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Your Monthly Update - December 2018

Dear <<First Name>>, 

November's been a busy month with lots of great events, plus another successful Sanctuary in parliament session, where members from Sanctuary on Sea joined in the national debate around achieving a fairer and more compassionate asylum system in the UK. The London and South-east gathering of the City of Sanctuary network took place earlier this month - see below for a summary of the day's events and discussions. We'd also like to congratulate the Global Social Club, established just this time last year, for being awarded the first ever Youth Club of Sanctuary.

With the festive season approaching, there is lots going on in December: Plus national updates, events and opportunities including Unlocking Detention: a campaign to end infinite detention at UK detainment centres, the Stories of Sanctuary album now available, a Race, Borders, Empire Workshop and the new Asylum Navigation Board Game
Local Updates 
Sanctuary in Parliament - 12th November
On November 12th Sanctuary on Sea attended the fifth annual Sanctuary in Parliament session. Around 40 MPs - including Brighton Pavilion's Caroline Lucas - and members of the House of Lords joined sanctuary seekers and their supporters advocating for a fairer, more compassionate asylum system. The key policy issues debated were:
  1. The right to work for people who have asylum claims outstanding for more than six months;
  2. Extension of refugee family reunion;
  3. An end to indefinite immigration detention
The panel session was opened by Safian, a 24 year old asylum seeker who has been waiting 7 years for a decision on his case. He spoke about how the uncertainty has affected him and his mother. Safian was followed by Kate Green MP who argued that the UK's current asylum policies are damaging our international standing. As well as speakers on the panel, Sanctuary ambassadors were given the chance to ask questions to MPs to ensure our concerns were at the forefront of the event. Both the experts by experience and the Sanctuary ambassadors were able to show how unfair the system is. You can read about the day in more detail here.
Global Social Club awarded Youth Club of Sanctuary 
We are incredibly proud that Global Social Club (GSC) has been awarded the first ever Youth Club of Sanctuary award! The GSC is run by the Hummingbird Project in partnership with the Young People's Centre Brighton and the Refugee Council, offering a place for creativity, socialising and having fun. It brings together young people seeking sanctuary with locals from the Brighton and Hove area, creating opportunities for both friendships and cultural understanding. The GSC is open for everyone aged 14 - 25 and takes place on mondays at the Young People's Centre, Ship Street, 5-7pm.
Brighton College to host Refugee Week concert 
Brighton College have provided amazing support in the past to the Syrian Community in Brighton, and we are very excited to announce that they will be hosting a Refugee Week concert in their recital room on 20th June 2019. 
Brighton pupils help refugees pass the citizenship test 
Pupils at Brighton College have been helping Syrian refugees in Brighton and Hove to learn the information needed for the British citizenship test. You can watch a short video ITV News recently produced about it. 
Support two sisters from Sudan facing tribunal hearing 
Brighton Migrant Solidarity are asking for support so that they can assist in accompanying two sisters to their tribunal hearing in London on December 3rd. As Coptic Christians, they fled persection in Sudan where a Muslim Brotherhood currently run the government. As Christians and as women, they face a dangerous life in their home country should they return. Attending a tribunal hearing can be scary and intimidating so Brighton Migrant Solidarity want to bring with as many supporters as possible - read more about the campaign and show your support here.
Support the Hummingbird shop 
Our partners at the Hummingbird Project have recently added items to their online Etsy store - greetings cards designed by a young person at the Global Social Club and little heart badges to show solidarity. You can support the great work they do by purchasing something here. The hearts are also now available in store at the Brighton Flower Company.
Brighton Festival reveal Young City Reads title: Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Raúf
Onjali Q. Raúf's book is the story of new boy Ahmet, a refugee from Syria. It is told from the point of view of one of his classmates who goes to great lengths to make friends with Ahmet and gives him a sense of belonging. Raúf portrays the refugee crisis through the eyes of a child in a way that’s accessible, warm and funny. It’s a story about friendship and how naturally children embrace, rather than fear, all our differences. Primary school children across the city will be offered the chance to read the book for free from March 2019.
Report from the City of Sanctuary London and South-East regional gathering – Saturday 3rd November, Friends House, London

Sanctuary on Sea joined City of Sanctuary groups from across the south east in London on 3rd November to share experiences and achievements. 

