LASSN faces difficult times as we try to maintain and improve our services with asylum seekers and refugees in Leeds. Funding is tight and public perceptions of migrants to this country are often negative. We achieve a lot, thanks to our volunteers and staff, and would like to do even more. As I have been getting to know our partner agencies in Leeds better, I have been really impressed with the many ways in which we work together, despite the many challenges.
I am, by nature, an optimist with the perspective of a long-distance runner. I want to believe that we can draw on the strengths we have to enable Leeds to be a warm welcome for strangers, a place of safety and a foundation on which lives can be renewed.