EU Citizens' Rights Event - Northern Ireland


On Saturday, 05 of May 2018 we supported the Consulate General of Portugal in Manchester with an EU Citizens' Rights Event in Portadown, Northern Island.

The day was split into two question and answer sessions. In the morning we fielded questions from the Portuguese community from Timor and in the afternoon we did the same for the community from Portugal. These were two distinct community groups with differing questions concerning Brexit and the settled status process. We hope that we answered all their questions to their satisfaction and we will feed back their concerns raised to the Home Office via the European Commission Representation.

We want to thank Jorge Cruz, Consul General, André Porteiro Ferreira and everyone else involved in arranging this successful event.

BID's Reuniting Familes Campaign

Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) needs you! They need to raise an initial £5,000 to help fund their ‘Separated Families’ project. With these funds BID will help reunite 20 families devastated by the separation of immigration detention. It is a very achievable goal, if every one of our supporters donates £2 each we’ll get their fund off to a great start. Their press release is set out below.


Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) needs you! They need to raise an initial £5,000 to help fund their ‘Separated Families’ project. With these funds BID will help reunite 20 families devastated by the separation of immigration detention. It is a very achievable goal, if every one of our supporters donates £2 each we’ll get their fund off to a great start. Their press release is set out below.

Reuniting Separated Families

Today (Monday 13
th June), Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) has launched a CrowdJustice campaign ( aimed at securing funding for their vital Separated Families project.

Each year, BID helps reunite around 100 families who have been torn apart by the horrors of immigration detention. Every year, the government detains over 30,000 people for immigration purposes, routinely separating mothers and fathers from their children. Losing a parent to detention – never knowing how long they will be gone for – is devastating for a child. That’s why BID has a special team dedicated to providing parents who have been detained away from their children with legal advice and representation to help them apply for bail and to challenge their deportation.

BID’s CrowdJustice appeal ( is seeking to raise an initial £5000 to help fund the Separated Families project over the next 12 months. £5000 would be enough for BID to help reunite 20 families devastated by immigration detention.

Commenting on the appeal, BID Director Celia Clarke said:

“I’m really excited to be launching this appeal on CrowdJustice. All the people we help at BID need legal advice and support. But when we hear about cases of mothers and fathers being locked up away from their children we know all too well how vital it is that quick action is taken to help put the pieces back together.

“Having a parent ripped from your life is really unimaginable for any child. Yet that is what we see the government do time and again with their immigration detention regime. BID’s Separated Families project aims to give parents in detention legal advice and representation to help them apply for bail and to challenge deportation orders.

“Last year, BID helped reunite 110 families. But we know there are hundreds, maybe thousands more families who have been torn apart by detention. Without our help, many of those parents will never have access to legal advice, will never be able to challenge their detention and find a way back to their families.

“We hope that this appeal will help fund our vital work for another year, and we hope that the public will give generously so that BID can carry on reuniting parents with their children. ”

Please visit for more information and to donate.

The Bike Project needs donations urgently

The Bike Project Project
The Bike Project takes second-hand bikes, fixes them up, and donates them to refugees. They are at a bit of a crisis point with bikes - they’re pretty much run out and drastically need some more donations. They take all adult and children’s bikes in any condition. If you have a bike hiding away in a garage, shed, back garden, please drop it off at any one of their bike hubs. Click here for more information.

This is an extremely good cause, just one of these abandoned bike can help save a refugee £20 per week on bus fares, that’s £1040 a year. So, you know, do it.

Refugee Week is in full swing - a unque opportunity to discover and celebrate the contributions of refugees in the UK

Refugee Week runs from 16 to 22 June 2014. During the week there are many events being held in older to celebrate the contributions of refugees in the UK. Given the louder anti-immigration messages in recent times, the relevance of this event in 2014 is particularly stark. Visit for details of exciting events taking place in your area.

Imperial College Healthcare Charity

A call to arms!

The Imperial College Healthcare Charity raises and manages charitable funds for all hospitals within our area including Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlottes & Chelsea, St Mary’s and Western Eye Hospital. The Charity is independent from the Trust, but works directly with it to support patient care. The funds raised enhance the quality of care people receive across the hospitals as well as enabling the charity to award grants for research projects and fellowships.

For further information click here to visit their website.

