WERS Annual General Meeting

Everyone is warmly invited to the Annual General Meeting on Thursday 27 September at 6pm It will be held at WERS’ usual venue, Westgate Baptist Church, Westgate Road, and we are most grateful to the church for letting us use their premises. A light buffet will be available after the meeting and we all look forward to catching up with friends, colleagues and supporters.

Our guest speaker will be Dr Kim Seaton, a Research Associate in the Institute for Policy and Practice at Newcastle University. The presentation, entitled ‘Immigration Policy and the Asylum System in Europe’ will focus on the dual issues of immigration and asylum in Europe with reference to three case study countries – the UK, Germany and Sweden. It will consider some of the key policy developments in the last 10-20 years, given the intention to move towards a Common Asylum Policy in 2010. Kim is a human geographer and has a particular interest in the functionality and ‘morality’ of the asylum system as it currently stands. This will be a most interesting talk and give us an insight into asylum systems in other European countries.

Sponsored sleepout

Many events have been organised across the country to raise awareness of the destitution situation through the ‘Still Human Still Here’ Campaign.

On 29 June, Hexham Amnesty Group drew attention to the plight of destitute asylum seekers with a sponsored sleepout outside Hexham Abbey in aid of WERS.

Alison Page one of the event organisers who took part said:

‘It was an experience I won’t forget and made me realise how awful it must be for the destitute.’

Alison was also interviewed on Radio Newcastle and the event was mentioned in the local press. Sponsorship money is coming in to WERS as I write this newsletter and WERS is most grateful to the Hexham Amnesty Group, both for supporting the hardship fund and particularly for raising awareness of the situation.

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WERS gets three years of support from Greggs Trust

Greggs Trust

WERS has been awarded a further grant from Greggs Trust which will provide funding for the part-time clothing store manager, a post which Greggs Trust has funded since 2000.

Mark Wilson, manager of Greggs Trust, said:

‘WERS is an impressive project, and the clothing store is an integral part of the charity’s work. It provides for the immediate needs of people who arrive in the UK with few possessions, and the project is also working to encourage integration within the community. The Trust is very pleased to continue supporting the West End Refugee Service.’

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