JRS UK

Sarah Teather, Director of JRS-UK
In the wake of a new report showing that newly recognised refugees continue to face destitution in large numbers, JRS UK has joined other organisations in renewing calls for the “move on” period, in which newly recognised refugees can access asylum support, to be extended.“The costs of destitution: a cost-benefit analysis of extending the move-on period for new refugees” published today by the Red Cross finds significant barriers to accessing support, the job market, and housing for people who...
In 1876, at the age of 7, the girl was taken by slave traders. She was forced to walk 600 miles barefoot, from her village in Darfur to the Sudanese city of El Obeid, being sold twice along the way. Over the next twelve years she was sold three more times. The trauma of her abduction caused her to forget her own name. Instead, she took a name given to her by the slavers - Bakhita. After converting to Roman Catholicism in 1890 and taking the baptismal name ‘Josephine’, Bakhita became a...
Matidla, Anne-Marie and Han at St Paul's
On Saturday 27th July, refugees and team from JRS UK attended an interactive exhibition at St Paul’s Cathedral that showcased some of their work.In June, 10 of our refugee friends attended a Silk Painting workshop at JRS UK's centre in Wapping. The workshop focused on ways to depict sacred spaces using silk painting. The activity was facilitated by Stitches in Time, an arts charity working with different community groups in Tower Hamlets. They were collaborating with St Paul’s Cathedral to...
In the context of a hostile or ‘compliant’ immigration policy, many seeking asylum in the UK find themselves and their families at risk of detention or destitution. Those who work with refugees often understand their role as, at core, one of accompaniment: being with and for the other. This project seeks to reflect on this practice of accompaniment, examining not only what it can contribute to the lives of refugees, but also how it can be transformative: transformative for those who walk with...
A new Creative Arts Space, designed, developed and delivered by refugees has launched at Jesuit Refugee Service UK.Refugee-led activities focus on improving skills, confidence, health and well-being by locating the skills, interests and desires of refugees at the centre of the planning process. Many of our refugee friends, who are caught up in the web of policies known as the hostile environment, are barred from accessing services and work; which enforces idleness and marginalisation. These...
Juliet has been coming to the Jesuit Refugee Service Day Centre for over seven years. She’s a strong, independent woman with a wicked sense of humour. As with the majority of the destitute refugees JRS UK walk with through the Day Centre, Juliet is required to ‘report’ with the Home Office on a regular basis. It’s an inflexible administrative process which can be incredibly disorientating.Juliet explains: ‘Oh my God, going to report at the Home Office is the most stressful. Everyone who has...
Photo courtesy of Parliamentlive.tv
On the 2nd July, JRS UK gave oral evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) as part of its inquiry into modern slavery. Director of JRS UK, Sarah Teather, gave evidence to the committee, alongside James Wilson, Deputy Director of Detention Action, and Ahmed Ayeed, Director and Solicitor at Duncan Lewis Solicitors.The evidence submitted by JRS is based on our experience of accompanying victims of trafficking and modern slavery in detention.The HASC inquiry focuses on  what...
New report shows need to end hostile policies on asylum and build communities of hospitality, says Jesuit Refugee Service UK.A new report finds that asylum seekers in destitution and detention feel dehumanised by the asylum system but find strength through community membership, faith and volunteering. The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) UK has responded by calling for an end to hostile environment policies and for the development of policies and social action to foster community, hospitality and...
JRS UK Legal team: Michael, Legal Officer; Lujaina, Legal Project Volunteer; and Jess, Legal Caseworker
Michael and Jess have recently been working to set-up a new specialist Legal Advice Project at JRS UK, following their successful registration with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).The complexity of the asylum system often results in people initially being refused asylum, but with good legal advice and representation, people are able to demonstrate that they are refugees, and entitled to international protection.Solicitors and Immigration Advisors find it harder and...
Celebrate Refugee Week in style with a special performance from JRS UK Refugee Gospel Choir. The choir will be performing contemporary gospel pieces, alongside some well-known favourites.Directed by Magdalena Supel from Soul Sanctuary, all the members of the JRS Gospel Choir are refugees and people seeking asylum; who are supported by JRS UK. Each Wednesday afternoon the choir gather to practice and rehearse, and they come together to share with one another.Matilda Tonkin Wells, who helps to co...

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