New Volunteers – recruiting now for 2014

We are always looking for new volunteers to join our Befriending, English at Home, Grace Hosting and Press Gang projects.  The Befriending project is in particular need of mature men to support older male refugees.  English at Home consists mostly of female volunteers who support female refugees.

The first of 2 days of volunteer training will take place on Saturday 5th April 2014.

Peter Richardson, LASSN Director is moving on

I will be finishing as Director of LASSN at the end of October after almost seven years. I feel privileged to have worked alongside such a brilliant group of staff, volunteers and trustees and honoured to have been involved in such important work that benefits so many asylum seekers and refugees. LASSN is looking for a new director and I’d thoroughly recommend the position (see www.lassn.org.uk). Please do tell people about the vacancy (closing date 8 October).

It’s been great to work with so many amazing people from other organisations who share my passion for making the world a better place for those fleeing persecution.

I’ve been impressed by how many people give up their personal time (and money!) to support asylum seekers and refugees and I’ve been touched by the amount of care and understanding shown.

I’ve also be astonished by the journeys and experiences of asylum seekers and refugees themselves. I’ve met some of the most resourceful, intelligent, forgiving, resilient, and interesting people in the world.

It’s not all been good – I’ve also been angry about how asylum seekers are often misrepresented and villainised, how they are made the scapegoats for many of the troubles in this country and how they are made to feel unwanted and worthless. I’d especially pick out politicians who appear scared of the immigration issue and are unprepared to stand up for what is right for fear of it affecting their election. Also I’ve been annoyed when the media pander to prejudice, misinform and misrepresent in order to sell a story.

On leaving LASSN I’m hoping to continue trying to change some of those things. I’m going to be working as a freelance writer, which will include writing about asylum seekers and refugees. I’ll also be writing fiction for adults and children. I’m hoping to work with exiled journalists to counter the negative portrayal of asylum seekers and will continue to be involved with LASSN’s Press Gang.

Hopefully you’ll still see me around and if you have a story to tell I’d be interested to hear it. I’d also love to hear any tips, advice, contacts or opportunities that you think will help me in the future.

Thanks to everyone who has made my time at LASSN some of the most pleasurable and important years of my life.

With appreciation and best wishes,

Peter Richardson, LASSN Director and aspiring writer.

Submissions wanted for next edition of One Planet Leeds magazine

OnePlanetLeeds

One Planet Leeds magazine is looking for submissions of articles of 500 words or less. Target audience is people who don’t know much about asylum issues and may not really be all that interested. So strong personal stories, creative pieces such as stories or poems, and good public interest links such as sport, arts, food or current affairs are required.


http://pressgangleeds.blogspot.co.uk/

Daily Fail exposed – 12 myths about asylum seekers

http://iona.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2013/03/12-myths.pdf

Unity in the Community say:

Daily Fail

The papers say Britain is under siege from asylum seekers.

Asylum seekers are blamed for higher taxes, crime, rising
house prices, hospital waiting lists, cheap labour, terrorism and AIDS. Mainstream politicians either agree or refuse to challenge these stories. There are two possible reasons for this press campaign. Only one of them can be true. The first is that fake refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan and Eastern Europe really are responsible for most of Britain’s problems. Many people believe asylum seekers are one of our society’s biggest problems. No wonder. The scare stories printed every day in the Sun, Express, Star and Mail are hardly ever challenged in the press or in parliament. That’s why we’ve set out some facts that might make you see things differently. We think they show that asylum seekers are not causing these problems, but that asylum seekers are being used as scapegoats.Asylum seekers are blamed for higher taxes, crime, rising house prices, hospital waiting lists, cheap labour,

It’s the oldest trick in the book. Blame the other fella. Divide and rule. We

produced this leaflet because we’re fed up too. Fed up with services that get worse instead of better  Fed up with council tax hikes and impossible house prices. Fed up with schools and hospitals being run down and sold off piecemeal. Fed up with low pay and crime.

Above all, we’re fed up being lied to about why this is happening.

One World Leeds

One World Leeds Winter 2013

  • Challenging negative perceptions of refugees
  • The new Immigration Bill – tip of the iceberg
  • An asylum seeker is shattered but steadfast
  • A journey into Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre
  • English at Home – a formula for integration
  • Inertia in Odyssey (a poem)
  • Sports and leisure

One Planet Leeds summer 2013One Planet Leeds summer 2013

  • Theatre
    • Refugee boy
    • To walk in your shows
  • Football – A shared sense of belonging
  • Media – Mispeceptions
  • Experience – The kindness of strangers
  • Music – United Voices
  • Women – Refugee Group
  • Books – Scar Tissue
  • Volunteering – interpreters needed

 

One Planet Leeds Spring 2013

  • PAFRAS 10 year anniversary
  • Interview with Isa Turkoglu on the Just Play Football Programme
  • Refugee Boy by Benjamin Zephaniah
  • Amnesty International and STAR Sleep Out
  • Leeds Kirkgate Market and the Arrival of Leeds Needs
  • What is Your Map Route of Leeds?
  • The Debt Free Project

Winter 2012/13

  • Welfare reform – what does it mean?
  • Volunteering
  • STAR – Student Action for refugees
  • What is the public perception of refugees and asylum seekers in Britain today?
  • A world without refugees – poem
  • The un-forgotten coat – book review
  • Refugees, Capitalism and the British State – book review

The silence surrounding women & violence - Summer 2012

Social security for refugees and Brits under attack - Spring 2012

Legal aid cuts push asylum seekers to the margins - Autumn 2011

If you wish to subscribe to One Planet Leeds, send an email to richie@lassn.org.uk or use the form below

Your Name  :  *
Your Email  :  *
 

 

Leveson inquiry report – concerns over the reporting of ethnic minorities, immigrants and asylum seekers

A few quotes from the report published today:

“When assessed as a whole, the evidence of discriminatory, sensational or unbalanced reporting in relation to ethnic minorities, immigrants and/or asylum seekers, is concerning.”

“[The conclusion that] Muslims, migrants, asylum seekers and gypsies/travellers … targets of press hostility and/or xenophobia in the press, was supported by the evidence seen by the Inquiry.”

“…some newspapers expressed a consistently clear view on the harm caused by migrants and/or asylum seekers (often conflating the two) and ensured that any coverage of the issue fit within that narrative.”

“It is important to reiterate that the evidence was not all bad: there were many examples of titles with responsible and positive reporting on these issues, and even within the section of the press identified for criticism, there was evidence showing a complicated picture.”

Judge for yourself by reading the section on ethnic minorities, immigrants and asylum seekers here http://www.ein.org.uk/news/leveson-report-finds-sensational-or-unbalanced-reporting-relation-immigrants-and-asylum-seekers