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Your Monthly Update - May 2019

Dear <<First Name>>, 

Welcome to your update of refugee related events, campaigns and activities going on in Brighton and Hove for the month of May. We've been busy planning for Refugee Week 2019, happening next month, which looks to be the biggest one yet. There's still time to get involved if you'd like to organise an activity, cook delicious food to sell, volunteer at an event or something else! Send us an email at or contact our Brighton Refugee Week Facebook page.

In the newsletter this month:

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

We try to promote any refugee or migrant-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 

Refugee Week 2019

Plans for Refugee Week are now well underway and we have hosted several meetings so far to organise the week's events. However, there is still lots to be done and June 17–23 is just around the corner. We have a classical concert at Brighton College on 20th June for World Refugee Day and a night of refugee and migrant bands performing at the Latest Music Bar on Sunday 23rd. On the 23rd we will fill the whole of the Dome and Brighton Museum with activities. We're so thrilled that pianist Margaret Fingerhut will also be performing a special concert in Brighton College on World Refugee Day - the 23rd - info here. 

If you are interested in joining the organising committee, or have an idea for an event or activity – food, performance, workshop – that could be held at the Dome or Museum, feel free to get in touch with us at 

To stay up to date with our plans for the week, follow our new Brighton Refugee Week Facebook page
Sanctuary on Sea meets with Diane Abbott MP

Supporters and friends of Sanctuary on Sea joined LGBT+ colleagues at The Rainbow Hub to brief Diane Abbott, Shadow Home Secretary, on issues affecting both communities, including a significant rise in hate crime since the EU Referendum, housing, and under-reporting of crime, including domestic violence. People from refugee communities talked about the Home Office's delays in asylum decision-making and its climate of disbelief, its policy of indefinite detention, the lack of legal aid and the pain of being separated from family members and being unable to reunite. 

Diane Abbott said that successive governments - including Labour - had made the immigration and asylum system harsh and draconian, that the Home Office was chaotic and that she was committed to reforming the system. But we all had a role to play, she said, in 'doing the heavy lifting' to change public attitudes with face-to-face conversations, one person at a time. 

Kwibuka - remembering the Rwandan Genocide 

To mark the anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda 25 years ago, the Brighton-based Rwandan youth group rYico held a special evening of remembrance in Brighton. Personal testimonies were read by Rwandan diaspora in the UK, and were joined by the mayor of Brighton and Hove as well as refugee solidarity groups in the city. Add at the end, Jacob Berkson from Brighton Migrant Solidarity drew attention to Europe’s complicity in the genocide: ''We don't want to look at the genocide against the Tutsi because to do so would be to understand that the only thing Europe exported to Africa, while it was busy appropriating its resources and its wealth, was a genocidal logic.''
Report from Calais and Dunkirk, April 2019
On 12 April a delegation from Brighton and Hove Stands Up to Racism, including Sanctuary on Sea volunteer and newsletter editor Ruby Cardona Senker, visited the Care4Calais team working in northern France. They spent three days assisting the small team there to provide essential aid to the refugee communities across sites in Calais and Dunkirk. We put together packs of essential items such as new t-shirts, deodorant and underwear - all are important to survive whilst sleeping rough and to preserve the dignity of the refugees. The services that Care4Calais take out on a weekly basis are popular with the refugees: hair cutting especially, which the refugees undertake for one another.

On the Friday night, refugees in the area held a vigil at Calais beach to commemorate those who had lost their lives on the journey to Europe. Some spoke of friends or family members who had drowned at sea trying to cross the Mediterranean. They had filled a wooden casket with flowers which they carried into the sea as a symbolic gesture, and invited attendees to place a flower in the ocean too. More than 27,000 people have drowned making the crossing since 1993.

