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Welcome to our fortnightly newsletter!
We're really looking forward to meeting many of you at our workshop on Thursday 2nd May.  Please try and arrive between 6 and 6.30pm and so we can kick off at 6.30pm.   It's at  St Ethelburga's Centre for Peace and Reconciliation 


To see what so many of our friends seeking asylum have to contend with, read this article about the dysfunctional nature of the HO Immigration department.  It's systemic and the Windrush scandal was simply the tip of the iceberg.  Let's hope Sajid Javid is shamed into long overdue reform.

Guardian article on Home Office chaos and incompetence

Lunar House in Croydon which so many of our friends know only too well, is singled out for particular criticism:

Toxic atmosphere at HO unit everybody wants to leave


For something less gloomy here are a few new initiatives we've come across in our travels across London and the refugee sector:

Foodie ones: 
Migrateful trains people from refugee and migrant backgrounds to become chefs and support themselves by teaching others how to cook their national cuisine.  They have a call-out for budding chefs from Sudan, Syria, Turkey and Sri Lanka.  They meet Tuesday mornings 9.30-2.00pm in Elephant & Castle.  Check out their website for more info:

Local Welcome is like HostNation and connects people in their communities but the difference is they do it over food and cooking together.  We like what they say and how they say it:

This isn’t volunteering. It’s humans connecting with other humans.
This isn’t cooking for refugees. It’s a shared experience.
This isn’t doing your bit. It’s an encounter (the fun kind).

At the moment meals are taking place in the Thornton Heath area so if you and your friend are in South London you might want to check it out.

Green ones:
From south London to north London....Heath Hands is for volunteers who love nature and the outdoors to get involved in conservation, ecology and wildlife on Hampstead Heath.  They'd welcome volunteers from asylum/refugee backgrounds.  If you ever take your friend to the Heath maybe you could volunteer together? 

Green Gym teaches new skills and gives your body and mind a thorough workout in the great outdoors.  
There are currently 11 Green Gyms running each week in the London Boroughs of CamdenEnfieldHackneyHillingdonHounslowIslingtonNewham and Waltham Forest. Sessions are free and easy to join, so just follow this link to plug your friend into their nearest Green Gym.  


And other active ones:
Yoga and sport for refugees at the East London Running Club.  They meet for a 5km Finsbury Park parkrun every saturday at 8.40am outside Finsbury Park Cafe N4 2NQ.  Everyone is welcome and you can contact Lily if you want to come or need a pair of trainers Lily 07912 575084

The Bike Project take second-hand bikes, fix them up, and donate them to refugees and asylum seekers.  They also run weekly cycle training for refugee women. They cater for all abilities of cyclist, from absolute beginners to women wanting to improve their road confidence. All bikes and safety equipment are provided at the lessons and donated to participants at the end of their course. The instructors are all female and travel money is provided.  Mondays 4.30-6.30 in Croydon / Wednesdays 10.30-1pm in Wapping / Fridays 10.30-1.15pm in Dalston.  Check out their website for more info: Cycle training for Women


And things to do (mostly for free) in London:

1. Walk on Hampstead Heath - it's looking beautiful at the moment - and visit Kenwood House, a magnificent Georgian House with a fabulous art collection - open until 5pm daily, entry free
2. Take a Thames Clipper boat trip past the sites from Putney to Greenwich.  You can use your Oystercard and a Roamer fare allows you to hop on and hop off if you want to explore places en route
3. Open weekend with free entry and guided tour of Brixton Windmill 11-12th May
4. Bank holiday canal boat and waterways festival in Little Venice.  Free with lots of boats, activities, Morris dancers etc. Canalway Cavalcade 4-6th May
5.Wembley Park Colourscape Festival 4-6th May 11-4.30pm with a giant colour and light maze to explore.  100% free.
6. Monthly open day at one of London's more curious and delightful museums, devoted to the history of the sewing machine Sat 4th May 2-5pm in Tooting at the London Sewing Machine Museum 

That's it folks... have a great Bank Holiday and look forward to seeing some of you on Thursday. 

HostNation tem
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