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DCRS Annual Review 2010


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Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support (DCRS) Annual Review 2010

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DCRS Annual Review 2010

  1. 1. DEVON & CORNWALL REFUGEE SUPPORT COMPANY LIMITED A private company limited by guaranteeANNUAL REVIEW 2010 Address: 7 Whimple Street, Plymouth, PL1 2DH, Devon. Telephone: (01752) 265952 Facsimile: 0870 762 6228 Email: Website: Registered Company No. 06271122 Registered Charity No. 1130360 OISC Exemption No. N200100427 -1-
  2. 2. DCRS Annual Review 2010 CONTENTS PAGEMission Statement 3Editorial Comments 3A Review of 2010 4-5A Calendar of Events 6-8Statistics 12Statistical Analysis 13Project Support Review: 14 --30Part 1: Project Support Work 14 - 19Part 2: A Report on Age-disputed Minors 20 – 21Part 3: Interpreters 22 – 23Part 4: A Review of Outreach & Training Coordination 24Part 5: A Review of Sports & Fitness Coordination 26Part 6: Behind the Labels – They’re Still Human 28 - 30The Food Programme 32 - 33The Clothing Store 34The Internet Suite 36 - 37The Reception Desk 38The Website 39The Big Lottery 40A Special Article by Dr. Penelope KEY Download 42The Founding of the Masiandae Centre 44 - 45 DCRSAnnual Awards 46 - 47 Annual Review 2010:A Financial Statement 48  PDF (2.72 MB)A Financial Review 49  MS WORD (4.22 MB)Funders & Logos 51Acknowledgement 51Staff, Trustees & Other Volunteers 52 - 53 Go to DCRS homepageDCRS Contact Details 54 -2-
  3. 3. DCRS Annual Review 2010 MISSION STATEMENT Devon & Cornwall Refugee Support aims to build a practical support system for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (ASR) and to ensure that they benefit from their legal rights by using all the available services. DCRS assists ASR to maintain their dignity and provides them with practical support in rebuilding their lives. EDITORIAL COMMENTSDevon & Cornwall Refugee Support Council (DCRSC) became a Private Company Limited by Guarantee on st 1 January 2010. It is now officially known as a Registered Charity under the company name of: Devon & Cornwall Refugee Support Company Limited (DCRS Co. Ltd.) a Private Company Limited by Guarantee The shortened title will be DCRS. -3-
  4. 4. DCRS Annual Review 2010 A REVIEW OF 2010 by Mrs. Lorna M. SEWELL Chair of the DCRS Board of Trustees 2010 will be remembered for our successful bid to the Big Lottery… under the Reaching Communities Project… for the next four years. This has enabled us to increase our staffing level by four. Two extra Project Support Workers and two Coordinators: one as Sport & Fitness and the second as Training & Outreach. Obtaining this funding, not only enables us to increase our support to our Service Users (Asylum Seekers & Refugees) and to do new work, but with this public funding we have commitments of targets to meet and regular reports to be sent to the Funder. We have not only dedicated staff but dedicated Trustees and Volunteers who are prepared to give a great deal of their time to this worthwhile work. Included in the targets of DCRS is to open for five days a week for Drop-in Sessions instead of the two we have had for a number of years. This has meant considerable re-organisation with extra volunteers needed and staff time re-allocated. We had hoped that this might have reduced the stress level with smallernumbers of Service Users attending each day, but so far this hasn’t happened. The number of ASR still needing supportand advice continues to grow.During 2010, the Plymouth Office of the national charity Refugee Action and Devon Law Centre closed due to lack offunding. Both these closures had serious repercussions on DCRS. RA dealt with cases that our staff were not familiarwith, so with some training from RA before they left Plymouth, many more Service Users now rely on DCRS. Now thatthere is no immigration advice available locally, this has added problems as our staff are not permitted to giveimmigration advice unless they hold a further level of Office of Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) registration.Whether we can rectify this, is something we shall be pursuing in 2011.One of our priorities in 2010 and will continue into 2011, is that our extra funding for the Reaching Communities Projectdoes not cover our original support work and the cost of our premises, etc., and therefore we have and will continue toseek further funding. In this current economic climate this will unfortunately, become more difficult with all charitieschasing the ever-decreasing funds available. We have been most grateful for the funders and individual donors whohave supported us in 2010, and Funding will continue to be one of the Trustees’ priorities for 2011.I would like to thank, on behalf of the DCRS Board of Trustees, not only our dedicated Staff but also our Volunteers whohave been involved in our Food Programme, the Clothing Store, the Internet Suite and Reception duties. -4-
