Supporting refugees in Leeds

There has been a strong feeling within St Peter’s Singers, as our Penthos project has unfolded, that we should take a collection at the concert in support of charities working with refugees.

Accordingly, we have selected four charities local to Leeds, each of whom have genuine, proven and widely acknowledged positive impact on refugee individuals' and families' lives at a grass roots level. In their various ways they support individuals and families to settle and progress in their lives in Leeds, whether they are here permanently or uncertainly. In each case we are confident that any money we hand over will go directly to benefit individuals through resources or other project delivery costs, and not to overheads.

Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network

Leeds Playhouse Theatre of Sanctuary

Mill Hill Chapel Conversation Club

Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (PAFRAS)

Please take a moment or two to find out more about their work by reading below or following the links to their own websites.

If you wish to donate to one or more of them, feel free to do so through their individual websites.

Alternatively, you can contribute here to the fund set up by St Peter’s Singers, which together with the collection taken at the concert, will be shared equally and fully between them.

Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network

LASSN offers a range of support to asylum seekers, who typically experience acute isolation, mental health issues, language difficulties and prolonged uncertainty over their asylum claim.

Their volunteers offer friendship and practical help through befriending, through ‘grace hosting’ in their own homes, and through employment skills building for people eligible to work in the UK.

Established in 1999 in response to the pressing unmet needs of asylum seekers in Leeds, LASSN also partners with many other organisations to campaign and raise awareness of the complex issues around asylum. 

Leeds Playhouse Theatre of Sanctuary

Leeds Playhouse works closely with refugee organisations and volunteers from within the refugee and asylum seeker community in Leeds to offer a range of creative and practical projects, extending a warm welcome to Leeds and to the Playhouse community.

Weekly activities include a youth group, a Conversation Café, the ‘Asmarina Voices’ women’s singing group, a play project for pre-school children and public speaking skills development to support daunting meetings and potential future employment.

Having become the first ever Theatre of Sanctuary in 2014, the Playhouse also works to make the voices of asylum seekers and refugees heard, and to raise awareness of the issues they face.

Mill Hill Chapel Conversation Club

The Conversation Club at Mill Hill Chapel in Leeds city centre provides a safe place for refugees and asylum seekers: vulnerable families who, through no fault of their own, have had to leave the countries they love because of war and persecution, to seek protection in another country.  

Volunteers - caring adults from all walks of life – provide tea, coffee, snacks and healthy food. They encourage everyone to chat in English and also run two more structured English

groups each week. They distribute nappies, sanitary protection and toiletries. They play board games, chat and most of all smile and laugh. 

The Conversation Club was established in May 2016 and in November 2017 was Highly Commended as ‘Most Inspirational Project of the Year’ at the Leeds Compassionate City Awards.

Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (PAFRAS)

PAFRAS works with refugees, asylum seekers and the wider to community in Leeds to counter the effects of enforced destitution on vulnerable migrants and to help people make lasting improvements to their situations.

Their work has three main strands: emergency and crisis support, 1:1 specialist casework and integrated mental health support. PAFRAS’ drop in, which is attended by over 100 asylum seekers each week, is delivered by a range of health and advice services and provides a hot meal, food parcels, toiletry packs and referrals for clothing.

PAFRAS also works to raise awareness and campaigns locally and nationally on issues affecting their service users.