Since 2016, we’ve been working with Early Asylum Support Sheffield, a volunteer group who run monthly information sessions for people newly-arrived to the area, on preparing for the asylum substantive interview.
As we wrote back in 2017:
The substantive interview is crucial to an asylum application. For most applicants, their asylum claim will be decided mainly on the basis of the evidence they verbally present at the interview, and how they present it. For many, it can also be a shockingly traumatic experience. Not only do people have to discuss at length and in detail their experiences of persecution and abuse, but the interview is very often carried out in a hostile manner that many claimants have described as an interrogation. The interview can last for several hours, and the claimant will be on their own, with no lawyer present.
EAS run the workshops every month, at the Sanctuary building run by City of Sanctuary. The sessions are the first Wednesday of the month. You can find more information on their Facebook page.
These workshops are so important, because people have so little information about what to expect in the interview, and the consequences of this can be disastrous.
It’s been amazing to watch something so positive grow out of such a negative situation. We’ve watched solidarity and friendships blossom.
And an incredible new accessible and beautiful resource – based on the workshops and the Right to Remain Toolkit – has been born.
Rosie from the group has produced a “zine” (a handmade rough guide) on preparing for the asylum interview, which you can order copies of.
It’s been great to connect groups interested in doing something similar with Early Asylum Support Sheffield, who ran a session on their work at our annual gathering (in Sheffield) last year.
New volunteers needed!
The group are looking to expand their small dedicated team, and are recruiting new volunteers.
You can get in touch with the group via email (see poster below) or their Facebook page.
There’s a training session on Monday 29 April for people interested in getting involved, at which we’ll be running a workshop on the UK asylum process 👇🏽
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