  5. 5. DCRS Annual Review 2010Here are some statistics for the year that speak for themselves: Visits by ASR 8,000 Interviews 5,000 Food Parcels 1,700 Internet Usage 1,650 Clothing Issues 500More specific Statistical Data is given later in this Review (on page 12).Lorna M. SEWELLChairDCRS Board of Trustees -5-
  6. 6. DCRS Annual Review 2010 A CALENDAR OF EVENTS After the last AGM in June 2010 till the time before the AGM in June 2011 thFriday, 18 June 2010Refugee Week. Asylum & Refugee Awareness Training delivered by Pat JOYCE & David FEINDOUNO at Plymouth Guildof Voluntary Service. thFriday, 18 June 2010Refugee Week. DCRS held an Open Day & Annual General Meeting.During Refugee Week in June 2010Refugee Week. The Lord Mayor, Councillor Mary ASPINALL, and Lady Mayoress, Kate ASPINALL, met personalities fromDCRS who have were seeking asylum from Afghanistan. thTuesday, 20 July 2010Visit to DCRS by Frederick Street Staff. th thMonday, 26 July 2010 – Wednesday, 28 July 2010Placement of Police Officer in Training with DCRS. ndMonday, 2 August 2010DCRS Volunteers Bill BUDGE and Paul RICKARD took three Service Users out to Mount Batten for a day of cliff climbing. thWednesday, 25 August 2010Awareness Training delivered by Pat JOYCE, Irena ONIONS, David FEINDOUNO, & Patrick CHARY at Ernest English Housefor BTCV Programme of Volunteer Training. thWednesday, 25 August 2010Visit of Katherine OGLEY, an artist from Falmouth who came to record Asylum Seeker & Refugee members, who sharedtheir songs of influence from their homelands. Katherine used those recordings on a project in the Lizard to explore thelink between war and refugees, using sound as a background to her exhibit.September 2010Two Talks & Presentations to the Plymouth Integrated Probation Team and to a local school by Geoff READ and ChristineREID. -6-
  7. 7. DCRS Annual Review 2010 thTuesday, 7 September 2010Trish BAXTER represented DCRS at a Stakeholders Forum with Housing Officers regarding the future of RHSS and futurecommissioning of housing support for the Asylum Seeker & Refugee community. thFriday, 10 September 2010Refugee Action facilitated training for DCRS Staff on support issues regarding Section 4 & Appeals. thTuesday, 12 October 2010John JEBB manned the DCRS Display, representing volunteer opportunities at Marjon Campus. thMonday, 25 October 2010Jane FARLEIGH, Regional Director of the UK Border Agency came to Plymouth. thTuesday, 26 October 2010DCRS welcomed Paul RIDLEY from the Big Lottery, who came to see how our Project Reaching Communities was progressing. thFriday, 29 October 2010DCRS welcomed Nuwa SERUNJOGI from Refugee Action, Bristol. stMonday, 1 November 2010Joanne HIGSON & David FEINDOUNO facilitated an Awareness Training Taster at the Staff meeting of Plymouth House,Atheneum Street. ndTuesday, 2 November 2010“Migration Through Persecution” - Awareness Training regarding Asylum Seeker & Refugee issues. Requested by TutorNicola TYRELL and facilitated by Pat JOYCE, David FEINDOUNO & Patrick CHARY, for approximately 50 University ofPlymouth (Geography Faculty) students. thSaturday, 6 November 2010Bill, Christie, Paul, and Sam from Refugee First and about 20 Service Users were invited by Rosie to the Café at Calstock.It was a wonderful trip. thTuesday, 7 December 2010Visit of Introduction by new members of the local Diversity Team, Devon & Cornwall Constabulary. thWednesday, 8 December 2010DCRS Coordinators Ellis RANSOM & Joanne HIGSON, together with Pat JOYCE visited Refugee Support Group (Devon) atExeter. ndSunday, 12 December 2010Christine REID & Geoff READ gave a Talk & Presentation at the Annual Toy Service at Hope Baptist Church, Peverell. -7-
