Supporting each other at the Migration Yorkshire VCS Engagement day


On Thursday 6 July, Migration Yorkshire hosted an Engagement Day for members of the voluntary and community sector. 

The day was focused on understanding the current migration situation in Yorkshire and Humber as well as nationally, encouraging information sharing between groups and organisations, and promoting a positive counter-narrative to the constant negative story peddling surrounding migration justice. 

Yumna, our Legal Education Officer, was invited to attend the event and contribute to the morning panel discussion to answer some questions posed by the audience. Questions included how to respond to the lack of Legal Aid and legal representation (our answer: legal support!), and whether Right to Remain has any information on the Illegal Migration Bill (read our Medium blog post here). 

It was good to meet with groups from the wider Yorkshire and Humber area, and to share the platform with Migration Yorkshire’s various departments (focusing on the rights of unaccompanied asylum seeking children, resettlement, and the Hong Kong and Ukraine crises amongst other things), the Refugee Council, the British Red Cross, the Asylum Support Appeals Project, and Refugee Action.

Pascale Gayford (Refugee Action Good Practice), Yumna, and Marie-Anne Fishwick (Asylum Support Appeals Project). 

It was also useful to learn more about the resources and initiatives of the organisations in attendance. For example: 

  • Migration Yorkshire will be hosting the second Yorkshire Integration Festival on 30 September 2023. You can find out more about the Festival here
  • Asylum Matters is carrying out a Right to Work campaign in conjunction with the #LiftTheBan movement. To learn more about applying for permission to work while in the asylum system, read our Toolkit page here

The day ended with a very useful exercise, where participants were given a piece of paper and could write down whether they had a specific ‘need’ or something specific to ‘offer’. Different organisations were then matched up according to whether the need could be fulfilled by someone in the room. The point of the exercise was to show that there are many overlaps between the work of different organisations, and that it is important to ask for help from our existing networks, and not to shoulder the weight of this work alone. 

Thank you to the Migration Yorkshire team, and especially Vicky Mulhern, for inviting us to take part on the day. 

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