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About Jon Beech

I joined LASSN as the Director in December 2013. I've a particular interest in mental health, ethnicity, and helping people make sense of their world and their community.

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Corona virus Update for LASSN Volunteers 19th March 2020

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2020-03-20T12:32:46+00:0019th March, 2020|Categories: Headline posts|

LASSN's projects have closed to new referrals from 19th March 2020, in response to corona virus. We will reopen to new referrals as soon as we are able. We continue to support existing clients and volunteer matches by phone, email and and encourage all the people we support to remain in contact throughout this difficult period. Up to date information on what's happening with other projects and services can be found on http://migrationpartnership.org.uk We offer the following advice to volunteers "I'm currently matched..." We are recommending that volunteers stop home visits for the time being. Please do keep in contact with the person you are matched with, and let us know how you are both getting on. Here are some ways that you can keep in touch with the person you are matched with: - Video calls (eg skype, whatsapp or similar) - Phone calls - Audio messages (these might be easier for the person you are matched with because they can pause and rewind messages until they understand them) - Text messages - Post (please don't give your home address to the person you are matched with, but you can send things like learning materials in the post) - Going for a walk together (you'd need to avoid travelling by public transport and make sure that you were 2 metres apart, and in the open air) We're postponing in-person reviews until the situation changes and we'll be in touch by phone with anyone who is due for a review. "The person I support can't afford to keep their phone topped up..." LASSN would like to offer all volunteers and clients £5 each, per month  - towards the costs of staying in touch by phone, video or whatever. We are trialling this for a couple of months to see how it goes (and to work out how if we can afford it in the medium-long term).But communication is so important, it feels like the right thing to do. if you are struggling to know how to top someone's phone up, please google it, or call us for help. To claim this money back, please keep receipts/bills and other evidence of spend and submit with an expenses form. Please don't give out a fiver and then ask for the money back, because we need some kind of audit trail. Even a photo of a makeshift hand written receipt is better than nothing. "I'm worried about the person I'm matched with..." If you are worried about your learner, please get in touch with us. We're reachable by email and phone as normal (lassn.org.uk/contact). If there is an emergency, please contact the emergency services. "This whole volunteering thing is stressing me out..." It's a really difficult time right now, and all of us are experiencing a lot of uncertainty. If you are feeling like it's getting on top of you, please get in touch with us. It's much better to talk to someone and to be kind to yourself than to soldier on quietly. [...]

Friends of LASSN Newsletter, Winter 2019

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2019-12-08T15:43:21+00:008th December, 2019|Categories: Uncategorised|

The Winter 2019 Edition of Friends of LASSN is out, with the usual mix of good news stories, organisational developments, policy briefings and photos. Click on this link https://mailchi.mp/d27d2ce5ccd9/friends-of-lassn-winter-2019, or the image below to get started

LASSN’S VOLUNTEER PARTY IS NOW A PARTY FOR EVERYONE

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2020-01-30T12:53:11+00:003rd December, 2019|Categories: Volunteering|

This event has already happened, but we've left the post up, as a reminder of what we've done. What? LASSN is holding a party for everyone - refugees, volunteers, friends, allies, supporters, adults and children When? Thursday January 16th 2020, from 18:00 til late Where? The Holbeck Working Men's Club, Jenkinson Lawn, Leeds LS11 9QX  What else do I need to know? Booking is essential There will be food, and drinks, and music. Food will be served from 18:30 and when it's gone, it's gone. It will be family friendly, so bring everyone along It's a "pay as you feel, free is fine" event.  The venue is up a flight of stairs, although there is a chair lift If you or someone you know is struggling with transport, please text 07845298047 with "I need transport" at least 24 hours before the event   

LASSN’s Annual General Meeting and Celebration: 3rd October 2019

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2020-01-30T12:53:49+00:0017th September, 2019|Categories: Headline posts|

This event has already happened, but we've left the post up, as a reminder of what we've done. This year our AGM is a strictly ticketed event, and will be held from 6pm - 8pm  on 3rd October 2019 at Sinai Synaogue, Roman Avenue, Leeds LS8 2AN. [Link to Google map]. Please see the Agenda and Papers below The AGM will be a bit more "business" oriented this year - and less of a party - because we are holding a big party in November to celebrate LASSN's 20th anniversary. Please note: you will not be able the AGM this year unless you have confirmed that you are coming in advance. The Synagogue have requested we do this as a security measure, following concerns around recent increases in religiously motivated hate crimes.  