  8. 8. DCRS Annual Review 2010January 2011Chrsitine REID gave a presentation about DCRS to the Plymouth Laryngectomy Club (PLC)at the Mustard Tree Cancer Support Centre at Derriford Hospital. thSaturday, 8 January 2011Ellis RANSOM, our Sports & Fitness Coordinator, took a group of Service Users onto Dartmoor for an Orienteering /Walking Taster Session. thTuesay, 11 January 2011Mr. Oliver COLVILE MP visited the DCRS. Mr. COLVILE is the Conservative MP for Plymouth Sutton & Devonport. thTuesday, 18 January 2011Lorna SEWELL gave a Talk to the Ladies Probus Club in Plympton. thMonday, 24 January 2011DCRS Sports & Activities Coordinator, Ellis RANSOM held an Open Day for Service Users to sign up for sports andactivities. thFriday, 28 January 2011DCRS Awareness Raising Training held and facilitated by David FEINDOUNO, Jo HIGSON, Ellis RANSOM and Pat JOYCE. 21individuals, mainly DCRS Volunteers, attended the three-hour session. thWednesday, 13 April 2011DCRS was visited by a team from the Minster Church of St Andrews, the mother church of Plymouth, headed by TheReverend Nick MCKINNEL, Rector of St Andrews, accompanied by The Reverend Dr. Steve NICHOLS (Curate), ProfessorDavid HUNTLEY (Churchwarden), and the Reverend John MONEY, (Team Vicar of St Pauls Church, Stonehouse). thFriday, 15 April 2011Mr. Gary STREETER, MP, visits DCRS. -8-
  9. 9. DCRS Annual Review 2010 Visit to thePhotgraph courtesy of Christine REIDMr. Gary STREETER, MP Lord Mayor’svisited DCRS Parlour onon Friday, 15th April 2011 Tuesday 1st June 2010Photographs from DCRS at Facebook, courtesy of Ellis RANSOM DCRS Trip to Dartmoor with Ellis RANSOM On Tuesday, 8th February 2011 -9-
  10. 10. DCRS Annual Review 2010Photgraph courtesy of Christine REID A team from the Minster Church of St Andrews visited DCRS on Wednesday, 13th April 2011. - 10 -
  11. 11. DCRS Annual Review 2010Photographs courtesy of Christine Reid Mr. Oliver COLVILE, MP visited DCRS Tuesday, 11th January 2011 - 11 -
  12. 12. DCRS Annual Review 2010 STATISTICAL DATA Compiled by Mr. John JEBB A DCRS Trustee & Triage Coordinator 2009 2010Number of Service Users who visited the Centre: 6,933 8,093Number of Consultations given to Service Users: 4,379 5,106Number of Service Users aged under 18: 18 546Number of Service Users aged between 18 – 24 years: 1,178 1,566Number of Service Users aged between 25 - 34 years: 2.018 1,867Number of Service Users aged between 35 - 44 years: 761 885Number of Service Users aged between 45 - 54 years: 140 177Number of Service Users aged over 55 years: 50 65Number of Female Service Users who visited the Centre: 15% 558Percentage of Male Service Users who visited the Centre: 85% 4,582Number of Food Parcels issued: 1,613 1,721Number of sessions that the Internet Suite provided: 1,559 1,655The number of Service Users that used the Clothing Store: 1,520 494 - 12 -
  13. 13. DCRS Annual Review 2010 STATISTICAL ANALYSIS A Review by Mr. John JEBB A DCRS Trustee & Triage CoordinatorPreamble. Ages & Gender of SU.  Afghanis, Eritreans, Iranians, Iraqis and Sudanese Of a total of 8,093 visits to our Centre: account for 65% of the total,  Chinese, Congolese, Somalis, Sri Lankans andIt should be noted that the data we record  67% were in the age bands 18-34, and Zimbabweans make up the remaining 35%.does not refer to the total number of  88% were male. These ten groups make up 79% of the total visits toindividual Service Users (SU) we have. This our Centre. Our SU are overwhelmingly young, single men.would be difficult to assess; new peoplearrive in Plymouth as some leave for a Casework Progress. Languagesvariety of reasons. In addition, people 45 languages have been recorded. Since our additional (Big Lottery) Staff took up post,reappear after lengthy absences… we were 90% of the issues raised by SU have been progressed or  Arabic, Farsi, Kurdish-Sorani, Pashtu, and Tigrinya makerecently visited by someone who last came resolved. up 69% of the us seven years ago!  English, French, Mandarin, Somali and Tamil make upSo instead, what follows records the the other 31%. Signposting & Referrals These ten groups make up 85% of the total.number of SU Visits to our Centre, An important aspect of our project support work iswhether in person and through telephone / signposting and referral to other agencies and Although, as mentioned at the outset, theseemail /post or fax enquiries. This gives a far approximately 1,000 such instances took place in 2010. represent visits to our Centre, and not the totalbetter picture of the work achieved by  Health services, numbers of people, they may give some indication ofDCRS than a simple head-count, even if  solicitors, trends amongst the asylum seeker population, e.g.:that were possible.  