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Your Monthly Update - December 2019 🎄


Dear <<First Name>>, 

Welcome to your December update with upcoming events, campaigns and news from our City of Sanctuary network. For this month we've also put together a few ideas for gifts you can give at this time of year where some of the proceeds go toward projects working with refugees.

The fantastic Refugee Tales are running their 28 tales for 28 Days campaign again this December to protest indefinite detention in this country. The UK is the only European country that allows this. Each day for 28 days in December a new story is released from someone who has experienced detention. You can visit the site each day to read a new tale, and another reason why the law must change. 

Enjoy the festive season - and have a happy new year!  

Best wishes,

Ruby Cardona Senker
Sanctuary on Sea volunteer 


In the newsletter this month:

We 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. 

Don't forget you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:
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Ground update from Calais
Hello, newsletter editor Ruby here with an update on the situation in Calais. I travelled with a small group at the end of November to volunteer for three days with Care4Calais, a charity that has been working on the ground since the 'jungle' emerged in 2015. They have continued to support destitute refugees in the area as the situation has evolved. Media coverage in the UK has died down but the situation there is still desperate. Refugees did not disappear when the jungle did, and despite the attempts of French authorities to disperse people and destroy anything resembling a camp, people continue to congregate in the area inthe hope of crossing to the UK. But border controls have tightened and refugees are forced to take increasingly dangerous routes to enter the country - highlighted by the recent tragedy in Essex.

The weather has turned bitterly cold and wet in Northern France and refugees face a daily struggle to stay warm and dry. Care4Calais work hard to distribute clothes, toiletries and other essential items. At present, waterproof boots are the most highly sought after, but due to the high numbers of refugees it is incredibly difficult to give out so many pairs when the charity rely on second hand donations.

Despite the circumstances, almost all refugees will greet you with a smile. At an Afghan camp in Calais, young boys were playing cricket by the roadside, giving each other haircuts and listening to music. It's easy to forget for a moment why they are there.

At one of the larger sites at Dunkirk, home to around 450 people, we gave out thick jumpers which were well-received, despite no two being the same. Lots of them were chatty and especially keen to talk about British football - luckily we had a fan in our midst who proved very entertaining for them with his pronunciations of football players' names from their country! 

Until we create safe, legal routes to enter this country, refugees are stuck at 
Calais, trying to find a way to make the crossing and in the meantime, trying just to survive. The tireless work of charities like Care4Calais help keep them alive day to day. But we need a long term solution that means they can travel safely to the UK, and start the new lives they deserve. The City of Sanctuary movement is a part of this, as we continue to create a culture of welcome across the country.

If you want to kindly donate items, money or some of your time, it is desperately needed especially over the winter months - see how you can help here. Calais Action Brighton often send items in bulk so keep an eye out here for upcoming collections in the area.
Local Updates 

Hummingbird Young Leader granted asylum

We're so pleased to share the fantastic news that Naqeeb, a young Afghan who lives in Worthing, has been granted asylum in this country after a long and uncertain application process. He is a talented table tennis player and uses his skills to teach children, older people and those with disabilities at the Brighton Table Tennis Club. Naqeeb has even set up Worthing Ping! a new table tennis club in Worthing. He speaks regularly at community events and is involved in campaigning for better treatment for refugees. His constant hard work in support of others led to him being awarded the Community Campaigner of the Year Award by the Houses of Parliament earlier this year. He will now continue to do great work in the community - we're lucky to have him! Read more here about the Hummingbird Project.
University of Sussex pledges to welcome refugees
The University of Sussex has signed two co-ordinated pledges to welcome and support refugees. Sussex is one of 15 universities that signed a UK pledge, timed to coincide with World Access to Higher Education Day on 26 November 2019 alongside a global statement of support coordinated by the UN refugee committee, UNHCR. 

In signing the pledges, the University of Sussex is committing to continue and expand its work to open up its campus to refugees and is calling on fellow institutions to take similar steps. The pledges will be submitted to the first ever Global Refugee Forum happening this month.