Care4Calais rely on the kind donations that people can spare, or even buy, as new items are in high demand. Our delegation brought 100 pairs of new, black joggers which were gratefully received. If you wish to send items, please check the 
Care4Calais Facebook page, where they regularly update their most-needed list. This way, your donations will be as useful as possible.
Leafleting for Thousand4£1000, May/June

Thousand4£1000 need help leafleting at Brighton Festival and Fringe events coming up in May and June to raise awareness of the great work they do preventing homelessness among refugees and migrants in Brighton. If you can spare just one or two hours of your time to help please Sign up here
Call for LGBTQ+ participants
Have you applied for asylum in the UK as a gender or sexual minority? I am a PhD candidate at City, University of London, looking for LGBTQ+ refugees to share their stories (anonymously). The interview will focus on your gender/sexual identity, experiences of living in different countries, and interactions with the UK asylum process. This research will be used to assess whether current UK asylum guidance and practice is compatible with people’s experiences. For further information about the study, I can be reached at:
Take the ration challenge in June
Do you think that you could survive on the same rations as Syrian refugees living in Jordanian camps? For two weeks you'll eat small portions of rice, flour, lentils, chickpeas, beans, fish and oil – and get sponsored. The money you raise will provide food, medicine and education for refugees, and support the wider work of Concern Worldwide to tackle hunger and extreme poverty among the most vulnerable people in the world’s poorest places. Join the 40,000 others who have taken up the Ration Challenge so far, raising an incredible £5 million to help over 30,000 refugees. Find out more about the campaign here. It takes place for 2 weeks from 16–23 June, throughout Refugee Week 2019.
Coming up in Brighton and Hove 
Wavelength World Music Festival, 4–5th May
University Radio Falmer and One World Sussex are bringing a two-day celebration of world music and diversity to the Sussex University campus on 4–5 May. It's free, un-ticketed and open to the public. Events begin at 1pm each day. The event will include:
  • 2 Live Stages with World Music
  • Live Up-And-Coming Music
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Cocktail Bar and World Foods  
Flight, 4–22 May

Designed by Jamie Harrison (magic effects and illusions designer for the award-winning Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), Flight is a story of hope and survival. With their small inheritance stitched into their clothes, two children set off on an epic journey across Europe: they are orphaned brothers on a desperate search for freedom and safety. It will be put on as part of the Brighton Festival, with performances will take place each day from 4–22 May at the King Alfred Leisure CentreSee here for show times and booking.
Without Walls, 11 May

Join in with this day of creative new performances held at Brighton beach (near the i360). Performances will be running from 11am–8pm on 11 May, all free of charge. Among them will be The Tide performed by the Talawa Theatre Company. In their words: 'A dinghy is washed up on a shore, carrying the hopes, aspirations and dreams of its passengers as they clamber out onto land.' Co-created by writer Ryan Calais Cameron and choreographer Jade Hackett, The Tide unpicks the stories and imagery of the most pertinent issue of our era: migration. More info here.
Voices in Exile launch new migrant support service, 13 May

Designed to help migrants feel at home in Brighton, this new group will be determined by its members and supported by a paid group facilitator and four volunteers. The group will run weekly during term times and will aim to intersperse fortnightly visits all over Brighton with class-based learning. Topics to be covered will include:
  • Accessing public services (GPs, A&E, the library, opening a bank account)
  • Where to shop on a budget
  • Leisure activities
  • Local history and culture
  • Meeting new people and addressing social isolation
  • Staying healthy
  • Local participation
For referrals, please contact Rosa Jones on 07907 409267 or
Songs of Longing and Exile, 17 May