social services the increased level of work with Sri Lankan and  and the Red Cross Chinese SUFor 2010 the data was inevitably somewhatcomplicated by important changes during … featured prominently. New SUthe year. Put simply, from January to July Until September 2010, much work was also passed These continue to arrive at quite a steady rate,2010, DCRS was operating much as in onto Refugee Action. The Plymouth of that averaging 24 per month from May to December 2010,previous years, but from August 2010 organisation is now sadly closed and this has led to a with a total of 197.onwards, the effects of the two new Project consequential increase in the casework of DCRS.Support Workers (funded by the Big Lottery New Coordinatorsgrant) began to be felt. Nationalities  Training & Outreach andHowever, the following summary refers to Our SU encompassed 59 nationalities, from Afghanistan to  Sports & Fitnessthe full calendar year except where Zimbabwe.otherwise stated… Data on these activities will start to emerge early in 2011 as the pattern of their work is now becoming clearer and so easier to classify. - 13 -
  14. 14. DCRS Annual Review 2010 PROJECT SUPPORT REVIEW This review is in four parts: Part 1 Project Support Work A Review by Mrs. Patricia BAXTER Part 2 Age-disputed Minors An Report by Mrs. Patricia A.M. JOYCE Part 3 Interpreters An Article by Mrs. Irene ONIONS Part 4 Outreach & Training Coordination A Review by Ms. Jo HIGSON Part 5 Sports & Fitness Coordination A Review by Mr. Ellis RANSOM Part 6 Behind the Labels – They’re All Human! An Article by Ms. Helen LAOLU-BALOGUN PART 1: PROJECT SUPPORT WORK A Review by Mrs. Patricia BAXTER DCRS Lead Project Support Worker Practical and advisory support to those sanctuary seekers dispersed to Plymouth continued during the year, owing to the tireless efforts of the Trustees and Donors to make that possible. With the decreased number of employees down to Trish and Pat JOYCE during the first six months, the vast number of volunteers who gave their free time during 2010 enabled the demand of service users to be met, despite the challenges that we encountered. Our vision and outcomes remained firmly set in our endeavour to assist services users to access their legal rights whilst processing their claim for protection in the UK. It is for this reason that we are proud of those who have come to join the team in their various roles and gratefully record their efforts as genuine demonstration of their heart to serve the vulnerable individuals that attend our Centre and involve themselves in activities maintained for their well being. In the early part of 2010 Training Sessions were repeated for volunteers in Awareness of 1Vulnerability / ASR Issues, and The Asylum Support / Immigration System, which provided valuable assistants from those 2whose commitment enabled the PSW to effectively offer an efficient service to those who accessed our support. Ourchange of name to DCRS emphasises the reality of our SUPPORT to those reliant on our services to help them.1 ASR = Asylum Seekers & Refugees.2 PSW = Project Support Workers. - 14 -
  15. 15. DCRS Annual Review 2010“SUPPORT” = „bear the weight of…‟The grant of funds from the Big Lottery financed necessary staff members to take the weight of workload generated bythose who are unable to cope without our help and advice. Augmenting our Advisers to four, with the appointing ofHelen LALOU-BALOGUN and Irena ONIONS, complimented the team with added skills and insight they brought, asexperienced people in the area of refugee issues and cultural diversity. Irena, an Arabic speaker, also enhances theservices by her interpreting skills. She has started to develop a strategy for us to use for maintaining good practice in thearea of communication with those who do not speak English. 3Since the government cuts affected an already widening gap in provision of ESOL classes to the ASR community, the BigLottery Funds enabled the recruitment of two essential staff in roles necessary to provide hope in ever decreasingservices for reducing isolation and despair.When the funding was granted, our two open sessions for drop-in were increased to four per week and then with theaddition of staff, we finally started to open each weekday for drop-in so that the service users could not only obtainadvice and practical assistance, but use the premises for a safe social venue and access our Internet Suite for continuedcontact with others.The addition of the two Coordinators, one in Sports & Fitness (Ellis RANSOM), and the other in Training & Outreach (JoHIGSON), offered our service users the benefit of positive activities to relieve some of the pressure they feel wheneverything seems to overburden them with anxiety and depression. Ellis