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Your Monthly Update - April 2020

Dear <<First Name>>, 
Welcome to your April update. In this edition, we have pulled together resources and services that may be of help to refugees and more vulnerable members of our community across Brighton & Hove.

Many services supporting refugees and asylum-seekers have rapidly adjusted how they deliver their services and many are still operating to best of their ability to ensure those in need do not suffer even more at this time.

Although the current situation is frightening and unpredictable, the country has witnessed fantastic displays of kindness and compassion with many people coming together to support fellow citizens. The 750,000 people who signed up to become NHS volunteers, the weekly 'clap for carers' and the spontaneous neighbourhood schemes to help older and more vulnerable people are all examples of how we are stronger together, and have more in common than that which divides us. There are some great examples of this in this piece about members of the City of Sanctuary network fostering online communities and helping out fellow citizens. 

Please share the resources below widely and do get in touch with us on Facebook or via  if you have a service you think we should promote. Please also visit (and share!) our new webpage on coronavirus resources and services around the city.

Ruby Cardona Senker
Sanctuary on Sea volunteer 

In the newsletter this month:

Don't forget you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:
Covid-19 Updates 
Brighton Covid-19 website
The new COVID-19 website for Brighton & Hove has loads of resources and signposts to lots of local services. It can be read in 5 different languages. Click here.
Council advice on coronavirus
The Brighton & Hove council website on the coronavirus (COVID-19) is a great source of local information and is updated daily - click here.

If you have any particular concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on your community, please get in touch with
Coronavirus advice in different languages
Coronavirus advice has been translated into 44 languages so far by Doctors of the World - click here. 

e are aware that, just as in the wider community, lots of rumours and inaccurate information is circulating among refugees and migrants. So it is vital that good, accurate information is circulated widely in a variety of forms that reaches as many people as possible. It is particularly helpful that Doctors of the World are starting to produce videos of NHS guidance in community languages. We have circulated these via Whatsapp and Facebook and encourage you to do the same. 

In Brighton, the Sussex Interpreting Service is running remotely. If you need interpreting service, book though their website. For emergency interpreting (spoken language) call 07811 459315. For translation services (written information) go to their services page. If English is not your first language, look at the language pages on the Sussex Interpreting Service web site. They are planning to start support groups via Zoom in those languages soon. Watch this space for more details. 
Accessible coronavirus advice
Accessible versions of hand hygiene advice and other health information are available to download here. This pack includes: easy read poster/flyer of the standard poster (print ready/web accessible), large print poster/flyer of the standard poster (print ready/web accessible) BSL versions of the social media animations and an audio version.  
If you need food
If you need to request help for yourself or someone else at this time, you can do it through the Community Hub - click here or telephone 01273 293117 (spoken interpreting and BSL are available on this number).

If you're a refugee or asylum seeker and struggling to find food there are several organisations working to provide food for free or at low cost via pick-up points or home delivery.

Brighton and Hove Food Partnership coronavirus update page has advice on where to get food for free or low cost in the city, plus advice for people who want to volunteer to distribute food - 
click here. The partnership also has information on food delivery services - click here.
They have also shared this helpful document: How to cook and eat well with limited equipment and money

Voices in Exile East Brighton emergency food delivery and food parcel service - click here

The Real Junk Food Project are running weekly meals for the community on Wednesdays at St Luke's Church (64 Old Shoreham Road, Brighton BN1 5DD). The food is available to take away for free or by donation. They are also still running their hubs several days a week at different sites across Brighton & Hove where you can pick up food items for free or a donation. Please note that all payments are card-only. More information on their services here.

Brighton Table Tennis Club are running a new food distribution service – food parcels and hot meals every day. See here
Sanctuary resources for kids during school closures
With school closures across the UK and Ireland, children will be spending a lot of time at home. City of Sanctuary are collating resources and things to do at home which also help kids to learn about seeking sanctuary. Check out their list so far here.
Facebook group - welcoming refugees in Brighton & Hove 
Sanctuary on Sea have set up a new private Facebook group for people seeking sanctuary in Brighton & Hove (refugees and asylum seekers) and those who would like to help make them welcome. You can join here.
If you would like to help...

To help destitute migrants: Thousand 4 Thousand. They are working to financially support 50 migrants who have no source of income, to enable them to buy food, fuel and phone credit during the Covid 19 emergency.

For donations of food items or cash to support food deliveries to refugees and migrants: Voices in Exile 

To volunteer, go to Community Works website.
Migrants make our NHS
The 'Clap for Carers' has quickly become a weekly tradition, with Britons taking to their doorsteps or windows to cheer on the keyworkers doing essential work to keep us healthy and safe. A new online campaign has been encouraging 
people to also recognise and celebrate the crucial contribution of migrants to our health care system, who make up around 40% of NHS staff. A video called You Clap for me Now (below) featuring UK residents and immigrants reciting an antiracist poem has gone viral, capturing how important the role of immigrant workers is fighting the covid-19 pandemic. Articles such as this one have 
suggested that one of the outcomes of this crisis must be greater recognition of how essential migrant workers are in this country.

