Benefit Gig Raises £1,100 for Leeds Hardship Fund

A group of local musicians have raised more than £1,100 to support destitute asylum seekers living in Leeds.

harmonyHarmony Choir, Garforth Jazz Rock Band, Free Range and Ubunye performed a benefit gig on Saturday 21st May 2016 at the Jubilee Social Club LS6 attracting more than 150 people. The Audience were encouraged to “pay as you feel” – with all funds raised going to the Leeds Hardship Fund.

“People’s generosity is amazing” said Ali Mahgoub, of the Leeds Refugee Forum, “and the hardship Fund is needed more than ever. Over the last 5 months we’ve made more than 200 grants to asylum seekers who have no income at all, and who cannot get help from the Home Office or Social Services, or mainstream food-banks. A payment of £25 a week to someone with nothing is literally the difference between eating and going hungry”.

“We’re proud to be associated with Harmony Choir. They bring together singers from all across the world to perform, celebrate culture, break down barriers and show solidarity. There are no borders to musical expression, and no barriers to people joining in. If you want to come to meet new people and to have a good time, Harmony is fantastic.”

Jon Beech, Director of Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network and Chair of Leeds Migration Partnership is particularly worried about next winter. “Last year, our volunteer hosts provided 2,876 nights of accommodation to 100 destitute asylum seekers in Leeds. The New Immigration Bill will make even more individual asylum seekers and their families homeless. The Council want to help as much as they can, but even they are powerless to stop the Government from implementing this cruel and dangerous legislation. It’s increasingly up to the ordinary people of Leeds to provide a safety net to frightened people a long way from home.”

If you would like to make a donation to the Leeds Hardship Fund please go to leedsrefugeeforum.org.uk and click on “I want to donate.”

Harmony Choir meet every Thursday 6 – 7.30pm at the Angler’s Club, Stoney Rock Lane LS9

If you would like to find out more about volunteering as a Host with Leeds Asylum Seekers’ Support Network, please visit lassn.org.uk/volunteers

In 2015/16, the hardship fund made 218 payments totalling £5,600.

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