quickly surveyed the views of the service usersand began by implementing sporting activities with the co-operation of Plymouth City Council, Blue Sound and otheragencies gladly offering their support.Jo soon built on the foundations we have had with local providers and increased the network with other sources whichwill be able to bridge the gap in the current lack of ESOL provision in the city. Her life experience enhances the teamwith skills and insight that, demonstrated in the area of connecting service users with training and volunteeropportunities, benefit the community as a whole.It has been a year of perseverance and development, which I know will bring positive results in the years to come. Thegratitude from service users is always the best recommendation of how affective we are and illustrates how privilegedwe remain in what can appear to be a thankless task.3 ESOL = English for Speakers of Other Languages. - 15 -
  16. 16. DCRS Annual Review 2010SUPPORT = “speak in favour of…”In these days of financial constraint and the cut backs that have decimated other services, the PSW have constantly beenadvocating for the rights of the service users. When the first Legal Aid-funded Solicitor’s office closed in Plymouth, itaffected our services adversely but when the last remaining Immigration Advisor ceased to be funded by the LegalServices Commissioner we felt the detrimental impact it had on our ASR community who were then totally abandonedin an already negative climate within the Immigration System.The local One-stop Service at the Plymouth office of Refugee Action had become more and more depleted by cuts thatfinally brought the closure of the office and resulted in more demand on our services by the middle of the year. If itweren’t for the faithful voluntary support of Tom BANNAN, David FEINDOUNO, Berekhet GHIDE, Helen LALOU-BALOGUN,John SHINNER, Colin STARES and Wiktoria WIEWIADOMSKA and our service users would not have received the fullsupport they required. Other persons joined us on temporary placements, like Teresa from Italy and students from theUniversity of Plymouth on International Studies, together with those mentioned in our volunteers list. They all did afantastic job of supporting us in various roles and complimented our long-standing volunteers in their gifts and abilities.We cannot express more how vital and how appreciated all our volunteers are and our heartfelt gratitude goes out tothem all.Since the expectation of those seekers of sanctuary making claims in the UK is to access good legal advice there arosemuch expressed desperation amongst our service users during the last seven months of the year. The passionate outcryof Staff and Trustees joined with others of like mind, in the city to seek a way forward to resolve the gulf this lack of 4provision had created. Due to the partnerships we enjoy with other agencies and the swift action of ILPA representativeRosie BRENNAN, representation was submitted to the Legal Services Commissioner and the Home Office, which hasbrought some temporary resolution to this, albeit not in 2010.4 ILPA = Immigration Law Practitioner‟s Association. - 16 -
  17. 17. DCRS Annual Review 2010SUPPORT = “provide the necessities of life for…”Apart from the on-going provision of our Clothing Store and our Food Programme for the destitute and those in financialcrises, 2010 was a year when the UK Border Agency began to alter the rules of support to the detriment of unsuspectingservice users, unaware of the strict nature of their support contract.Refused asylum in the UK, a mother with children, whose experience of torture had been disbelieved was asked to maketheir way to Heathrow to go back to the country where she would become a victim again. Whilst she remains in the City,her support is reduced to provide only for her children as a way to influence her to agree to leave the UK voluntarily.Those already suffering destitution after termination of their support would ask for Section 4 Support provision aftersubmitting further evidence of their right to protection here in the UK. The processing of these applications takes 15days under the New Asylum Model (NAM), in order to allow the Caseowner to make a decision on the furthersubmissions. Naturally the poor claimant remains destitute until a decision refuses Section 4 Support on account thatthe decision is negative and thus does not meet the criteria, or the decision on the claim is a grant of leave and thus isentitled to public funded benefits instead!The introduction of the AZURE Card in 2010 brought numerous complaints from those who continue to endure acashless provision of £35 per week. Although the old Tesco vouchers were scrapped it appeared that some of the 6/7designated retail outlets were unprepared for the changes and refused the cards in the early days which, naturallycreated much cause for feeling humiliated and deprived of dignity as well as leaving them frustrated and hungry. - 17 -
