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Your Monthly Update - February 2019

** Stop Press **
Our Sanctuary on Sea AGM will be held on 25th February from 5 - 7.30pm at the BMECP Centre.  This year's theme will be:
"Young  people's experience of racism in Brighton & Hove - challenges and responses."
This event is open to anyone interested in the work we do. We hope to see you there

Dear <<First Name>>, 

Welcome to your monthly update for February, with local and national updates from our Sanctuary community plus information about lots of exciting events lined up this month. Here's what's coming up to keep you out of the cold: Don't forget you can keep up to date with us on Facebook and Twitter.
Local Updates
Holocaust Memorial Day Public Meeting 
on theme of 'Torn from Home'
On Wednesday 30th January, The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and Stand up to Racism held a public meeting to
commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day 2019 with a range of speakers from local and national organisations. This year's official theme for Holocaust Memorial is 'torn from home' and so discussions centred around the links between the mass dislocation of Jews and other persecuted minorities during the Second World War with those today that are forced to flee around the globe. David Rosenberg from the Jewish Socialists' Group and Unite Against Fascism spoke powerfully about the history of the Holocaust and the birth of Holocaust Memorial Day in 2001. He and Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah, from Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue, both highlighted the complicity of the British wartime government in the atrocities that took place across Nazi-occupied Europe. Parallels were drawn between the reluctance of the government then and now to take in refugees.

Founder of Thousand4£1000 Jacob Berkson gave a powerful statement about the problem of Othering, and the inherently racist policies and institutions that exist in this country. Cath Senker, award-winning author of Far From Home: Refugees and Migrants Fleeing War, Persecution and Poverty spoke about the work she does at the Migrant English Project, a non-jugemental, safe space for migrants and refugees to learn English, socialise and feel part of a community. Lots of thought-provoking points were made throughout the evening, raising  interesting discussions among attendees and speakers alike. Stand Up to Racism will be posting all of the speeches made at the event on their Facebook page.
New Community Cafe - prevent food waste and raise money for refugees!
The Real Junk Food Project Brighton currently run their community cafes in several locations across the city. Their mission is to take food that would be otherwise wasted from the large supermarkets and make delicious meals for the community. Any leftover ingredients or packaged foods are available to take or pay as you feel. The hot meals are also pay as you feel. Real Junk Food launched a new cafe in January to run for four weeks, and this time it's a collaboration between The Real Junk Food Project Brighton, Voices In Exile and Brighton Table Tennis Club. The final one will take place on 6th February at St John the Baptist’s Church Hall, 2 Bristol Road, Brighton BN2 1AP, 1 -2.30pm. More info here.
Lord Dubs visits Brighton to find out about needs of young refugees
Sanctuary on Sea was one of the local organisations invited to meet with Lord Dubs and Lord Bassam to brief them on the mental health needs of young refugees in Brighton & Hove. Lord Dubs, who arrived in this country on the Kindertransport aged 6, has been leading efforts to help a new generation of unaccompanied child refugees in Europe and on their arrival to the UK. Members of the Sanctuary Project, the Hummingbird Project and others highlighted that the Home Office causes delays and complications in the asylum procedure, often re-traumatising young people. Hummingbird young leader Naqeeb mentioned how the difficult process of asylum-seeking and the fear around being sent back can cause mental health problems. 
It was encouraging to hear of the great work being done by so many different statutory services and voluntary organisations to support young refugees in our city, all of whom brought unique talents and potential. But health and education services are badly stretched, particularly for young people in crisis. The transition at 18 is a particularly difficult time for young refugees with mental health needs, as it is for other young people. We realised we needed to coordinate better: as Darren from Crisis Classroom said, it takes a community for someone to feel they belong. The information gathered from this meeting will inform a report to be produced for Lord Dubs by Katherine Hay, a researcher, with a view to persuading the government to put more funding into this area.
New mother and toddler group for refugee and migrant families, starts 28th Jan
The Brighton Quakers Sanctuary Group has begun hosting a free mother and toddler group for refugees and migrants at the Friends Meeting House. It will be on the last Monday of the month from 10 am to 12 noon. It will offer a safe space for mums, babies and toddlers to meet, play, socialise and be given support with English and signposting to services for parents and young children.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 (story/ songs). For further details, contact Laura at or see more info here.
Support Hummingbird Project
Our partners at the Hummingbird Refugee Project who provide aid and solidarity to refugees and migrants have some wonderful things for sale at their Etsy store and at Caccia and Tails in Lewes. They still have stock of their heart pin-badges and their hand drawn greeting cards. All the profits go to supporting the great work that they do in Brighton and beyond.
Coming up in Brighton and Hove 
Survivors Speak Out - Day of Events, 7th Feb
Survivors Speak Out (SOS) is a survivor-led activist network made up of men and women who have fled persecution and sought protection in the UK. Network members are all former clients of Freedom from Torture and come from around the UK. On the 7th of February they are putting on a day of events and discussions to spread the message about their work. The timetable will be as follows:
  • University of Sussex Chaplaincy Theology Cafe 11-12am. A weekly discussion group in the Meeting House (chaplaincy building) at the University of Sussex. It will focus on a topic/discussion question relevant to SSO, with refreshments provided. 
  • University of Sussex Lunchtime Presentation 12-3pm. A presentation about the work of SSO followed by questions and asnwers session in the Meeting House - with lunch provided!
  • Presentation about SSO 7:00-8:30pm. A presentation about the work of SSO at the Chapel Royal Chaplaincy Drop-in Cafe (located at the University of Sussex). 
Come along to any or all of the day's events! For more information or enquiries, contact SOS founder and coordinator Kolbassia Haoussou at
The Scribe Tribe, starting 11th Feb
The Scribe Tribe is a new writing course composed of a series of literary writing exercises focusing on  global cultural heritage. It's back by popular demand! The first hour of each session will include fascinating examples of story-telling styles, folk tales, cultural traditions, poetry, and stage & screen writing throughout history in many countries across the world. The writing level is beginner so everyone is welcome, and the course is free of charge. Read more about it here.
Refugee Valentine's, 14th Feb
Love transcends borders! Brighton Migrant Solidarity, Thousand4£1000, Jollof Cafe and Sussex Refugee and Migrant Self Support Group (SRMSSG) are hosting valentine's day this year to celebrate love and diversity. There is a great line up of local refugee and migrant bands bringing the music of their international origins to create a night that defies categorization as either global or local. The headlines are: Bakk Lamp Fall, a group of West-African percussion instrumentalists combined with the awesome vocal power of their Senegalese singer Khadim Sarr. They will be joined by TangerineCat, a  collaboration between Ukrainian born Eugene Purpurovsky and English born Paul Chilton. Join them on 14th February, 7pm to 11pm, at the Rose Hill Tavern - Tickets are available here, and are free for refugees and migrants.
Without Borders, 23rd Feb
London based Modulus String Quartet join forces with the New Network Singers to perform an array of new works composed in response to one of the biggest challenges of our time, the migrant crisis. The performance features World premieres by Eastbourne based composers, Melody Woodham, Clive Whitburn and Tim Laverack alongside music by Bafta award winning composer and Classic FM presenter, Jessica Curry.