Multiple award-winning early music vocal ensemble Stile Antico have joined with Syrian oud performer Rihab Azar for a unique collaboration inspired by the challenges faced by today's refugees and migrants. Azar also plays her own semi-improvised pieces, drawing inspiration from her Syrian and Arabic roots. Poet Peter Oswald has written new texts based on migrant testimonies to fit English Rennaissance composer John Dowland's Lachrimae pavans, sung here by the 12-strong group. Tickets and more info here
Hollingdean Cooking on a Budget, from 21 May

the words cooking on a budget are displayed over a background of a wooden table with vegetables nearbyJoin this free course of cooking sessions where you'll learn new recipes and new ways to use ingredients. The course is suitable for anyone who lives around Hollingdean, from beginners to experienced cooks wanting some fresh ideas. All sessions take place on Tuesdays, 10.30–1.30pm at the Hollingdean Community Centre, Thompson Road, BN1 7BH. This would be a great opportunity for any refugee or migrant families in the area on lower incomes. A new course will be running on Tuesdays from 21 May–11 June. To sign up, contact Anna at or call 01273 563375.
Onjali Q. Rauf reads the Boy at the Back of the Class, 22 May

The annual Big Read for Sussex schools this year is Onjali Q. Rauf's humorous child's perspective on the refugee crisis, The Boy at the Back of the Class. It is a book that highlights the importance of friendship and kindness in a world that often seems confusing and unfair. Join Onjali to celebrate this wonderful book at a special live, interactive event taking place at the Brighton Dome Concert Hall from 10.30am on 22 May. Tickets from £3 hereCome and find our stall and say hello!
The Father's Tale: refugees, refugee children and the rights of, 24 May

Migrant and Refugee Solidarity at University of Brighton (MARS) welcomes Sri Lankan born novelist and Flim-maker Roma Tearne, as she reads The Father’s Tale from the upcoming third volume of Refugee Tales. Refugee Tales is a walking and story-telling project, founded by Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group, inspired by the experiences of men held in immigration detention at Gatwick.

The Father’s Tale follows the experience of a Kurdish man jailed in Turkey and then held in immigration detention in the UK. The telling of his story opens a debate about detention, its effects and the politics and ethics of representation. Why are particular communities forced to flee their homes? How does immigration detention affect people who have been persecuted? What is its effect on families? What happens to refugee children? These issues also raise important questions about how refugee stories should be told and who should tell them. The reading of the Father's Tale begins at 6.30pm, with refreshments available from 6pm, at Brighton University, 58-67 Grand Parade, Brighton BN2 0JY. More info here.
Bodies on the move: on screen and in the street, 29 May
Join performance artist Claudia Kappenberg in an investigation into the experience of migration though film and movement. It should open up new ways of understanding how and why people move. The workshop is open to all, no experience in performance required. Bodies on the move is part of the Migration and Refugee Film Festival hosted by the University of Brighton Centre for Spatial Environmental and Cultural Politics, and is also a fundraiser for Thousand4£1000. Tickets: £5 concessions/ £10 full price (please get in touch here if you would like to attend but are unable to pay). Ticket price includes refreshments. It takes place at the Sallis Benney Theatre, 58-67 Grand Parade, Brighton BN2 0JY. More information here.

This Noisy Life, 31 May–2 June
Part treasure hunt and part immersive storytelling, This Noisy Isle is set to widen children’s awareness of the challenges faced by migrants and refugees when arriving in new countries, such as learning new languages and settling into new communities. Taking inspiration from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, this modern adaptation of the classic work aims to help make concepts of human displacement and the challenges faced by migrants to the UK accessible to a young audience (ages 7-11). With over 65 million people globally displaced, human displacement is one of the defining issues of our time - This Noisy Isle tackles it head on to create an exciting and eye-opening performance. It will play from 31st May to 2nd June 2019 at the Brighton Spiegeltent, Old Steine Gardens, Brighton, BN1 1GY. Tickets available here.
Choose Love not Landfill: festival collections for refugees

At the end of every festival, hundreds of thousands of good quality clothes, sleeping bags, tents and other items are abandoned and end up in landfill. Many of these items are desperately needed by groups supplying aid to refugees in France, Greece and elsewhere. HelpRefugees are asking for much-needed volunteers to help with collecting these things at the end of festivals in June, July and August. If you're interested, you can sign up here. The form is not a commitment, just an expression of interest. For more information, email 
Hollingdean Women's ESOL Group, Wednesdays throughout May