An informal working group of staff and students across the University of Sussex are working on an application to become a University of Sanctuary, as part of the national City of Sanctuary scheme. This is an initiative to recognise the good practice of universities that welcome people seeking sanctuary into their communities and seek to foster a culture of awareness and inclusivity. If you would like to find out more about this initiative or join the working group, please contact Dr Judith Townend in the School of Law, Politics and Sociology.
Jubilee Library presented with a tapestry in support of Library of Sanctuary bid
The Network of International Women has presented Nora Carr from the Jubilee Library with a beautiful, hand sewn tapestry in support of the Library’s bid to become a Library of Sanctuary.  Aiming to be a place where seekers of sanctuary feel safe and welcome, the Library hosts a meeting of the Network every Wednesday morning, has taken on members as volunteers and is working with them on adding to its collection of bilingual and international books.
New Care4Calais collection point in Hove
A new point for gathering donations to send to Calais has been set up in Hove. It is open evenings after 6pm and all day on Wednesdays. More details about dropping off here. Please remember that donations must be good quality, useful items and it is best to check which items are most needed before donating. They provide regular updates here.
Wellsbourne Practice now a safe surgery
We are pleased to share the news that the Wellsbourne Practice in East Brighton is now a Safe Surgery. This means that proof of address and ID will not be barriers to registration, there is help available to fill in the forms, people will always be given an interpreter when needed and everyone will be treated with respect by all staff. Visit their website here and please share this information with anyone who might benefit.
Coming up in Brighton & Hove

Sanctuary Café opening night, 13 December
A new monthly café where there are no roles and just one rule: 'love is all you need'. The idea is to create a space where we can share food and friendship with people seeking safety in our city. Food will be veggie and free or by donation. It starts on Friday 13th December, 6 – 8pm, and will continue on one Saturday of each month - all dates here.

From the sea to the cities: 5 years of Alarm Phone, 13 December

In the first 9 months of 2019 over 63,000 people risked their lives crossing the Mediterranean to Europe. More than 1,000 are thought to have drowned. In that time Alarm Phone, a network of 200 activists straddling the hostile border between Europe and Africa, took calls from almost 300 boats. Brighton Alarm Phone is just one part of this network, taking direct action against the policies of Fortress Europe. Since 2014 Alarm Phone activists have worked collectively 24/7 to support over 2,800 boats to seek safety. Find out more about their work and new book at this book launch and info session. There will also be music from the amazing Khadim Sarr from Bakk Lamp Fall. Starts 7pm at Cowley Club, 12 London Road, Brighton, BN1 4JA. Free entry but £5 donation encouraged.
Winter Wordfest, 15 December 
Nine students from the Migrant English Project (MEP) have been working with poet Kay Walton, sharing stories and ideas on the theme of Lost and Found. These poems are going to be shared by the students at a special event that Kay runs each year at the Jubilee Library. The Wordfest is a special event that gives MEP students and young poets of the city a space to raise their voices and be heard in the community. It is family friendly, free to attend and takes place Sunday 15th December from 2-3.30 at Jubilee Library (Jubilee St, Brighton BN1 1GE). 
Xmas table top, 19 December 
The BMECP are holding a Christmas event at the BMECP Centre on Thursday 19 December from 10am-1pm.
 
The BMECP have received a huge donation of children's clothes up to age 11/12years, toys for all ages, books and games which they are hoping to distribute to any families in need. 

There will also be hot drinks and mince pies available!