LASSN are moving to new offices on 2nd August 2019

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2019-07-12T11:30:13+01:0012th July, 2019|Categories: Headline posts, Volunteering|

As of August 5th 2019 our new address will be Malmarc House, 116 Dewsbury Road, Leeds LS11 6XD We'll be shutting the office for a couple of days on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd, and then reopening on Monday August 5th. If you need to contact us urgently during this time, please email us or call our mobiles  Oak House is being sold by the Landlord who is ending all the tenancies of organisations based there. We really hoped we'd be there for at least another couple of years, but such is the life of a small org who rents cheapish property. We'll be sad to leave - but on the plus side our mates at City of Sanctuary and Asylum Matters are also moving with us. What is Malmarc House like? Grade 2 listed building Accessible ground floor offices Shared meeting and training spaces off the main lobby WiFi On a main Bus route in/out of town Loads of free parking nearby Malmarc House, on the corner of Hunslet Hall Road and Dewsbury Road Our bit is in the Old Library The entrance lobby is still in tact Will LASSN's telephone number stay the same? Yes. But it will defnitely be out of action on 1st and 2nd August 2019, so please use the mobiles. Parking/how do I get there? We don't have a dedicated car park space any more but the good news is there's loads of on street and free car parking nearby (marked in orange). I use a bus, or a bike The buses from town are every 5 minutes - Numbers 1/2/3 Ask to be dropped off at Hunslet Hall Road/Dewsbury Road. You can use this planner to plan your journey [link]. You can lock your bike in the secure courtyard at the rear of the building.  

Can you help LASSN live up to our vision and values – and join our board as a Trustee?

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2019-06-04T08:00:30+01:0011th April, 2019|Categories: Uncategorised|

LASSN is run by a small group of Trustees, who are there to make sure our work always reflects our vision and values, and is a well-run organisation. Some of our Trustees have experiencing of volunteering with LASSN, and some do not. Some have experience of seeking asylum or forced migration, and some do not. Some have been Trustees before and for some people it's all new. What matters most is that our Trustees reflects the interests and concerns of people involved with LASSN, and that our Trustees have the knowledge and experience to help guide and support our work. With their support we are able to achieve huge amounts - as detailed in our Annual Report and Accounts, and Annual Review.  Every year or so, our Trustees review the knowledge and experience of existing Trustees and work out where we might have gaps, or areas we want to strengthen. The last time Trustees did this (in March 2019) they decided LASSN should prioritise getting more Trustees who are people with experience of seeking refuge in the UK women (our Chair and our Deputy Chair are both women, but we want to recruit more) people with financial or accounting skills (our existing Treasurer is due to step down in Spring 2019) people who have experience of working in refugee or asylum focused projects Like all volunteer roles at LASSN we provide a comprehensive induction and ongoing support, and out of pocket expenses. If you are interested in finding out more about the role, please get in touch with [email protected] or call 0113 373 1759 If you are not an existing volunteer with LASSN, we also ask that you complete an online volunteer application form. When you do - someone will be in touch very soon to talk about next steps. Here's a description of the role - what's involved, and what kind of time commitment Trustees make Here's a description of the role of Treasurer If you are interested in finding out more about the role, please get in touch with [email protected] or call 0113 373 1759 If you are not an existing volunteer with LASSN, we also ask that you complete an online volunteer application form. When you do - someone will be in touch very soon to talk about next steps.

LASSN Volunteer training programme 2019

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2019-06-26T14:29:03+01:0021st December, 2018|Categories: Training|

Each year we produce a selection of training sessions, based on what volunteers have asked us for in our Annual Volunteer Survey We have 5 sessions planned for 2019. Please book yourselves on these courses. We extend our offer of training to anyone volunteering with refugees and asylum seekers, so if you fancy coming along, please email [email protected], telling us who you are, and where you volunteer and we’ll try and fit you in. An Introduction to LASSN and the Asylum Journey - Compulsory session for LASSN volunteers only Find our more about Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network – who we are, what we do, how we work. We’ll discuss the role of a volunteer and how volunteers are supported by LASSN. The Asylum Journey Whether you know nothing about the UK asylum system, or whether you’ve been through it yourself, this is a chance to look at the asylum journey. This session will explore some of the reasons that people come here seeking safety and the varied journeys they take to get to the UK. We’ll look at the process of claiming asylum and gaining refugee status in the UK. Many people who come here seeking safety face lots of barriers, uncertainty and a long wait. We’re not expecting you to become experts in immigration law(!) but we’ll give an overview of how the system is supposed to work, as well as some of the hardships it can cause. We’ll also help you understand some of the jargon and acronyms that might come up in conversation with your befriendee/learner/guest – who are G4S? Why do people go to Croyden? When can you make a fresh claim? We deliver these two sessions back to back, so you complete them both in about 4 hours. Please don’t worry if these sessions look long: we’ll always make sure there’s plenty of chance for a break, and plenty of food for dinner/tea to keep you going. Tuesday July 16th 2019, 16:30-20:30    Wednesday July 17th 2019, 10:00-14:00  Teaching English at Home Training - for LASSN volunteers only This is a compulsory session is for volunteers wanting to be English at Home tutors. The training will cover- • Barriers to learning • Creative ways to teach new vocabulary • Planning a series of lessons • Good resources • What learners want This session is very interactive and provides lots of practical advice as well as the opportunity to hear from a current learner and teacher about what makes a good lesson. Vegetarian lunch will be provided. Tuesday July 23rd 2019, 10:00-14:00 Befriending and Mentoring Network Support Sessions - for LASSN volunteers only An opportunity to share information and experiences. Come and meet other volunteers and support each other with challenges and celebrate successes. These events are open to all volunteers on both the Befriending and Connecting Opportunities projects. Thursday August 8th 2019, 14:00 - 15:30 Thursday November 7th 2019, 17:30 - 19:00 Helping people who get refugee status For volunteers who want to feel more [...]