Refugees

Hannah meeting friends outside the abandoned building in Bihać where they sleep.
Before the first lockdown, Hannah Parry played the organ here at Farm Street Church. When places of worship were forced to close due to the pandemic, Hannah volunteered with organisations across Europe, bearing witness to the abuse and brutality that is suffered by countless people in their search for safety and protection. In her work with the small NGO, No Name Kitchen, Hannah not only gave out food and clothes, but collected the testimonies from victims of border violence who suffer pushback...
Staff at Jesuit Refugee Service UK were very grateful and moved to welcome over 140 supporters and friends who attended a prayer vigil of witness and solidarity on All Souls Day, Monday 2nd November. Those in attendence came together to reflect on the horrifying and avoidable deaths of an Iranian Kurdish family of five drowned last week trying to cross the Channel.Sister Rachel Riordan, who read during the vigil, commented: “It’s difficult in a few words to convey the powerful...
Jesuit Refugee Service UK has said the indefinite and arbitrary process of immigration detention is fostering a culture of death, suicide and self-harm, that is causing long-term damage to people’s physical and mental health. In a new report, ‘Detained and Dehumanised: The impact of immigration detention’, JRS say detention has a deep and lasting impact on the individual’s sense of self and humanity and on the way people interact with the world.The traumatic effects of detention stretch far...
Sarah Teather, Director of JRS-UK
Sarah Teather’s talk at the Lauriston Jesuit Centre began with words from Pope Francis that we are called to see the face of Christ who pleads with us for help among those who are fleeing or suffering.She gave us the opportunity for an encounter with this suffering, to understand something of lives which were already incredibly precarious before the outbreak of coronavirus, but which were then transformed to complete crisis. Those people, surviving by moving between the homes of various...
MPs are currently tabling amendments to the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU withdrawal) Bill that would introduce a 28-day time limit on detention, together with judicial oversight of the decision to detain. Can you help JRS UK support the proposed time limit and call for an end to the UK’s system of indefinite immigration detention?  The UK currently has no time limit on detention, uniquely among European countries, and the decision to detain is a purely...
Thanks to the immense efforts of Jesuit Refugee Service volunteers and staff who have made huge strides with their emergency project to get urgent help to those in need during the pandemic. They have now delivered more than 250 essential food and toiletry packages, 200 mobile phone credit top-ups, and are now rolling out a prepaid Mastercard scheme to get emergency hardship grants to people safely. Jesuit parishes can get involved with this work by volunteering, or organising toiletry...
Over 20 front-line facing organisations working with asylum seekers, refugees, and those with irregular immigration status have today called for a grant of a period of ‘leave to remain’ to those with insecure immigration status, to allow them to access the health service and labour market. In a joint letter drafted by the Jesuit Refugee Service UK, the organisations have called upon the Prime Minister to protect public health and the welfare of everyone in society by granting a period of ‘leave...
Refugee immigration status acts as a barrier to vital support during COVID-19; support which JRS UK is working to provide, explains policy officer Sophie Cartwright.It feels as though the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the world. These times are challenging and worrying for all of us. And in common with many difficulties, the COVID-19 crisis poses disproportionate risks to those who are already vulnerable. The pandemic poses new risks for JRS UK’s refugee friends, and other people in similar...
Preparing to run the London Marathon for the first time, Alannah Booth, 29, hosted a pub quiz and raffle night in Tooting to raise funds for the Jesuit Refugee Service UK Alannah said: “Moving to London from South Africa, I was welcomed by my friends and family and immediately found myself in a supportive community. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to leave your home and family and arrive to a country only to be met with more difficulties, or to not feel welcomed.”The money...
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...

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