The centre is located at 10a Fleet Street, Brighton, BN1 4ZE.
Burning the Clocks, 21 December
On Saturday 21st December a group of MEP students who have been working with poet Kay Walton will be taking part in the wonderful annual community event of Burning the Clocks, a Brighton tradition for over 20 years. The group have been sharing ideas and stories on the theme of lost and found and Kay has been writing poetry with them on these themes. These ideas have been represented on lanterns that the group have designed and will be carried on the lantern parade through town. They will be walking near the front of the parade by flag number 5 so keep an eye out! They will also be broadcasting their poetry on the walk, so do come and find a place to watch this unique parade which finishes up on the beach with a huge firework display. The parade starts New Road at 6.30pm on Saturday 21st December - more info and the route here.
Cooking on a budget, starting Jan 16
In this five-week course, participants learn how to create delicious, low-cost meals with store cupboard essentials – from chilli to curry and soups to cakes – as well as how to love (and make the most of) any leftovers. Each session includes a shared lunch, and most dishes cooked during the course are vegetarian. The course will also cover key cookery skills, advice on healthy eating and nutrition and tips for smarter shopping. Booking is open now and the total cost of the course is £25 (£5 per session). This is aimed at people in receipt of means tested benefit, but is also open to people on low income so get in touch with Kate if you're not sure about eligibility - info@bhfood.org.uk / 01273 234810. It takes place on Thursdays 10 - 12.30pm from 16 January 2020 to 13 February. Book a place here.
Our gift guide: presents for a good cause
Searching for a gift that's a bit more meaningful? Here are some ideas for presents that will help refugees 
Hummingbird Hearts
Our friends at the Hummingbird Project are selling their lovely handmade hearts. They're a great stocking filler or little gift to someone at this time of year. They have started selling them at Bird & Blend Tea Co. on Gardener St in the North lanes and 100% of the profits goes to the running of their services for young refugees in Brighton.
Tastes and Tales from a Distant Homeland 
This beautiful hardback recipe book has 192 pages of over 80 delicious recipes, thoughts and stories from refugee homelands. All proceeds from this book after cost of printing will go to Refugee Support Europe to help deliver aid with dignity to refugees in Cyprus. Buy the book here.
Care4Calais have a selection of reusable water bottles, mugs, t-shirts and hoodies for sale in different designs. They also have vouchers which can purchase a warm coat or pair of waterproof boots for a refugee living in northern France. Proceeds go to their work in northern France where they provide aid and support to refugees. Visit the shop here. 
The Boy at the Back of the Class
Onjali Q. Rauf's book, chosen for the Brighton Young City Read 2019, is a great way to introduce children to the theme of refugees in a positive and humorous way. Told though a child's perspective, this tale shows the power of kindness when we meet people different to us. Suitable for 9-13 year olds. Order a copy here.
 
Thousand4£1000 are selling a selection of Christmas card designs including the popular Welcome Blanket and the Woman on Beach motif. Prices are £1 per card, £5 for 6 cards, or £10 for 12 cards and the money will fund their work helping destitute refugees and migrants in Brighton. If you are interested, get in touch with them on Facebook here
The Choose Love shop
Help Refugees have created the first shop where you can buy real presents for refugees. Whether it's a warm blanket or a child's coat, your purchase goes directly to those who need it. Or pick up one of the Choose Love t-shirts in black or white, designed by Katharine Hamnett in a play on her famous ‘CHOOSE LIFE’ slogan. Browse online here or visit the London store.
Regular events in Brighton & Hove
Sanctuary Café, Saturdays 
The new Sanctuary Café runs once a month on Saturday afternoons at the Hove Methodist church (Portland Rd, Hove BN3 5NF). The idea is to create a space where we can share food and friendship with people seeking safety in our city. Food is veggie and free or with donation.

See the dates for 2019/2020 here.
Global Social Club, Mondays
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.
Global Tots, Mondays (monthly)
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.

 
Jollof Café, Tuesdays
The Jollof serves delicious, vegan African food at just £4 a meal. Based at the Cowley Club from 12.30pm every Tuesday. The Cowley is located at 12 London Rd, Brighton BN1 4JA.
The Real Junk Food Café, Wednesdays
Hosted on Wednesdays at St John the Baptist Parish Hall, in collaboration with Brighton Voices in Exile and Brighton Table Tennis Club, the Real Junk Food Project turn food that would otherwise have been wasted into delicious meals cooked by professional chefs. The meal is pay-as you feel and leftover produce is available to take away on a donation basis. The hall is located at 2 Bristol Rd, Brighton BN2 1AP.