First to speak was Luljeta Nuzi who shared her experience of claiming asylum and the lack of support she encountered when first coming to the UK with her children. We then heard a very moving account from Priscille Manga who told us about her experiences of homelessness and destitution twenty years ago to the day – having arrived in the UK on November 3, 1998. Their stories were told bravely and were both sobering and inspiring. 

Groups from Reading, Epsom, Elmbridge, Camden, East Kent, Brent, Hastings and East Hoathly and Halland, as well as Sanctuary on Sea, talked about an amazing range of activities.
Our friends at Brighton & Hove’s Global Social Club led a workshop on creating a Youth Group of Sanctuary. Congratulations to PsycheDelight, the theatre group that brought Borderline, the show about the Calais 'Jungle' to Brighton. They were awarded Theatre Company of Sanctuary by Jonathan Ellis, vice-Chair of the City of Sanctuary movement. Sarah Bennett and Ben Glazebrook from the Global Social Club received the first ever award for a Youth Club of Sanctuary, which brings together sanctuary seekers and other young people people for friendship and solidarity.

It was a useful and inspiring day and a great opportunity to meet people from other Sanctuary groups and learn from them.

Julia Panton
Management Committee of Sanctuary on Sea
Coming up in Brighton and Hove 
Rock for Refugees, Dec 3rd
Sussex STAR (Student Action for Refugees) and Sussex Amnesty International have teamed up to put on Rock for Refugees. Join them at the Komedia for a night of dancing to a blend of alternative, alt-rock and funky music, featuring music from Dece, Opus Kink and Nature TV. All profits will be split between STAR and Amnesty International. Get your ticket for £5 here.
Volunteer with Pathways to Independence football tournament

Are you 21+ with experience of facilitating young people’s groups and available Fridays 12pm-5pm from January 2019? Are you interested in volunteering with the Pathways to Independence football tournament, starting January 2019? PTI are looking for individuals willing to devote some time to this exciting new project - if you're interested, contact Kia Kelly-Hollin at for an application form. Job description here.

Hospitable Environment - Christmas supper! Dec 14th
The holidays are coming up - it's the season of hospitality and welcome. It's the perfect time to eat together and to share what we have. The Sussex Refugee and Migrant Self Support Group invite you to their Christmas hospitable environment supper - it will be a delicious feast cooked by incredible chefs from around the world and a chance to meet and eat with your friends and neighbours. All of the proceeds will go to support members of the group in their legal struggles to win their Right to Remain. In particular, we are trying to raise money so that one of our members can pay for a medical-legal expert to evidence the enormous trauma that forced her to flee to the UK. See you at the Dorset Gardens Methodist Church, Brighton, for an evening of joy and hospitality on the 14th. Get your ticket here.
Maté Café, 1st and 8th Dec
The Mate Cafe will be continuing throughout December, with the first one taking place on Saturday the 1st. Come down to the Cowley Club for Mate tea, a vegan Syrian breakfast and music. Open 12.00 - 16.00. See the other December dates here.
The Jollof Cafe runs every Tuesday at the Cowley serving homemade West African vegan food. It's family-friendly, open to everyone and all proceeds go to Brighton Migrant Solidarity. 
Cook, Eat and Learn English
The World Food Project is a Brighton-based community group focusing on the power of cooking and eating together for social and mental wellbeing. Their accessible cookery programmes are aimed at those who might struggle to attend other courses - they have worked previously with refugees, asylum-seekers and those on a tight budget. They currently have free places going, funded by the lottery, for asylum-seekers, refugees or anyone in a similar position seeking to learn English as an additional language. Sessions include an English lesson, a cookery class and lunch. Applications are open now for the course beginning in January 2019. See here for more info and the application form.
Coming up in London and the South East
London Migration Film Festival screenings in early December
The screenings for the Migrant Film Festival have been decided and will be shown from November 29 - 5 December. You can see the full schedule here

Winter Appeal in Solidarity with Refugees, 8th Dec 

The death rate in the Mediterranean has now soared to an all time high of one in five and our government has played a leading role in the criminalisation of NGO rescue ships that now are unable to operate.

