Diane Abbott and Shami Chakrabarti visited Bedford on 23rd February to see for themselves conditions at Yarl's Wood. Afterwards Diane Abbott met the press and other organisations at BRASS and talked to our staff about their work. Diane had waited over a year for permission to visit. She said she was shocked by what she had seen at the detention centre and would be asking the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, about the conditions she saw. See the Guardian's report for further info
Between July 2016 and June 2017, 27,819 people were detained by the Home Office for immigration purposes. 85% of people detained during that time were male. At the end of June 2017, nearly 3,000 people were being held in an Immigration Removal Centre. More than half of those people had been locked up for longer than 28 days 271 people had been in an immigration detention centre for more than six months One man had been in detention for 1,514 days – well over four years The UK
This article from the newspapers a week ago end paints a worrying picture about how the Home Office are dealing with Asylum Seekers. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/feb/11/i-thought-she-was-an-intern-asylum-interview-goes-wrong
Hanine's family are one of the first Syrian families who arrived in Bedford under the resettlement programme. Hanine has received her second Reading Challenge certificate in the span of two months. She feels extremely proud of her achievements and her parents are delighted with her involvement at school. Goldington Green Academy is following very closely both Hanine and her brother Abudi in their progress.
This report from the Observer on 11th February gives an insight into what some of our clients have to deal with when applying for Asylum. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/11/asylum-interview-10-examples-of-absurdity-home-office
Nadia Laribi invited our BRASS volunteer art tutor Sumana and her son Alex to visit to one of our Syrian families who happens to live in their neighborhood. The kids enjoyed Sumana's art demonstration and were very keen on showing their own talent.