The Network of International Women for Brighton & Hove, Wednesdays
The network provides a platform for women from different cultures and backgrounds to meet, share experience and knowledge and support one another. Meet to sew, knit, make crafts and chat. No experience necessary, free to attend. Join in on Wednesdays, 10am - 12. For more information contact intlwomensnetwork@gmail.com. 

Coming up in London and the South East
Refugee Solidarity Summit, 31 Jan-1 Feb 
The Refugee Solidarity Summit 2020 will be a convening of UK registered grassroots non profit organisations and activists who are operating in the area of refugee support, welcome and activism in the UK and all over Europe. It will be the first major convening of the grassroots refugee support network since they began working collectively in 2015. It will also welcome many UK based organisations that are more well established and which have been active for many years in the UK, bringing the sector together to share and learn from each others successes and mistakes. Please register your interest here so the organisers can gauge numbers.
National news from our Sanctuary network
Supreme court rules Home Office unlawfully detained asylum seekers
The Home Office falsely imprisoned thousands of asylum seekers between January 2014 and March 2017, including survivors of torture and trafficking. Many will now be entitled to damages for their loss of liberty at the hands of the government, following the judgment in a case about asylum seekers awaiting transfer to other EU countries under the "Dublin system". 
Separated migrant children now in scope of legal aid
Vulnerable migrant children who have been separated from their parents will get quicker and simpler access to legal aid, after new government legislation came into force on 25 October 2019. The Legal Aid for Separated Children Order 2019 will bring non-asylum immigration and citizenship matters into the scope of legal aid for under 18s who are not in the care of a parent, guardian or legal authority. Previously, vulnerable children making such applications to remain in the UK could only apply for legal aid through the Exceptional Case Funding (ECF) scheme. The Ministry of Justice has worked with the Children’s Society and other children’s charities on the amendment and will continue to do so as it comes into force.
UK universities pledge to welcome refugees on World Access to Higher Education Day, November 26
The City of Sanctuary network has welcomes the commitment shown on World Access to Higher Education Day (Nov 26th) from UK universities who have pledged support for refugee access to education. The universities made the commitment in response to Student Action for Refugees' and City of Sanctuary’s call on higher education institutions and refugee education organisations to commit to the UNHCR goal of 15% of refugees in higher education by 2030. It currently stands at 3%. The pledge was signed by 17 universities and sits alongside a global statement of support coordinated by UNHCR.
First Theatres of Sanctuary gathering
Friday 15th of November 2019 was the first ‘Theatre of Sanctuary’ Network Gathering, bringing together 35 individuals from across the network working within theatre to promote sanctuary at Leeds Playhouse. Read more.
#UnlockingDetention2019
Please consider engaging with this year's Detention Forum social media campaign raising awareness of indefinite detention in the UK. This year, they are asking people to describe detention in 3 words. You do not have to have personal experience of being detained - just an opinion on it. Tweet your three words and use the hashtag #Unlocked19. Pictures and videos tend to perform better on sites like Twitter - for content ideas check out their guide.
Asylum Matters launches new resources on the Asylum Accommodation and Support Contract
Asylum Matters has launched new resources focusing on the Asylum Accommodation and Support Contract (AASC) and the Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility (AIRE) contract.
City of Sanctuary are recruiting a new trustee
City of Sanctuary are seeking a new trustee to join the Board of Trustees in a secretarial role. Ideally the candidate will be experienced in secretarial duties such as organising board meetings, taking the minutes, managing correspondence, managing updates and background information required by the board of trustees, keeping records of membership, and other similar administrative responsibilities. Here is the full Secretary Task Description. For further information and a chat please contact Sian Summers-Rees as soon as possible - sian@cityofsanctuary.org.
New online process for Sanctuary applications
The City of Sanctuary team have been developing an online application process to make it easier to apply for a Sanctuary Awards. It is still in the test stages but can be accessed here. You will need to login or create an account to start an application.
Call for images for new Schools of Sanctuary resource pack
The updated national resource pack is nearly ready for design but City of Sanctuary need photos illustrating the great work happening in schools and also art work from children in Schools of Sanctuary. Can you help? It's also not too late to share a case study. Please email sara.trewhitt@cityofsanctuary.org
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.
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