  18. 18. DCRS Annual Review 2010SUPPORT = “give practical or emotional help to…”For those totally destitute in community, we continued to rely on those kind-hearted donors to supply much neededfinancial relief to enable service users to access Solicitors in Bristol, or London, as well as travel to Liverpool or Cardiffwhere they are obliged to take any fresh representations in person. Those in Section 4 Support continued to be deniedthe use of public transport without this source of relief.As well as the clothes and household goods donated by our supporters, we were given a large quantity of food itemsfrom the City College Plymouth. Geoff and Christine left Hope Baptist Church in December with a carload of toys andthe Nutkins Nursery Group sent wrapped Christmas gifts for children of refugees which were a delight to all. Otherchurch groups sent gifts for distribution when About Time, who offer ESOL classes and social time, over a hot meal,provided Christmas dinner again for those who attended their Christmas Day event.The greatest gift provided by the wider community of support is the open hearted attitude that welcomes the alien andreduces the isolation that often engulfs new arrivals. The necessity to feel accepted and valued was demonstrated bythose who welcomed visitors to their villages, like Bere Ferrers or Calstock in 2010, as well as those families andindividuals who opened their homes to befriend service users in that way. We were privileged in 2010 to have suchsupport from those who continue to care in various ways to provide these bare necessities at their own cost.Recruitment of willing volunteers continued throughout the year with an ever supply of talented and compassionatepeople. The activities at the beginning of the year were only able to carry on with the support of Bill BUDGE, BethanyBUCK, Paul RICKARD, Finbar RICKMAN and Wiktoria WIEWIADOMSKA, who valiantly accompanied services users to avariety of appointments, activities and social venues. - 18 -
  19. 19. DCRS Annual Review 2010SUPPORT – “take an active interest in…”Since DCRS is well established in the local area and has a reputation of concern for the ASR community, there is a goodnetwork of other professional bodies and groups that take an active interest in the well being of our service users.During 2010 we increased these partnerships and were grateful to the good practice expressed by others such as:START (Students & Refugees Together),Refugees First,Plymouth & Devon Racial Equality Council,PATH (Plymouth Access to Housing),Mental Health Team (Plymouth),Devon & Cornwall Police Diversity Unit,Open Doors International Language School ( ODILS),City College Plymouth,Devon Law Centre (now ceased trading)Fursdon & Knapper Solicitors,and those Children & Family Services which made the year a successful provision that will go forward into 2011, withincreasing commitment. - 19 -
  20. 20. DCRS Annual Review 2010 PART 2: A REPORT ON AGE-DISPUTED MINORS A Report by Mrs. Patricia A.M. JOYCE DCRS Project Support Worker In our Annual Review for 2009, I wrote that one of the challenges for our organisation was the sudden influx of those under the age of 18 who were dispersed to Plymouth as adults because their age had been disputed by the Home Office and also, for the majority, by a Local Authority following an age assessment. This challenge continued into 2010. Over the past two years, approximately 15 - 20 age-disputed asylum seekers… the majority young men from Afghanistan… have accessed our services for advice. The numbers of those living inPlymouth dropped considerably by the end of 2010 but we were still seeing around six on a regular basis.Under the New Asylum Model, introduced in March 2007, age assessments can determine not only the care of anasylum seeker but also how their claim is processed. The implications for being treated as an adult include: fast tracking a claim which might then be decided in as little as two weeks; finding it harder to get continuing legal advice; being housed with adults; and, possibly being detained as an adult and being forcibly removed without safeguards.In