The concept behind ‘Without Borders’ is to focus on the human cost of the migrant crisis whilst doing something practical to help. All profits from the concert will be directed to their nominated charity, Migrant Help, who offer support for vulnerable migrants and victims of human trafficking and modern slavery. The musicians hope that by keeping the migrant crisis in public view it will remain high on the political agenda. This event will take place in Eastbourne at the The Birley Centre, 4 Carlisle Rd, Eastbourne BN21 4EF. Get your ticket here.
Sussex Interpreting Services AGM, 28th Feb
The Sussex Interpreting Service (SIS) are a Brighton-based organisation providing essential interpreting services to those in need. They are holding their AGM on Thursday 28th February from 14.00 - 16.30 at the Brighthelm Auditorium. There will be a welcome and introduction from the organisation's chair, Jen Henwood, followed by a series of discussions including a summary of the previous year by Director Shahreen Shebli. There will also be stalls and opportunities for networking. Lots of similar organisations in the Brighton area will be represented, including Brighton Table Tennis Club, Migrant English Project, Brighton Voices in Exile, Switchboard (for LGBTQ support) and Money Advice Plus. There will be ample opportunity to learn about who SIS are and what they do, plus lots of engaging discussions and chances for networking. 
Maté Café
The Mate Cafe is continuing! The Café has Maté tea, vegan Syrian breakfast and music. They often host dance and percussion workshops plus a multilingual choir. Come down to the Cowley Club on Sunday 3rd February, 12 - 3pm, to join in and enjoy a delicious meal. Keep up to date with the cafe on Facebook as more dates will be added.
Jollof Café
The Jollof Cafe runs every Tuesday lunchtimes (12.30 - 3pm) at the Cowley Club serving homemade West African vegan food. It's family-friendly, open to everyone and the meal is pay as you feel! All proceeds go to Brighton Migrant Solidarity. 
Raise Legal Fees for Momodou
Thousand4£1000, a Brighton-based refugee organisation, is currently raising funds for Momodou so that he can afford a barrister in order to obtain Leave to Remain in the UK. Momodou, who is from Gambia, has two children in Brighton and would like to continue to be a parent and part of their lives here. He engages with the local community in a creative way running sand art workshops. He is also an artist producing pieces based on his global experiences including his local culture from Gambia. He is a vital member of the Sussex Refugee and Migrant Self-support group, Jollof Community Cafe, and has been involved with local charities such as Thousand for 1000 (T4K) and Crisis Classroom. You can donate here directly, or you can choose to contribute by purchasing one of his unique artworks.
Calais Action Brighton - Seeking Storage Space
Calais Action Brighton are looking for storage space. They need enough space for at least 50 large bags. They have an average of 10 bags distributed around Brighton any time, but would be able to collect more and be more efficient if more storage space was available. The space needs to be dry and Calais Action would need access maybe once a week or more during busy periods. They can be contacted here.
Young Voice Project Tackling Hatred           

