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The latest news from Asylum Welcome.

We also contribute to the debates on asylum and detention in the media.

Short talk about Asylum Welcome by Kate Smart

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

This is a short talk given by Kate Smart Director of Asylum Welcome at Weatley URC Church , January 2018.

Job vacancy: Detainee Support Service Co-ordinator

Friday, December 01, 2017

Job vacancy: Detainee Support Service Co-ordinator

Would you like to make a difference to immigration detainees at Campsfield House?

Asylum Welcome is seeking a service co-ordinator to manage volunteers who visit detainees at Campsfield House and who provide advice and casework. The service aims to promote the safety of detainees, reduce isolation, enable them to understand and exercise their rights and make their voices heard.

You will possess empathy, sound judgement and experience of working in or managing a high-quality, volunteer-run service. You will understand the U.K. immigration system and how detention is used within it and be able to develop professional relationships that enable you to achieve positive outcomes.

Asylum Welcome encourages former detainees who are ‘experts by experience’ to consider applying for this position.

Hours: 15 hours a week over 3 days a week, with possibility of extended hours

Salary: £12,000 p.a. (pro rata £28,000 FTE)

Closing date: Sunday 31st December 2017

Please download the following for further information:

Job vacancy: Volunteer co-ordinator

Friday, November 03, 2017

Would you like to work at the heart of Asylum Welcome?

Asylum Welcome is seeking an experienced manager to co-ordinate and support our large community of 180 volunteers, celebrate their successes and replenish the pool with new recruits.

Based at our Welcome Centre in East Oxford, you will have a key role in Asylum Welcome’s small team of expert staff. You will supply our service managers with volunteers so they can sustain our busy, welcoming, high-quality services for asylum seekers, refugees and detainees.

With excellent people skills, you will need an organised approach, empathy and sound judgement.

Hours: 21 hours a week (3 days)

Salary: £16,500 p.a. (pro rata £27,500 FTE)

Closing date: midnight on Sunday 26th November 2017.

Please download the following for further information:

Bishop Steven is the new patron of Asylum Welcome

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Asylum Welcome is delighted to announce that the Right Reverend Dr. Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, is to become the charity's patron. Bishop Steven has a deep interest in the welfare of refugees and is keen to support efforts to enable them to rebuild their lives. Asylum Welcome achieves that through a large network of compassionate and expert volunteers and through the support of people in all parts of community.

Shaw Report: less detention & more safeguards needed, Asylum Welcome testimony cited

Sunday, January 24, 2016

In 2015, following evidence and criticisms from a range of organisations and individuals including under-cover film from detention centres, the Home Secretary commissioned Stephen Shaw (former Prisons Ombudsman) to carry out a review into the welfare in detention of vulnerable persons. The Shaw Report was published in January 2016. Testimony from Asylum Welcome is cited the report. The report concludes:

“I my view, a smaller, more focused, strategically planned immigration detention estate, subject to the many reforms I have outlined in this report, would both be more protective of the welfare of vulnerable people and deliver better value for the taxpayer. Immigration detention has increased, is increasing, and – whether by better screening, more effective reviews, or formal time limit – it ought to be reduced."

You can read the full report (which includes an executive summary)

and Asylum Welcome’s submission

Submission to Vulnerable Detainee Review:Asylum Welcome May 2015

Crisis Appeal for Funds

Monday, October 26, 2015

Asylum Welcome’s annual fundraising appeal has a special urgency this year. Asylum Welcome is playing a vital part in the local response to the growing international refugee crisis. Our services are getting busier, with more new arrivals and more complex needs. We are also advising the local authorities on preparations to accept resettled Syrians. All of this is only possible through the dedicated support of over 120 volunteers, who also continue to run advice sessions, provide English lessons, food parcels, detention visits, a youth club and more.

Asylum Welcome relies heavily on local donations and is asking local people to support its appeal this winter.

At this time of year, as the nights grow colder and darker, refugees and asylum seekers, many of whom are desperately poor and hungry, sometimes destitute and homeless, need the help Asylum Welcome provides more than ever.

Please read our appeal letter.

donation reply slip

Thank you.

Asylum Welcome's response to the Immigration Bill 2015

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

The Immigration Bill will be debated in parliament on 13th October. If implemented, it will have far-reaching impact on asylum seekers, refugees and detainees, and on local communities and local authorities.

In particular we are concerned about:

  • Changes to the right of appeal
  • Changes to asylum support, especially those changes affecting detainees and those affecting families with children
  • New rules for landlords
  • The lack of a time limit on detention

Please read our briefing paper on the Immigration Bill 2015 and response to the consultation on asylum support.

Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett visits Asylum Welcome

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett visits Asylum Welcome on Friday to pay tribute to the charity’s efforts to support people who have survived war, terrorism, and human rights violations and who now face detention and destitution in Oxford.

Director Kate Smart described new Home Office proposals remove asylum support payments and accommodation from families with young children as “a complete absence of basic, decent humanitarian values”.

The charity will be writing to the Home Office to express concerns about the proposals, which, it argues, will inevitably lead to children joining the numbers of those who are destitute.

It is also planning to step up its practical assistance. In addition to food parcels, the charity will begin providing breakfasts, targeted at those who are sleeping rough. Asylum Welcome runs with 120 local volunteers.

“We don’t have the resources to provide beds for people” said Kate Smart “but food, friendship, advice and a welcoming place during the day, is what we are good at.”

Immigration Announcements August 2015

Sunday, August 16, 2015

In the last few days, the government has made a series of announcements about tougher policies affecting asylum seekers and other migrants who are in the UK.

Asylum Welcome has had a number of calls seeking further information and offering help.

Thank you very much for your interest and support. If you would like to show your support, here are a few ways:

  1. If you know of any asylum seekers or refugees who are worried by the announcements and need some advice, encourage them to get in touch with the experienced advisers at our Welcome Centre.
  2. Our foodbank always welcomes donations of tinned and packaged food and basic toiletries – which are all given to asylum seekers and refugees as needed.
  3. The Oxford City of Sanctuary committee (a different organisation) is fielding offers of spare rooms for asylum seekers – you can find out more on their website.
  4. Contact your M.P. to give your views on the government’s proposals, and keep in touch with us, and with your M.P. as further details emerge in the new Immigration Bill in September.
  5. Help our fundraising efforts, perhaps by hosting a cake sale or book sale or making a donation.
  6. As fear and intolerance increases, help spread a message of welcome.

Thank you

Jean's annual cake sale

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Love baking? Join Jean's bake sale in Summertown on July 18

The cake sale will take place on Saturday, July 18 from 10am until noon at Summertown United Reformed Church, 294A Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 7HN.

All proceeds go to Asylum Welcome.

If you are able to contribute please contact Judy: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We would ask you to bring the cakes to the Asylum Welcome office on Friday, July 17 before 3pm.