Hollingdean resident Cicely Lloyd, an experienced English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher has set up a project to promote well-being and friendship through English language learning for women in Hollingdean. This group provides childcare at the same time, which other ESOL services rarely do. The group has been running successfully for some time and will be continuing after the Easter holiday. It will be an inclusive space, where women of all ages and children are welcome. To book a place please contact Cicely on or text or call her on 07985 245 207. More information here. It takes place at the Hollingdean Community Centre, Thompson Road, Hollingdean, Brighton BN1 7BH on Wednesdays 11.30 –1pm.
Jollof Café, Tuesdays

The Jollof Cafe runs every Tuesday lunchtime (12.30–3pm) at the Cowley Club on London Road serving delicious homemade West African vegan food. It's family-friendly, open to everyone and the meal is just £4 or a donation if possible. All proceeds go to Brighton Migrant Solidarity.
Maté Café, Saturdays 
The Maté Café is back! They serve delicious Syrian food on Saturday afternoons (12.30 – 15.00) at the Cowley Club on London Road. Plus, Maté tea, live music and activities for children. It's free and family friendly.
The Real Junk Food Café, Wednesdays throughout May and June
Real Junk Food host a weekly café 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 food 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 of the dates here.
Coming up in London and the South East
Book now for Refugee Tales 2019 
A Walk In Solidarity with Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Detainees
Booking is now open to take part in the Refugee Tales walks for 2019. Refugee Tales, now in its fourth year, is a walking and storytelling project to show solidarity with refugees, asylum seekers and immigration detainees. Working directly in collaboration with those who have experienced the UK asylum system, writers tell a series of tales en route through the English countryside. Through this sharing of stories the project gathers and communicates experiences of migration, with a focus on what indefinite detention means. This year, Refugee Tales are walking from Brighton to Hastings over the course of five days (Friday 5 July – Wednesday 10 July). You do not have to walk each day – just join on the day/s you fancy. The walks are led by experienced walk leaders and there are events organised every evening. There is more information here and book a place. 


Image: Mary Barrett
An introduction to Refugee Tales, Alfriston, 9 May

There will be a special event introducing Refugee Tales held in Alfriston, where author
Alex Preston will read The Witness’ Tale from the second volume of Refugee Tales. There will be the opportunity for questions and discussion about the tale and the wider project, which comes to Alfriston in July.

This is a free event with refreshments supplied. It starts at 7pm at Much Ado Books, 8 West Street, Alfriston, East Sussex, BN26 5UX. 

Please email to reserve your place on the night.

National News and Updates from our Sanctuary Network
Complete the GP patient survey
Could you spare a couple of minutes to complete the GP patient survey? The charity Healthwatch are keen to learn more about the patient experience in Brighton. Unfortunately, refugees and migrants can have problems accessing GPs so it would be useful to feed this back. The responses will help develop a picture of how local primary care is performing and help improve the service for all. The survey will be open until late summer. Complete it here.

Migrant and refugee scholarships for higher education
There are numerous university scholarships available to refugee and asylum-seeking students across the country. Application deadlines are coming up, with many closing in May and June - if you or someone you know might be interested take a look here. The University of York has now opened its fantastic YESS programme (University of York Experience Summer Schools) for prospective university students, and free places are available for refugees and asylum seekers. Find out more about YESS here. There is also the opportunity for remote study with the University of Arizona here.
Stop NHS charges for migrants

Changes in the Immigration Act 2014 mean that overseas visitors can be charged to access some NHS services. The term 'visitor' can include people who have been in this country for years. This treatment is yet another example of how the hostile environment makes it harder for anyone wishing to settle in the UK. A new petition has been launched to prevent this from happening - you can take the pledge 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.

The directory has been updated last month (March 2019) to include formal and informal ESOL provision in Brighton and Hove this Summer.

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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