addition, if judged to be over 18, they are not protected and supported as a child and their needs as a child will not beaddressed. This has had devastating consequences for several wrongly aged young people over the years.The main problem is that many children arrive without identity documents, birth certificates or any form of satisfactoryevidence of their age. This lack of evidence is not surprising, when you consider that almost two fifths of the world’schildren are born without their births being registered and in several cultures birthdays are not acknowledged orcelebrated as they are in the UK. Therefore, many children do not know their age and will thus offer a wrong age whenasked. Some are often forced to give the wrong age to protect agents or traffickers or, they have adopted a differentage to protect themselves from these groups.Those that fall in the age range of 15 to 18 years are the most difficult group to assess accurately and, withoutdocumental evidence, they have the most difficulties proving how old they are. It is this age range that is most likely tobe disputed by Immigration officials and Local Authorities following an age assessment and it is this age range thataccess DCRS for assistance, although we have had one young man who was later assessed as 13-years-old! - 20 -
  21. 21. DCRS Annual Review 2010DCRS has come to understand over these last two years that the process experienced by our age-disputed service usersdoes not always seem to be in accordance with the law, policies and procedures that are in place. The long delays inarranging and making decisions on reassessments of age has had, in several cases, sever consequences, not only for ayoung person’s mental wellbeing but also for their asylum claim. On many occasions we have had to refer the matter towelfare solicitors in London (there are no legal aided welfare solicitors in Plymouth) to put pressure on the LocalAuthority and on the Home Office.All these young men, whether in detention or in the care of the local authority, have needed, in addition to advice, a lotof emotional support and guidance from DCRS. The uncertainty of their situations and the poor treatment of two of ouryoung service users, who are currently in detention, has affected the behaviour of those who remain in Plymouth andtheir ability to respond to help, even from our own organisation. We see those that are left as extremely vulnerableand the uncertainty of their predicament is causing them continued distress. Editorial Comment: This report is a shortened version of speech given by Pat during the 2011 5 th rd Awareness Week for YPSS in Plymouth held during the week Monday, 28 March - Sunday, 3 April 2011. Pat’s full report can be seen on the DCRS website at: Young People Seeking Safety. - 21 -
  22. 22. DCRS Annual Review 2010 PART 3: INTERPRETERS An Article by Ms. Irene ONIONS DCRS Project Support Worker My experiences with DCRS over the last year, first as a volunteer, and more recently as a Project Support Worker (PSW), have shown me that we need an effective and evolving approach to our use of interpreters. During this time, the needs of DCRS have shifted, and will of course continue to shift as events both in Britain and internationally affect the circumstances and options of our service users (SU). As a multi-lingual person I have been able to deal with Arabic-speaking SU in their language of preference. However, the number of non-English-speaking SU, and the variety of languages spoken,means that, useful as it is, multilingualism will never be more than a convenience in the context of asylum casework;our reliance on interpreters is inevitable. This said, in order to ensure the best results from this practice, it is importantto identify our specific goals when using interpreters.The first of these goals is obvious, to convey information between PSW and SU. Our first priority is always to providepractical assistance to SU, and to facilitate their involvement with the asylum system. However, successful interpretingmust go beyond simple literal translations of information. Our SU are all, by the nature of their situation, vulnerableindividuals. This vulnerability is amplified for those with no or insufficient English. Unless interpreting deals effectivelywith the difficulty of their position and the cultural divide between SU, PSW and the expectations of the asylum system,it will be a flawed tool for empowering SU. Therefore it is important to use interpreters who are capable not just oftranslating the words used, but of