There is also a campaign organised by Doctors of the World calling for the NHS Charging Regulations to be suspended so that everyone can access healthcare on an equal basis during the pandemic. On 17th April, 60 cross-party opposition MPs wrote to Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care with the proposal. It seems particularly insulting that migrant doctors, nurses and care workers on whom the NHS depends are being charged hundreds of pounds a year to have the right to use the NHS. There is an online letter which you can sign here.
You clap for me now: immigrants show how vital they are to the UK's COVID response.
We're all refugees now
Steve Ali, who fled Syria in 2013 and spent time in the Calais 'jungle' has written a fantastic piece for British GQ. 'The coronavirus has made us all refugees, of a sort, in our own homes, with no idea when – if at all – our old lives will return' he writes. Read the article in full here
Other useful resources

The mental health charity Mind in Brighton and Hove share a Weekly Wellbeing Info and Tip Sheet

Brighton & Hove Buses has created a Community Support Information page where they share lots of useful information.

Healthwatch Brighton and Hove have published a guide to health and social care services which responds to issues raised with Healthwatch over the past weeks. The Healthwatch website contains up-to-date information and general FAQs which go wider than just health and social care. This includes links to information available in a range of formats including easy-read, BSL and translated materials. A fully accessible version of the Healthwatch Covid-19 info page has also been created.

The Survivor's Network have a new web/phone helpline for female survivors of sexual violence needing some support. RISE are also working to support people experiencing abuse at home. Like other domestic abuse orgnanisations, they have witnessed a sharp rise in people getting in touch since the lockdown. Visit their website aimed at black and ethnic minorities here. There are some useful numbers and websites here open to anyone if you're not feeling safe at home.
Local Updates 
Nursery receives Brighton and Hove’s 26th School of Sanctuary Award
As schools across the country prepared to close their doors in response to the coronavirus, Sanctuary on Sea made sure that a Brighton nursery had something to smile about. We hand delivered a School of Sanctuary Award to One World Nursery, in recognition of its efforts to make refugee children and their families feel included and welcome.

Read more here

Refugee Week 2020 update
In light of COVID-19, the national organisers of Refugee Week have proposed that it run as a digital festival, on the same dates as planned (15-21st June). Here in Brighton & Hove, the organising group will look at what we can do online – and we have some exciting surprises up our sleeves. At a time when the potential for fear and isolation is great, Refugee Week online will be an invitation for us all to connect across borders, show solidarity and imagine another world. Read more about plans for the week here 
Message in a bottle: art installation of lives lost at sea
new art installation aims to represent all of the lives lost in the Mediterranean Sea. Since 2014, over 20,000 migrants and refugees have died trying to make the crossing in search of sanctuary. To create the installation, messages of love and support are written onto plastic bottles which are then cut up and heated with a heat gun. Each piece curls and ends up unique in shape. People have copied poems and lyrics that resonate with them, or written their own words. Workshops have been suspended for the time being, but anyone is encouraged to send a message of any length to be included in the piece to You can follow the journey of this community art piece by following the instagram account @2020messageinabottle.

Inspiration for the installation came from The Fallen: an installation in Dublin Cathedral commemorating Irish lives lost in the First World War. Below: the messages written on plastic bottles.
St Peter's church want your opinions
St Peter's Church, the beautiful building next to London Road, has recently engaged heritage specialists to carry out an audience consultation, as part of a bid for National Lottery funding. The consultants need your views about how St Peter's could broaden its reach in the community, including which groups are hard-to-reach, what the greatest areas of need in the community are, what St Peter's does best and if there are target audiences which they could do more to engage with. You don't have to have visited St Peter's to take part in the survey - the consultants are seeking the opinions of as many local people as possible. Please click here to take part
National news from our Sanctuary network
New immigration system: what you need to know
The UK will introduce a points-based immigration system from 2021. The government have released new guidance which you can read here.
Evictions of asylum-seekers halted
On Friday 27th March the Home Office announced it will stop evicting people seeking asylum from government accommodation for three months, while the country remains in lockdown due to the coronavirus. This is something that refugee support charities have been calling for since long before the pandemic. Newly recognised refugees often face destitution and homelessness when the Home Office terminates their support, and this change will mean that they will not be evicted - at least for the coming months. Read more about this from Asylum Matters here

This isn't the only positive change the government has announced as a result of Covid-19. We heard in April that reporting has been suspended for asylum seekers and the government website has been updates to provide clear confirmation that reporting conditions are temporarily paused - see here.
Mayor to honour COVID 'community champions' 
The Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Alex Phillips, has called for nominations of people who have gone above and beyond helping in the community in response to COVID. Do you know someone who fits the bill? See how to nominate someone here.
City of Sanctuary Annual meeting
The CoS annual conference in Bradford is postponed till further notice but the AGM will go ahead virtually on Zoom on the 24th of June 2020. Details about joining will be updated 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. Please send us any information and updates on changes to existing services or any new activities in response to COVID.

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.
Copyright © 2020 Sanctuary on Sea, All rights reserved.

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