We welcome asylum seekers, refugees and detainees who have fled persecution and danger in their own countries and seek refuge in Oxford and Oxfordshire.

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With the new government rules having come into force on Tuesday 5th January, we have to limit access to our offices by staff, volunteers & clients.

All services are currently operating but we are running services remotely wherever possible. our offices are currently closed to visitors so please only come in if you have booked an appointment or in an emergency.

 

We are open Monday-Friday; please call us between 10am and 3pm on 01865 722082. Please leave a message if there is no answer and we will get back to you as soon as we can. If you know the number or email address of the person that you need to contact then do contact them directly.


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News

Oxford has a heart – and it’s orange

Monday, May 10, 2021

The UK government seeks to undermine the rights of those fleeing persecution and war. We believe the New Plan for Immigration is driven more by a desire to protect our borders than by our responsibility to offer protection to those genuinely fearing persecution. It is deeply flawed, inhumane and is unlikely to achieve many of its desired aims.

We want to show refugees and asylum seekers that they aren’t alone - we are fighting with them. We’re asking Oxfordshire to show that we oppose the government’s unfair plans and stand in solidarity with refugees.

To do this, we are using the symbol of the orange heart. We want to create a welcoming community by showing the hearts in our front windows, across social media and in public places. We will come together to tell asylum seekers and refugees who live amongst us that, despite the negative voices they hear in the debate over the Plan, there are many in Oxfordshire who welcome asylum seekers.

Please join us and share a photo of yourself with your heart on social media @AsylumWelcome to show the UK government #WhoWeAre

What is the orange heart?

On 10th May, a new national coalition of refugee charities is being launched called Together with Refugees.  Asylum Welcome is part of this coalition. The coalition’s symbol is an orange heart, the colour of the refugee flag, and it is designed to become a unifying visual symbol that all can stand behind to express their solidarity with asylum seekers and refugees.

You can watch this short video to learn a bit more about it by clicking here.

Ashia escaped fighting in her own country to seek safety in the UK and now lives in Oxford. “I had a beautiful life. I did not want to leave. We had no choice to leave and find safety. Our hearts are broken. We will get shot if we go home. We are grateful that the door was opened for us. Why are they shutting it now? My family are doctors here and have been helping to fight Covid. We support and do all we can to give back.” 

We want to show that Oxfordshire welcomes refugees like Ashia, and to help to reframe the argument that there is a public mandate for immigration reform that welcomes asylum seekers rather than provides a hostile environment.

For more information on the New Plan For Immigration, and how to write to your MP, see our resources.


Invitation for people with lived experience to become trustees

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

We have signed up to a programme aimed at helping a more diverse group of people become trustees. We’d ideally like this to include refugees who might become part of our board, but it’s not confined to them.


The programme is run by The Oxford Hub and has a taster date on May 27th from 1-2pm. 


The session will provide some insight into what being a trustee is all about and explain how the programme works. Anyone interested can sign up using this form here.


If you do think this might be of interest to clients, former clients or volunteers, whether they’d be interested in becoming a trustee at Asylum Welcome or elsewhere, do please pass it on.


More background can be found here.


A new programme is starting and they hope to match potential trustees with organisations in July.


In summary:

The Programme is aimed at inspiring and training the next generation of diverse trustees in the voluntary sector.  The aim of the programme is to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to become a trustee and help lead a local charity to tackle social and environmental issues.

The Hub are now working with charities across Oxfordshire, to recruit diverse individuals who they will support to take up trustee roles at local charities. The Hub will match individuals to charity boards aligned with their interests and provide a 12-month training and mentoring support.

If you think of someone who might be specifically interested in and possibly suitable to join AW board, with or without this support programme, do please let us know and we can explore further.

More news…