The difference LASSN made in 2015/16

We’ve updated all the pages describing the difference we make through our various projects

Befriending

  • We matched 51 volunteers with 54 asylum seekers and refugees.
  • Most referrals for befriending come from health and children’s services, who recognise the significant impact that loneliness can have on both physical and mental health.
  • Volunteers provide support for about 9 months, although some matches can continue for several years.
  • Volunteers also provide practical support to the people they are matched with: helping people to access health and social care services, to make stronger connections with community organisations and to make friends.
  • Befriending underwent a full evaluation during this period and can be downloaded here.
  • We secured 3 years National Lottery Funding to sustain and grow the project

English at Home

  • In 2015/16 we offered tailored English lessons to 140 people from 15 different countries, who would otherwise be excluded from learning English.
  • We increased the number of volunteer tutors to 113, who in turn provided almost 1,655 hours of teaching.
  • Our 6 month reviews with learners found that in all cases there had been an increase in the level of confidence, with nearly all clients reporting that they now used English much more outside the home.
  • By building people’s confidence, we have supported 11 people to successfully take up college courses and 15 to move on to weekly classes outside the home.
  • We’ve published all our learning materials online so that anyone can use them, and we also keep a list of online resources that other people have produced.
  • In addition, you can download a full Evaluation of English at Home 2013 – 16

Grace Hosting

  • In 2015/16  84 guests spent a total of 1289 nights staying in emergency accommodation – about the same number of guests as the previous year, with people staying on average 15 nights – a week longer than people did in 2014/15.
  • The number of people staying in longer stay accommodation halved to 6 (from 12) and Guests stayed a total of 1587 nights. The average length of stay increased slightly from 40 weeks to 45.
  • Between September and December 2015 we recruited and trained 27 new hosting households – making a total of 49 places that people can stay.
  • Overall, in 2015/16, Grace Hosts provided more than 2876 nights of accommodation: more than 410 weeks, or the equivalent of almost 8 years.

Information and Awareness

  • We lobby Government and submit evidence to help improve the situation of refugee and asylum seekers
  • We appear in the local and national media, commenting on issues, and trying to make sure voices of experience are part of the discussion
  • We give talks and host discussions of asylum and migration issues, at community groups, places of worship and in schools and colleges – here’s the presentation on Migrant Families Under Pressure that we we did for social care students at Leeds Trinity in March 2016 
  • We collaborate with Journalism and Media students, to help broaden their understanding of the issues, and challenge misconceptions – here’s the presentation we delivered to journalism Students at Leeds Beckett University in March 2016 on Media Bias in the reporting of Asylum and Migration issues
  • We run a website called oneworldleeds.org, a multi-author blog, where people who live or find themselves in Leeds talk about issues of migration and immigration
  • We help to organise and co-ordinate refugee and asylum work across the sector by supporting the website of the Leeds Multi-Agency meeting and running a newsletter/blog of local information relating to asylum and migration
  • We provide support and mentoring to some Leeds City of Sanctuary staff
  • We run helpinleeds.com – a directory of free services for asylum seekers and refugees in Leeds
  • We’re really active on Facebook – sharing stories of what we do, and more importantly, trying to provide a balance to the nonsense we often hear in the media. These are the stats from our Facebook posts in 2015/16

Capture

If you look at the spikes, you can see the interest generated by the media coverage of the Syrian/European crisis.

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