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NEWSLETTER – November 2015


We welcome all news stories from around the network, so please keep sending your stories to us. This is more important than ever as we are seeking stories of welcome and change from City of Sanctuary forThe Guardian who are featuring us as one of the 6 refugee charities for theirChristmas Appeal.  This is our good news for November.

Please click on the links below for further information, and share this newsletter with your supporters and networks.  The first appeal to action re: Sanctuary in Parliament is now urgent.

The key action for this month is to invite your MP to Sanctuary in Parliament.
150 people will gather in Committee Room 14 from 12.30 to 3.30 on Tuesday 1st December to tell MPs why three key issues need addressing:

– Destitution (especially in relation to the Immigration Bill, which will increase  the numbers of destitute asylum seekers and their children)
 Detention – we really need Parliament to address the recommendations of the APPG detention Inquiry
– Safe and Legal routes – these need opening up to address the ever growing refugee and humanitarian crisis.

Asylum seekers and refugees will provide key testimony of their experiences of destitution, detention and hazardous journeys as well as positive experiences of welcome and resettlement.

We really need your MP to be there so please get your networks, friends and family to write to them and to follow this up with phone calls. We are relying on the network for this and only have 14 MPs confirmed their attendance so far. Let’s make it at least 100.
If you need to claim travel expenses for asylum seekers or refugees to attend please apply ASAP or by Monday 16th November. From 3.30 there will be the opportunity to see the amazing Tasting My Future documentary about asylum seeking women.
Click here for letter template and booking information. 


Some of our many news stories from around the Network:

Sheffield‘s 10th Anniversary Celebration of sanctuary.
Bristol holds successful conference for business to engage them in sanctuary issues.
Swansea launches a new asylum seeker women’s group.


New Resources

New page on Syrian Resettlement and the SVPRS on our website.

The European Commission has launched the Science4Refugees initiative to help refugee scientists and researchers find suitable jobs that both improve their own situation and put their skills and experience to good use in Europe’s research system.


Update on Committee stage of the Immigration Bill

Amendments have been tabled by Labour/SNP on numerous asylum support issues, including to ensure: families who are appeal rights exhausted are not cut off from S95 support; that those who face a genuine obstacle to return and are refused support or have it discontinued will have a right of appeal; that support should be raised £43.86; and that asylum seekers should have permission to work after 6 months if they have not received a decision on their applications.


Asylum Support

Consultation response issued: 
The Home Office has now published its response to the asylum support consultation. It can be found here, along with a factsheet on support and the equality statement.

Call for evidence after the House of Lords debated Baroness Hamwee’s motion to annul the regulations which reduced asylum support levels for children: Still Human Still Here has urged its member organisations to document cases where families (or single adults) are unable to meet their essential living needs and particularly any consequent negative impacts on the health of members of their families. Please see our news article here and help us to gather evidence.


Upcoming events 

Schools of Sanctuary Conference 18th November

South West Regional Meeting in Bristol 18th November
Contact [email protected]

Hull Maternity Conference Tuesday 24th November 2015

Midlands Regional Meeting 15th January in Coventry 2016
Contact [email protected]