Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network (LASSN) works with some of the most at-risk people in the country: asylum seekers and refugees escaping persecution who can end up isolated, destitute, with little hope and few choices.

Our Mission Statement and Values

Our Vision

Asylum seekers and refugees will be safe, respected, supported and empowered to rebuild their lives free of persecution.

Our Objectives

LASSN wants asylum seekers and refugees to be:

  • Supported and relieved from hardship and distress by local people
  • Empowered to rebuild their lives, to fulfil their potential and to take control of their lives
  • Integrated settled and safe. LASSN wants Leeds to be a place of  welcome and understanding; and for the general public, organisations, politicians and policy makers to understand the needs of asylum seekers

Our Mission

LASSN will meet the needs of refugees and asylum seekers in Leeds and will raise awareness of issues facing refugees and asylum seekers.

Our Values

  • Respectful of the contribution asylum seekers and refugees make to both LASSN, Leeds and the UK as a whole
  • Informed and based on what asylum seekers and refugees say they want and value
  • Empowering of both refugees and asylum seekers, and local people to help and support them
  • Based on Partnership – we seek good relationships with other organisations so that asylum seekers and refugees can access the kind of help and support they want and need
  • See Volunteers as vital to effective work with asylum seekers and refugees, and recognises how much they benefit from their interaction with refugees and asylum seekers

Our Story

Leeds Asylum Seekers’ Support Network (LASSN) is a registered charity set up in 1999 to respond to the pressing unmet needs of refugees and asylum seekers living in Leeds, many of whom have limited English, experience acute isolation, poor mental health, and prolonged uncertainty over their asylum claim.

LASSN helps more than 200 volunteers to support 400 asylum seekers and refugees each year. We also provide destitute asylum seekers with the emergency financial support and accommodation they need to survive over the winter months.

Supporting growth through partnerships

Over the years, several other key support services for refuges and asylum seekers have grown from work LASSN began, including

  • Solace – which provides counselling and psychotherapy for refugees and asylum seekers and
  • The Leeds Refugee Forum – which acts as an umbrella group for Refugee Community Organisations, whilst helping their members find a voice and influence in Leeds
  • The Hardship Fund – a small pot of money that provides one off cash payments to destitute asylum seekers with no other form of income

Our People

We are the 231 volunteers who support the 672 refugees and asylum seekers that LASSN helped in 2022/23.

We are the 965 Friends of LASSN who subscribe to our newsletter, and who tell others about what we do, the difference we make – with our families and friends, and people we work, worship and study with.

We are the 200 individual donors who gave regular amounts last year, and the many hundreds more who run gigs and fundraisers for us, hold coffee mornings, rattle tins, run marathons, go on bike rides, lose weight and everyone who has helped us over the last decade and a half.

We are the 85 members who attend our AGM and who elect our Board.

Our Board of Trustees

  • Nicolle Levine (Chair)
  • Ian Garforth (Vice Chair)
  • Sven Ekblom (Treasurer)
  • Deborah Murdoch Eaton
  • Helen Radelaar
  • Ian Garforth
  • Mahmoud el Saboni
  • Steve Maw
  • Lisa Martin
  • Ceri Riddell