Updates From Our Sanctuary Network

Refugee Week 2019 Conference  

There was a great turnout for the planning meeting last month for this year's Refugee Week (17–23rd June 2019). The event featured musical performances and talks from various refugee support groups such as the FamiliesTogether campaign. This year's theme for Refugee Week across the country will be 'You, Me and Those That Came Before'. Read a blogpost here about the day from one of the attendees. If you're interested in getting involved or would like to organise an event as part of Refugee Week, contact

Right to Rent Scheme Ruled Incompatible with Human Rights Law
The government's controversial 'Right to Rent' scheme was found this week to be incompatible with current human rights laws. The ruling was decided by the high court. Mr Justice Spencer judged the policy unlawful because it causes landlords to discriminate against British citizens from minority backgrounds as requiring landlords to check immigration status often led to racial discrimination. Read more here.

Stansted 15 Given No Jail Time
At the beginning of February the Stansted 15, a group of activists who chained themselves to a UK Home Office charter flight plane to prevent deportations of people with unresolved asylum claims, faced their court ruling. In October 2018 they were charged under a terrorism law, The Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990, which carries a maximum life sentence. However, the activists were given community orders or instructions to complete unpaid work instead of jail time. Sentencing the defendants, Judge Christopher Morgan said: 'In normal circumstances only a normal custodial sentence would have been justified in this case, but in your case I accept that your intentions were to demonstrate.'

Inspection of Home Office Treatment of Young Asylum Seekers
A new inspection has been agreed into the Home Office treatment of young asylum seekers in the UK after evidence given by young people living in Sussex. This follows a meeting organised by young leaders from the Hummingbird Project in Brighton who travelled to London to give personal testimony of their experiences. Congratulations to the young leaders for this achievement! Read more on this story here.

The Detention Forum Launch New Social Media Campaign
The UK is currently the only country that allows indefinite detention. The Detention Forum are calling on Home Secretary Sajid Javid to put an end to this. People are invited to share an image showing that they oppose the current law on detention, and share the images on social media platforms. The campaign is running 25th Feb–7th March.

Brighton Festival Lanches Under Directorship of Rokia Traoré
In February, the Brighton Festival 2019 was officially launched. We were excited to hear earlier this year that the festival's guest director is Malian singer Rokia Traoré. As well as an award-winning musician, she is currently serving as an ambassador to the United Nations Refugee Agency, representing Central and West Africa. We look forward to seeing what she does in May.

Immigration Statistics Released for October - December 2018
The immigration statistics for the final quarter of 2018 were released at the end of February. A more detailed analysis of the statistics can be found here. You can find the data tables here.

More Success for 'Lift The Ban' Campaign
Lift The Ban is an ongoing campaign to change the law that currently prohibits those seeking asylum in this country from working. In February, permission to bring in the the proposed bill to lift the ban was granted in the House of Commons following an impassioned speech by Catherine West MP who argued: 'It's our duty to ensure our asylum system is morally sound...beyond this moral case there is the equally important economic argument...lifting the ban would provide an opportunity for the government to generate larger tax revenues'. The second reading will take place on 22nd March.
Keep up to date with the campaign's progress here.

Not Seen, Not Heard: Children’s Experiences of the Hostile Environment
Project 17 have launched their Seen and Heard campaign, calling on local authorities to meet all children’s essential needs, regardless of immigration status. They have published a new report, Not Seen, Not Heard: Children’s Experiences of the Hostile Environment, which notes that “the government’s commitment to creating a ‘hostile environment’ for migrants trumps its commitment to children’s rights, rendering the children in destitute migrant families ‘second class citizens’.” It finds that Home Office policy has pushed the burden of supporting children onto local authorities, which are facing the pressures of austerity and budget cuts. The report found that many children are living in poor conditions, without enough space or privacy, often far away from their schools, friends and support networks.
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
Sanctuary on Sea 
Copyright © 2019 Sanctuary on Sea, All rights reserved.

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