Many people in Southampton joined together at the Peace Vigil for Ukraine in Guildhall Square last Friday evening, 11th March, which was addressed by religious and civic community leaders.
The Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Alex Houghton welcomed people and said “it’s truly humbling to see how the people of Southampton, including those with Polish, Ukrainian and Russian connections, have come together to help the people of Ukraine.”
The Right Revd Debbie Sellin, the Bishop of Southampton, visited the Avenue Multicultural Centre (AMC) this morning to meet people seeking asylum and speak to some of the Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group (SWVG) team.
The Together with Refugees coalition held a rally advocating for asylum seekers in Parliament Square this afternoon. It was awesome to see such a diverse range of organisations coming together to challenge the UK government’s Asylum Bill and show solidarity with refugees.
Professor Chris Stephens, Chair of Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group (SWVG), met with the Bishop of Southampton, the Rt Revd Debbie Sellin today, to discuss ways to support people seeking asylum and refugees in Southampton. David Retter and Revd Dr Stephen Sizer, trustees of SWVG, also attended.
As a trustee of Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group (SWVG), I am delighted to share this short introductory video about our work, befriending and supporting asylum seekers and refugees in the Southampton area. We are also continuing to lobby the government for a more compassionate approach toward asylum seekers.
Caterina Aiena’s compelling report, based on IHRC fieldwork, a robust analysis of international laws and obligations and practical recommendations, is a must read for anyone interested in the so-called ‘migrant crisis’.
How we treat refugees is about #WhoWeAre. If we feared for our lives, we’d want to know that others would help us to safety. Together, we are calling for a better approach to supporting refugees that is more effective, fair and humane. This means standing up for people’s ability to seek safety in the UK no matter how they came here. And ensuring people can live in dignity while they wait for a decision on their asylum application.
It means empowering refugees to rebuild their lives and make valuable contributions to our communities. And it means the UK working with other countries to do our bit to help people who are forced to flee their homes.
New government proposals abandon people fleeing war and persecution. We’re calling for a more humane approach to people seeking protection in the UK. Two in three women and children that the UK accepts as refugees now, would be turned away under proposed new government rules. Read more here.
Welcome Churches is a network of churches supporting asylum seekers and refugees in the UK. Our vision is for every refugee in the UK to be welcomed by their local church.
At the end of 2018 there were approximately 157,000 refugees and asylum seekers living in the UK (UNHCR, 2018). “If every church welcomed three people seeking refuge to their community then we could easily see our vision become a reality! No matter where your church is, there is something that you can do to welcome refugees and asylum seekers into your community.”