Building Voice – working with people who have direct experience of the asylum process, and ensuring their voices are heard by decision makers; opinion formers and the wider public.
Here we share some illustrations of our work to Build Voice. Want to find out more? We’d love to hear from you so please get in touch with a member of the team!
Building Confidence and Know-How
We offer training, peer learning and Pow wows for refugees, people seeking asylum and supporters wanting to shift attitudes and campaign for change to the asylum system.
Our ‘Speaking Your Truth to Power’ programme in Liverpool in the Spring of 2013 helped participants find the power in telling their story and develop creative, effective campaigns.
With sessions on how to grow an effective campaign; shifting the narrative on asylum; working with the media and understanding the political environment and opportunities to influence, participants came together to be part of a movement for change and share skills and strategies to change minds and win hearts. Participants have gone on to form a new asylum seeker-led group in Liverpool: LARA (Liverpool Asylum and Refugee Association), and several are now part of MAMA (Migrant Artists Mutual Aid).
In Leeds and Liverpool we have hosted Community Organising training,
offering the opportunity to learn from Carlos Savedra, one of America’s most influential and successful youth migrant organisers who, through the DREAMer movement, persuaded President Barack Obama to sign an administrative order to give papers to 1.2 million undocumented young people.
Talks and Q&As with Local Asylum Seekers
Regional Asylum Activism looks for opportunities where the voices of the people who know most about what it’s like seeking protection here in the UK can be heard by decision makers; opinion formers and the wider public.Recently we have….
Organised rallies and marches in Birmingham and Manchester where people seeking asylum shared their stories and led the call for change for the Shared Day of Action on Destitution.
Hosted a Q&A with local asylum seekers and refugee support projects following performances of the Refugee Boy play in Leeds and Manchester.
Invited Home Office Caseowners to attend awareness sessions to hear from refugees about the impact of positive or negative decisions on the lives of individuals.
Brought speakers to address Manchester University students, activists and politicians at the Sleepout Against Destitution
Invited healthcare professionals and commissioners to listen to the obstacles people seeking asylum experience when accessing healthcare services in Liverpool.
Created a space for people seeking asylum to raise concerns with leading local MPs, like Kate Green; MP for Stretford and Urmston and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Poverty.
Capturing Stories and Experiences
We empower local groups, individuals and support projects to make the most of calls for evidence and opportunities to present the experiences of people who are seeking safety in our communities. Here are a couple of examples….
Holding meetings with asylum seekers and refugees to capture evidence about a whole range of issues within the asylum process (from decision making, through to asylum support and family reunion for those granted refugee status) to write submissions to the Home Affairs Select Committee Inquiry on Asylum.
Gathering evidence about the causes and solutions to poverty in Greater Manchester and presenting a submission about the experiences of people seeking asylum (especially people who are destitute) to the Greater Manchester Poverty Commission.
Gathering evidence about the barriers experienced by people seeking asylum to accessing healthcare in Liverpool and Salford.