Leave to Remain - Film Academy Opportunity

LTR casting flyer

A message from Ellie Vainker of the Film Academy:


I am e-mailing regarding a Film Academy that will be taking place in September specifically for young asylum seekers and refugees. We are trying to make as many young people as possible aware of the project, so please pass this on to anyone who might be interested.

For the past three years the Leave to Remain team have been running a Film Academy which aims to give unaccompanied minors transferable skills that can be used to gain employment or further education. Drama professionals have mentored students in acting and film production, resulting in short films that are scripted, filmed and edited by our students. Past films, along with testimonials from our graduates, can be seen here: [1].

The Film Academy is part of a larger project set up by Bruce Goodison, a BAFTA-winning Director, who has been working for the past few years with child protection agencies including the Refugee Council and Detention Action. He has scripted a film that tells the story of three young people seeking their Leave to Remain. We will be shooting in the autumn and will be running the Academy again in September out of which we will train and cast the young people in the film. All participants in the workshop will have the opportunity to be involved in the film either as an actor or as an intern in a specific area of production.

I have attached a letter from my Producer which explains a little more about the project, as well as a flyer that can be given to anyone interested in being involved. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Many thanks for your help in this endeavour.
Kind regards,

Ellie Vainker [2]
07912 624 068 [3]

Amnesty International needs Bernard Mboueyeu

Dear All,

Paul Dillane, Refugee Researcher - Refugee Programme, of Amnesty International UK is looking for Bernard Mboueyeu, a Cameroonian national featured in an online Guardian piece yesterday.

The Guardian article detailed the plight of Bernard, a Cameroonian national whom the UK Border Agency are trying to remove. Bernard fears persecution and jail on return to Cameroon and this is the second time the UKBA are attempting to remove him. Bernard married Sharon, a charity worker in 2010. Bernard is a step-dad to Sharon’s children and also a step-grandard. The UKBA appears not to dispute this, but have asked Bernard to return to Cameroon, risking persecution and jail, in order to apply for entry clearance to come back as Sharon’s spouse. Quite how they consider that reasonable is another question.

So, if anyone knowns Bernard ask him to contact Paul on 0207 033 1575.


Detention of Asylum Seeking Children

The Deputy Prime Minister, as part of his speech to mark the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the formation of the Refugee Council in the UK, said the policy of detaining children has stopped.

While, the Children's Society produced a new research report called ‘What Have I Done? The experiences of children and families in UK immigration detention' which examines the experiences of 32 families detained prior to the pledge to end the detention of children.

It emphasises the importance of safeguarding issues around the use of detention and the impact to children, some of the experiences collected include:

  • Children witnessing traumatic events, including hunger strikes and suicide attempts and the use of restraint on their parents.
  • High levels of stress, fear, confusion, and feelings of hopelessness and degradation experienced by family members in detention.
  • Many children did not eat, or lost weight, during detention. Families had medication removed upon arrival or missed important medical appointments as a consequence of detention. One child was detained for a second time despite suffering from post traumatic stress disorder after her first detention.
  • The majority of children experienced emotional distress during detention, including sleeplessness, nightmares and constant crying.
  • After release from detention, the majority of families experienced on-going and persistent effects on their mental and emotional health.

You can find the report, and more about the Children's Society, at their website here.

Supporting the Poppy Project

On a blog post dated 12 October 2010 we provided details of an important support service for female survivors of trafficking called the Poppy Project.

Despite the importance of their work the UKBA is terminating the funding it provides for them. Instead it has awarded a contract to the Salvation Army, which means the Project’s funding is reduced by 90%.

They need to raise £1.8 million very year to keep providing high quality support and accommodation to women who have been trafficked for sexual or domestic exploitation, and their children.

You can help support them here.

Slough Immigration Aid Unit

The SIAU is a charity that provides specialist immigration advice to individuals and families in the Slough area. It is regulated by the OISC. In the absence of solicitors with a legal aid contract, the SIAU is one of the only places in Slough where those who cannot normally afford legal representation can get it for free.

As SIAU is a charity it survives purely on donations and grants for the majority of its funding. Representatives of SIAU will be walking to raise money for the unit during the London Legal Support Trust walk on 16 May 2011. If you would like to support that walk click here.

We use cookies on this site to improve your experience. We only use anonymous cookies so we'll assume you are OK with this. Read our 'Extras' section for more details.