Summary of the day and follow-up
The national and international issues surrounding the refugee crisis are complex and, at times, controversial. The objective of this summary is not to address these high-level issues, but to acknowledge that people will be arriving in Derby who are vulnerable, have faced persecution, and need help. The summary therefore provides an overview of what is happening in Derby and how we, as a city, can respond…
1. WHAT IS HAPPENING IN DERBY?
- Asylum seekers: Asylum seekers (people who have left their home country and are seeking protection from another country) are currently coming to the UK from a number of countries. Derby has been hosting asylum seekers as a dispersal location as part of the Home Office’s asylum system for many years. There are currently about 700 asylum seekers in Derby, being supported by a number of different agencies.
- Refugees: If an asylum seeker is found to meet the legal definition of a refugee, they are granted refugee status and many of those already in Derby when this occurs decide to settle in the community. Derby is proud to have a rich and diverse community which features refugees from many places around the world.
- Syrian refugees: The Derby city council (and other local authorities) are currently considering if they would like to participate in the Syrian vulnerable persons relocation scheme which will help to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next 5 years. (This will be in addition to the existing asylum dispersals in the UK)
2. WHAT CAN I DO TO SUPPORT REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS IN DERBY?
a) Volunteer: Volunteering to add capacity to organisations that are working to support refugees and asylum seekers is a great way to offer practical support and utilise your skills and experience. Organisations you could consider are:
- St Peter's Centre: Welcome new arrivals, chat, and provide refreshments at the weekly drop-in supported by Red Cross. Contact Anita Matthews (01332360790 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
- British Red Cross Refugee Support Service: Provide one-on-one advice to refugees and asylum seekers, and advocate on their behalf. Contact Guy Freeman (01332525423 or email@example.com)
- Upbeat Communities: Provide group and family activities for refugees and asylum seekers. Also deliver English language classes and welcome boxes. Contact Karina Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 01332
- Derby Refugee Advice Centre: Provide one-on-one advice to refugees and asylum seekers. Contact Joan Stannard (01332347497 or email@example.com)
b) Donate money: Donating or fundraising money in order to donate to an organisation that’s working to support refugees and asylum seekers is one of the most effective ways you can help:
- There are a number of large national organisations who accept donations, such Christian Aid, Oxfam, Red Cross, Save the Children etc
- There are local routes for donating money – please contact the organisations mentioned above
c) Donate clothing or food etc: There are a number of existing charities who support refugees and asylum seekers with food and clothing, such as the Hope Centre (contact Paul Brookhouse – 01332341189 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
d) Educate: Learning more about why refugees and asylum seekers are fleeing their home and the global systems that are established in order to provide protection for them is a great first step to figuring out how you may best be able to support them. The Red Cross is provides outreach education sessions to individuals and groups, and can tailor these to meet your needs (contact Guy Freeman 01332525423 or email@example.com)
e) For people living outside of Derby: Please support the organisations above. Please look into what is happening in your area and contribute this information into the networks below…
3. WHAT IS ALREADY BEING DONE TO COORDINATE SUPPORT FOR REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS?
There are already a number of public, private and voluntary sector organisations who work to support refugees and asylum seekers in Derby. A number of these partners participate in networking and coordination meetings:
- East Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership and subgroups (See www.emcouncils.gov.uk for details)
- New communities networking forum (chaired by Derby City Council)
- Refugee and asylum seeker coordination group (chaired by British Red Cross)
- City of Sanctuary (Organisations and faith groups can apply for a city of sanctuary award. This involves your group taking positive action to offer welcome and support to sanctuary seekers and refugees, and to include them in your activities)
If you would like to contribute to these discussions please contact Pop Gill (01332643044 firstname.lastname@example.org)
To download a copy of this article, please click here
The Migrant Summit took place at Derby Cathedral on Friday 2 October 2015.
Bishop Alastair was joined by Pauline Latham OBE MP, Margeret Beckett DBE MP, Cllr Asaf Afzal, Alan Charles, Policing and Crime Commissioner and representatives from Derby City Council, The Red Cross, Derby Refugee Advice Centre, City of Sanctuary and Upbeat Communities.
We will contine to update this page with news and resources.
Resources from the day
The Facts on the Ground powerpoint presentation - Pop Gill, Manager for Community Cohesion and Integration, Derby City Council