refugee

St Aloysius Church has been running an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) school for refugees and asylum seekers since March 2016. From an uncertain start with a handful of students, well over a thousand of them have since arrived at the parish’s doors for instruction in what we might call ‘survival English’, along with ESOL lessons up to intermediate level. Classes of around 60 students take place each weekday from 10.00-12.00 at the Ogilvie Centre, attached to the church. The...
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...
Fr Peter McVerry SJ
Fr Peter McVerry SJ and the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice (JCFJ) have expressed their deep criticism of the government’s homelessness action plan, Rebuilding Ireland, on the third anniversary of its launch. According to Fr McVerry in an Irish Times op-ed, the plan has been “an abject failure”.Since the plan was launched, the official figures for homelessness have increased a full 65%. And this does not include such hidden homelessness as migrants with refugee status who are unable to move...
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...
Han, a refugee friend of JRS
Cristina Pecheanu, Destitution Services Manager at Jesuit Refugee Service UK, shares the importance of the activities run at the centre. ‘I was abandoned by the system, I was neglected and I don’t know how to move forward. So when I came, I found each volunteer trying to put in their best effort to welcome me with my name, which in itself is a source of comfort. Each time, each encounter gives me strength to fight for my life.’These touching words from one of our refugee friends, Han,...
A team of runners will take up the challenge of the London Marathon for Jesuit Refugee Service UK on 28th April, this year for the first time.“I came to London many years ago from the North West, but I have always felt welcome here,” explains Daniel Curtin. “I now feel duty bound to share that with others, to make them welcome, just as others shared their city with me. I can’t, however, achieve this by myself. I know all those coming to their Day Centre feel that they belong when they receive...
  Mohammed, a refugee from Egypt, gives a present to the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella (Photo: Centro Astalli).
In a time when the gates of Europe seem closed to people in need of protection, JRS Italy is opening a new reception and integration centre for asylum seekers and refugees.The idea of opening a new centre was inspired by Pope Francis’ appeal to open the houses of religious congregations to host refugees on the occasion of his visit to JRS Italy in 2013.The new centre bears the name of Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit who dedicated his life to putting himself in other people’s shoes and looking for the...
Bishop Paul McAleenan with JRS UK staff and volunteers
Bishop Paul McAleenan, lead Bishop for migration, joined the Detention Outreach team of the Jesuit Refugee Service for a visit to the Heathrow Immigration Removal Centres on the 22nd November. The Jesuit Refugee Service runs weekly pastoral support visits to the Heathrow detention centres, as part of its mission to accompany, serve and advocate on behalf of refugees and those who have been forced to migrate.The Bishop was able to spend time on the wing of Harmondsworth, meeting detainees and...
The 30th October was an exciting day for the JRS UK team as a new multi-purpose space, The Elliot Garden Room, was officially opened at the JRS UK Offices in Wapping. This calm and beautiful space, named after Br Bernard Elliot SJ who first started JRS UK in the 1980s, will be used for one-on-one support and therapeutic work for refugees, as well as prayer and reflection groups and creative activities.The building was opened by Fr Damian Howard SJ, Father Provincial of the Jesuits in Britain,...

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