“There are many vulnerable women in Yarl’s Wood – we are still here.”

We are still here Rpt 2017
The latest report by Women for Refugee Women follows on from their previous reports, Detained and I Am Human. The report is based on responses from 26 women between May-September 2017 who have claimed asylum and been detained since the Adults at Risk policy came in.

Their research shows that the new Adults at Risk approach – to safeguard and protect women who are vulnerable, and prevent them from being detained – is not working.

Read the full report here.

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Medical Justice wins important case

The High Court rules that the Government redefinition of torture in immigration detention policy is unlawful.

A group of unlawfully detained torture victims have been successful in their legal challenge. The ruling found that the Home Office narrowing the definition of torture in its flag-ship policy lacked “rational or evidence base”, and is being forced to change how it treats thousands of torture victims in detention.

Here’s the Press Release

Download the full judgement here

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A Christmas puzzle to raise funds

Do you like doing a crossword puzzle?

Well why not do one that will help raise much-needed funds for Yarl’s Wood Befrienders?

Everyone who enters this seasonal puzzle will be entered into a draw to win one of five prizes, each of £10. In addition, a prize of £30 will be awarded to each of the four highest scorers (if there are more than four potential winners there will be a draw).

And YWB will receive a donation for every entrant to the puzzle (and to three other charities).
Why not give it a go for us this year?

Christmas Puzzle

No rush… it’s not available until 8th December… plenty of time to sharpen your pencils!

Good luck.

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Xmas 2017 plans

Important dates for your diaries:

On the 20th of December we will be hosting our annual Christmas Party at Yarl’s Wood. We will issue further details shortly but hope some of you can come along to help us spread some Christmas cheer.

This will be preceded by an event given by The Women’s Institute on 16st December. Again, details to follow…

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Mental Health

Mental Health By Samantha
Here is the text of a presentation given by Samantha Henry as part of a workshop held at Yarl’s Wood with Hibiscus Initiatives and Kaleidoscope. Samantha is currently a Master of Public Health >student at the University of Wolverhampton, and was a Rotary Ambassadorial scholar (2008-2010). We hope you find it an interesting read.

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The High Sherrif visits YWB

High Sheriff Visit

We were very glad to be able to spend some time with the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, Mr Vinod Tailor, who came to visit us at our offices on 20th September.

The High Sheriff shared with us his experiences of being a refugee and listened with interest to staff and Befrienders, who spoke of their experiences visiting detainees at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre. He visited the IRC recently and met some of the women and men detained there, and understood their need for emotional and practical support, and to feel some connection to the outside world through regular visits.

Mr Tailor was also able to provide a number of helpful suggestions of who to contact and how to promote our volunteering opportunities to speakers of different languages, for which there is a great need.

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Visit by Mohammad Yasin, MP

MP visit Sept 2017

On 8th September 2017, Mohammad Yasin, MP for Bedford and Kempston, visited the Yarl’s Wood Befrienders’ (YWB) office to meet Trustees and volunteers and learn about their work visiting detainees.

Giving his support to the nationwide campaign calling for a 28-day time limit on detention #Time4aTimeLimit, Mohammad Yasmin MP said:

“Yarl’s Wood Befrienders provide fantastic support to a group of often vulnerable people held in detention in Bedfordshire. It is troubling that so many local residents are unaware of the facts around immigration detention – not least that people can be held indefinitely in a prison-like environment while their immigration cases are considered. Yarl’s Wood should be shut down but until that happens the Befrienders offer a lifeline to those held in the centre ”

Caroline Clark, Director of YWB, said:

“It is heartening that our MP has taken the time to visit us and to listen to the some of the stories of women detained indefinitely at Yarl’s Wood. Few people are even aware of the existence of this IRC on our doorstep, much less have any understanding of the devastating impact that indefinite detention has on people’s mental and physical health. We look forward to having his support to raise the issue in Parliament and also among his constituents.”

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2017 Pub Quiz

Pub Quiz Flyer 2017

Thursday 5th October – 7.30 for 8pm

Here we are again – another chance to involve your family and friends and maybe win a small prize. There will also be a raffle.

We want teams of up to 6 people prepared to embrace the fabulous new smart phone/tablet format. All for just £3 per head.


If you can’t assemble a whole team, don’t worry as we can put teams together on the night. 

All proceeds go to Yarl’s Wood Befrienders.

The White Horse, Newnham Avenue, Bedford, MK41 9PX

No need to book – just come along on the night. Thanks and see you there.

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Photos from Annual Meeting 2017

As promised, here is a gallery of photos from the Annual Meeting – including some of the Bedford Music in Detention choir and the performance of The Bundle, an asylum seeker’s story, by the Journeymen Theatre.

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It’s nice to get…

Appreciation Card… heartfelt appreciation once in a while. One of our Befrienders recently received a card from one of the detainees expressing the following sentiments which we’d like to share with you:

I really appreciated knowing you and may God richly bless you and give you more life. Thanks for all the support you gave to me.

God bless you, you are surely one of the Divine helper God bless me with.

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