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Notes from Leeds MultiAgency Meeting, 3rd October 2016

Attendees: See the list;

Apologies: Jon Beech (LASSN), Muhammed Nayyer Refugee Council

Agenda; Richmond Hill Recreation Centre –  Ali Mahgoub, APPG Inquiry into Refugees – Lorna Gledhill, Haamla Midwives and destitution, Paula; Migration Yorkshire update, Bill Dennis; Ashiana  supporting people experience trafficking, Lizzie, UPDATE FROM THE ROOM.

Richmond Hill – Depot: Ali Mahgoub, two employees appointed. Development worker (8 hours) and trainee (10 hours), and casework from PAFRAS will do more 4 hours a week. The progress supposed to be made: There will be someone act as first point of contact for the warehouse. Working on developing the hub and spoke model for donations and distribution (in Leeds). Expand the co-ordination for receipt of donations across Leeds and wider Yorkshire area for use by the partners using the warehouse donation point and to develop the amount of physical aid donations across Leeds including the establishment of spoke donation points. Updates will be made by emails.

Haamla, Paula: Haamla is a service that provides essential support for pregnant women, and their families, from minority ethnic communities, including asylum seekers and refugees, throughout their pregnancy and postnatal period. It aims to improve access within maternity services, empower and inform women of the choices available during their pregnancy and birth, thereby improving their health and wellbeing. Contact the Haamla Office on 0113 2065477. Destitute women need more support. For single and pregnant women have to contact Home Office or G4S to see how can be supported. Raise the issues facing them and send emails to assessment team at the Home Office to report these cases. Nola: LASSN are considering how Grace Hosting might better support single pregnant women.

Some people be held in immigration detention while their applications were being processed or have been refused and release without any support. Nobody knows how to deal with these cases.

 Migration Yorkshire, Bill Dennis: Government wrote to councils with information on the future resettlement scheme for unaccompanied children, which will include the resettlement of unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC). There were over 3,000 asylum applications from UASC in 2015, a 56% rise from the previous year. UASC enter the care of a council as a looked after child and have the same rights to help and support as a child who enters the care system for any other reason. Calais refugee camp will be completely demolished soon. U.K Government works on granted children status and reunited them with their families.

The process for withdrawal in Article 50 of the EU. The Government will give the European Council formal notice of UK withdrawal at the end March 2017. A two-year timescale for exit negotiations begins at this point. In his resignation speech, the Prime Minister indicated that his successor would initiate such an exit negotiation.

Refugee Council, Duncan Wells: Resettlement programme, 50 individuals already in Leeds and expect new group coming soon.

Communities team at Leeds City Council, Samantha Powell: Communities team doing Needs Assessment for communities and will see how to support groups and to be engaged with them.

Unity in Poverty Action (UPA) Dave Paterson: offer food aid at Ebor Gardens Community Centre, Syrian kitchen run by Syrian community and now would like to user Richmond Hill depot, which can be used to store and to distribute parcels to the needy whenever requested. This will be addition to the work done in PAFRAS drop-in.

Andrew Rathbone: Building A stronger Britain Together. The Home Office has launched a programme to build a partnership between the government and groups working to challenge extremism in their communities. HO held a meeting on Friday 30 September at St. George Centre but not many agencies and community groups were there. This programme is different from Prevent programme and targeting all forms to offer positive alternative regardless of race, faith, sexuality, age and gender. Organisations can apply to grant funding up to £50.000 and in-kind support include social media trainings, help set up a website or advice on media activities. (Check the Home Office website for more information).

LASSN – Nola Pugh: working with LASSN befriending project and freelance trainer and consultant. She has spent the summer visiting various refugee camps, running workshops and programmes for refugee children in Europe and now would like to do a lot more for refugee children in the city. LASSN organizes 3 week course is being run by Ebor Gardens Advice Centre and Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network, and is aimed at support workers, volunteers and anyone else who supports refugees and asylum seekers with their finances.

Touchstone, Leeds City Council and Leeds Refugee Forum Samantha Powell: are organising an event “Mental Health and Advocacy support for Refugees and Asylum Seekers” With a focus on two key areas: Raising awareness of pathways into mental health services, what service provision is available and what gaps need addressing. In addition what service provision is available for this client group around advocacy support on issues such as housing, welfare benefits and entitlements?!!  The theme of this event certainly seems to be within the RAS Mental Health network this is an identified challenging area: lack of knowledge with statutory mental health services of RAS advocacy and in retrospect need to increase understanding of mental health provision within RAS advocacy services. The event will be held on November at Bridge Community Church by invitation only.

Leeds Refugee Forum (LRF) Ali Mahgoub: is organising different events, 11 October International Girls Day and 15 October, Black History Month event jointly with West Yorkshire Police and Ruth for Women. The events are open to everyone and asked for promotion. LRF and LCC, Leeds Safeguarding Children Board organising FGM consultation meeting for NHS (Midwives)and women groups from Eritrea, Somali, Sudan and Ethiopian.

Next meeting, 9 January 2017, 10 -12 noon at One Community Centre

Notes by Ali Mahgoub

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