In response to the continuing crisis, Care4Calais and Stand Up to Racism are organising a solidarity visit to Calais and Dunkirk on December 8th. These organisations have been working closely together for the last three years in Northern France, bringing relief to the hundreds who are living in and around the Calais/Dunkirk areas. But supporting refugees is about more than humanitarian relief - since governments would prefer the crisis to be largely hidden, our presence is important in these places. To show your support, Care4Calais and Stand Up to Racism invite you to join them on this trip. You can also show support by donating here and raising awareness of their work.

See the event here:

Declaration of Human Rights 70th Anniversary: Refugees in Europe, Dec 13th

Our partners at the Hummingbird Project will be hosting an event alongside Refugee Rights Europe (RRE) to mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a piece of legislation that set out fundamental rights humans should be universally entitled to. This event will highlight the current human rights situation for refugees throughout Europe and consider their future. During the first part of the event, RRE will be launching the second edition of its report 'The State of Refugees and Displaced People in Europe' and a panel of RRE researchers will present their research findings from a number of European locations throughout 2018. The second part of the event will invite a panel of representatives from organisations working with refugees in the UK and wider Europe to discuss the potential for change in 2019 and beyond.

You can get your free ticket here. 
National News and Updates From Our Sanctuary Network

Unlocking Detention

The City of Sanctuary network has been supporting the Unlocking Detention campaign, taking place from 22nd October through 13th December. The campaign is raising awareness of the UK's current detention policies that allow infinite detention of refugees. In the last year alone, 26,000 people have been detained in prison-like conditions in the UK under these laws, and many are given no indication of their release date. Of those who left detention last year, one third had been there for over 29 days. The human and financial costs of these detention centres, largely hidden from the public eye, are massive. To join in with the campaign, you can:
  • Join the virtual tour of UK detention centres by following @DetentionForum and #Unlocked18 on Twitter
  • Like the Unlocking Detention page on Facebook here
  • Encourage others to join the actions above
  • Spread the word via social media - new content will be posted weekly by the campaign.

Stories of Sanctuary album now available to listen and download 

The Stories of Sanctuary album, written and recorded by refugees, sings of seeking sanctuary in the County Durham area has now been released
Listen on Spotify here

Job opportunity with the Refugee Journalism Project
The Refugee Journalism Project is looking for individuals who are interested in taking part in an initiative that supports journalists who are seeking to rebuild their professional careers in the UK. See more information about applying here.

Asylum Navigation Board Game

Seeking asylum in the UK can be a complex and challenging process. People often feel alone or isolated, and it can be a long period of uncertainty. To aid asylum-seekers and organisations supporting them, Right to Remain have recently released an Asylum Navigation Board - a board game guiding players through the UK's asylum-seeking process. It flags up potential issues at each stage and provides guidance. It can be ordered here for individuals and organisations.

Asylum Statistics Quarterly Release: July – September 2018  
The immigration statistics for July to September 2018 have just been released. Asylum Matters have published a summary of the stats which you can read here. 

Equality and Human Rights Commission: Report on Access to Healthcare for Asylum-Seekers
The Equality and Human Rights Commission published on the 29th November their research calling on the UK government to ensure healthcare is accessible to all in this country. Their research involved looking into the experiences of people who are or have been in the asylmum-seeking process in this country and what the issues are encountered when attempting to access healthcare. Several potential policy changes have been identified, for instance a change in UK policy to ensure those seeking asylum can access healthcare free of charge, in line with current policy in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You can read more about it here.

Asylum Accommodation: Chief Inspector of Borders & Immigration Report
The Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration’s report on the Home Office's provision of asylum accommodation was released last week. It found several flaws in the Home Office's conduct and made recommendations, all of which the HO have accepted. 

Gardens of Sanctuary
The results of research conducted by Gardens of Sanctuary has been published - which includes a  detailed resource pack for groups. The resource pack and case studies from around the UK are available 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.

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 © 2018 Sanctuary on Sea, All rights reserved.

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