On 21st February, we attended this year’s High Sheriff’s Citizenship Awards which recognise achievement and honour the positive work of local volunteers, charities and community groups.
We are pleased (and a little surprised) to let you know that we received the Award for North Bedfordshire from Vinod Tailor, High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, “In recognition of Great and Valuable services to the Community”.
Recent recipients include Bedford Street Angels, Canine Partners and Bedfordshire Games – illustrious company indeed.
We are very grateful to the High Sheriff for this Award.
After working hard on our application since mid-2016, we are very pleased to tell you that we have been awarded a Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities Grant.
This gives us the financial security to plan the next three years, and to recruit another paid member of staff for the office.
We are happy to share with you this lovely handmade card presented to us by a current detainee to tell us how they feel. It’s good to see how much they appreciate what we do and how amazing it is that people can still be kind in adversity.
We are celebrating our 1000th visitor to the Thursday drop-in – quite an achievement in a little over 10 months. This has far exceeded our expectations and we are looking forward to adding a second session in the future.
This year, Amnesty International supporters will be writing to immigration detainees across the country as part of the national Write for Rights Campaign.
Each year, there are different international groups and individuals who receive such letters of support from AI members, with the aim to encourage and stand in solidarity. If you would like to get involved with writing letters to detainees then please do so by contacting your local AI group or looking at their leaflet for more details.
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.
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
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?
No rush… it’s not available until 8th December… plenty of time to sharpen your pencils!