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Yorkshire West ‘Seeking sanctuary in the UK – Stories of Courage’

Yorkshire West ‘Seeking sanctuary in the UK – Stories of Courage’
December 13, 2023 Bronwen

Yorkshire West District MWiB recently held a District Day entitled ‘Seeking sanctuary in the UK -Stories of Courage’. During the morning we heard from Maryna who came to Britain under the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ initiative having discovered the offer of a home with one of the ministers in the District. She arrived with her 10 year-old daughter expecting to be in Britain for no longer than a few months. She stayed with the family for a year and has now been in her own accommodation for another year. During this time she has been helping other refugees and, as she was an English teacher in the Ukraine, her language skills have been in much demand.
During the afternoon we heard from Rev’d Sarah Jemison from BEACON – Bradford Ecumenical Asylum Seeker Concern which is based at Touchstone in Bradford. She spoke of the work that they do through a group who help asylum seekers through all the paperwork of seeking asylum and run conversation groups to help with language problems. Lisa, who came as an asylum seeker from The Gambia, accompanied Sarah and she told of her experience having come to Britain to avoid religious persecution. She was sent to Yarlswood Detention Centre for 6 months during which time her claims were investigated before she was eventually granted asylum.
It was interesting to hear that now both of these ladies are working for their local authorities in the field help for refugees as well as doing voluntary work in that area too.