People aged 18-30 are invited to join the new Young Voice social media project where they will engage with Brighton & Hove City Council to put out positive messages celebrating our diverse communities, build cohesion and stand together against all forms of hate. Participants will receive two days free social media training from a leading communications company, and ongoing support. Following the training there will be the opportunity to attend regular awareness sessions on topics relating to diversity, inclusion and cohesion. This a great opportunity to be part of a fun project, meet new people, gain skills for your CV and be part of something positive, building stronger communities. 

If you are interested or would like more information about the project please email or phone Melinda King on 01273 292949. The sessions will be starting toward the end of February.
Coming up in London and the South East
Sentencing Solidarity - The Stansted 15
The date for the sentencing hearing has now been set to Wednesday 6th February. Last year 15 people peacefully stopped a secretive deportation flight from leaving. After a 10 week trial they were found guilty of a terror-related charge. Join the protest outside Chelmsford Crown Court (3-5 New Street, London, CM1 1NT) to stand in solidarity with the Stansted 15 as they face sentencing and to demand an end to brutal deportation flights, inhumane indefinite detention, and the hostile environment. More info here.
Refugee Family Reunion Practitioner Conference, 6th March
The Families Together Programme will be holding its first Refugee Family Reunion Practitioner Conference on Wednesday 6th March at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations offices in Kings Cross, London. Families Together works to tackle the barriers preventing the reunion of refugee and migrant families. They also take care of the immediate integration needs of new families settling into this country. This event has been co-organised by the British Red Cross and Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit. For further enquiries about the day, please contact Vanessa Cowan at
UN Anti-Racism Day Demonstration 2019, March 16th

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 & the far right has been defeated. See more info about the day here.
National News and Updates From Our Sanctuary Network

The 'Dialect of Dehumanistation' Report Released
Unlocking Detention recently released a report on the language used to speak about migrants in this country.This follows research into the specific words and phrases used publicly to describe and refer to migrants and any associated issues by lawyer Patrick Page. The report finds that the terms commonly used are often offensive. This is directly related to the 'hostile environment' created by this government toward migrants and refugees in this country. You can read the report in full here

UK Parliament Awards 2019
It's time for the annual UK Parliament awards, launched last year, which recognises individuals who have made parliament more accessible to people throughout the UK. This year, Hummingbird have put forward their Young Leaders for their campaigning, leadership and advocacy. You can nominate them under ‘Community Campaigner of the Year’. The Speaker of the House, a panel of MPs, Lords and independent judges will choose the Award winners. Applications close on Sunday 3 February 2019, so vote now!

Vote Here

Brighton's Young City Reads book about refugee boy makes 'Read for Empathy' list
Oniali Rauf's tale about a refugee boy settling in the UK, which became Brighton and Hove's Young City Reads book of 2019 late last year, has earned a place on Empathy Lab's Read for Empathy list for 2019. Empathy Lab is an organisation aiming to build children's empathy, literacy and social activism through the use of high quality literature. It's great to see recognition increasing for this wonderful story of children's empathy and acceptance of each other.

Help with Refugee Week 2019

There are still opportunities to organise an event for Refugee Week 2019 which takes place in June. We are keen for it to be refugee and migrant-led - do get in touch if you would like to help organise or run an event/activity or have ideas for funding.
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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