BRASS were pleased to welcome our local MP Mohammad Yasin to the Annual General Meeting on 6 September. The meeting was well attended with representatives from many organisations and friends of BRASS.
Mohamed Yasin thanked BRASS for the work that we do in Bedford supporting asylum seekers and refugees. He explained that he arrived in the UK in 1992 from Kashmir (Pakistan). As migrant himself he can understand the difficulties that refugees and migrants are facing when arriving in the UK.
Mr Yasin believes that it is important to treat people with respect and humanity and he is against the hostile environment created by the current government. He referred to the Windrush scandal and stated that he saw hospitals, schools and landlords being asked to report people as inhuman. He also told us he is in favour of closing Yarls Wood and all the other detention centres and is also in favour granting asylum seekers the right to work whilst their claim are decided.
Mr Yasin thanked BRASS again for all the support that we give to asylum seekers and refugees in the community.
Our Chair, Veta Hudson-Rae, presented Mr Yasin with a picture painted by a Syrian refugee child and thanked him for his support.
The Chair, Brian Cunningham (BRASS Coordinator) and Rani Sheemar (Finance) presented their reports. A copy of the AGM minutes can be viewed along with our 2018 Annual Report.
Some headlines from their presentations are:
A picnic was held in August to celebrate BRASS 20th anniversary.
We now have 7 paid post covered by 6 members of staff.
BRASS is now providing support to 10 Syrian families through the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.
Our drop in advice sessions had a record month in May 2018 with 177 case matters dealt with
More classes than ever in English, Life in the UK and Maths. We have more than 30 tutors in our books.
We are grateful to our funders and supporters. The Big Lottery Fund and the Harpur Trust continue to fund salary costs and Volunteer costs along with funds from Bedford Borough Council. Wixamtree Trust, Garfield Weston and A B Charitable Trust have all provided funds to help BRASS develop its support to our clients.
Veta presented Cathy and Heather with some flowers as a thank you for the superb buffet lunch they produced for us all to enjoy.
Veta thanked all the staff, trustees and volunteers for the great job that they are all doing for BRASS.
She also thanked all those who attended the well attended meeting and their ongoing support.