conveying cultural context and significance between speakers of different languages.The two main effects of achieving this are to communicate intention more effectively, and to allow the SU to presenttheir needs and experiences in a way that is comprehensible to caseworkers and the asylum system. We know that thesystem frequently fails our SU by misunderstanding the cultural or practical significance of their reason for seekingasylum. Hence sophisticated and effective interpretation is not just icing on the cake, it is an integral part of improvingthe service that we offer to our clients. Furthermore, good interpreting practice can serve as an incentive for SU toimprove their English. While this initially may sound counter-intuitive, properly engaging the client with their case andsupport-worker gives both a reason and a channel for communication, encouraging further interaction. On the otherhand, weak practice may leave a SU feeling confused, helpless and disconnected from their own case, providing themwith little reason to seek the skills that will enable further engagement.The interpreting facilities we currently use are, while adequate, not yet sufficiently suited to the task at hand. We arecurrently in a situation that forces us to over-rely on English speaking SU to interpret for their peers. There are anumber of difficulties with this. The first is that few of these SU have either experience or training as interpreters. Thedifficulties of interpreting are varied, and require a range of skills. - 22 -
  23. 23. DCRS Annual Review 2010As an example, in order for me to effectively communicate with our Arabic speaking SU, it has been necessary for me todevelop awareness of and ability in a variety of different forms of Arabic. This has only been possible due to the numberand range of SU I deal with. Conveying between languages and cultures the sense and meaning of what someone saystakes skills and awareness that we cannot fairly expect of our SU. This leads on to the second point that the Englishlanguage skills and, just as importantly, cultural understanding of Britain of many service users providing this help islimited. Some of them have not been in Britain for long, while many others, as a product of the relative culturalexclusion caused by their status as asylum seekers or refugees, do not have a broad insight into British culture. Thesefactors impair good communication and maintain a cultural and linguistic barrier between DCRS and its SU.Furthermore, SU still in the asylum process have their own difficulties and anxieties about it, which may hamper calmand effective communication.Given finite resources, we cannot significantly increase our use of professional interpreters. However, greater use ofvolunteer interpreters outside of our current SU could help to overcome the difficulties outlined above. People livingand working in Britain have a broader linguistic and cultural knowledge of the country, and those with past positiveexperiences of the asylum process are able to make it less daunting for current service users. Plymouth presents somedifficulties with this, as it does not have the variety of well-established ethnic minority communities available in manyother cities. However, continuing to improve our community outreach work, and investigating training options forvolunteer interpreters should be considered in order to reduce our reliance on SU in this role, and to maximise theireffectiveness where they are used. - 23 -
  24. 24. DCRS Annual Review 2010 PART 4: A REVIEW OF OUTREACH & TRAINING COORDINATION An Article by Ms. Jo HIGSON DCRS Outreach & Training Coordinator I joined DCRS as a Staff Member right at the end of 2010 as part of the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Project. My role is to support the people accessing our services with some of the issues that affect their ability to access services and settle into our local community. The most 6 pressing of those is accessing English Language (ESOL ) classes but I will also be involved in helping people access other local services (GP, etc.,) and assist with training, volunteering and employment opportunities where appropriate. It is essential for wellbeing of our Service Users that once they are here that they can learn to communicate, access the services, and develop a support network.I have come from the Government Office for the South West (GOSW) where I lead on Equalities issues for the region,and previously I was London-based working with race and gender issues nationally. I have worked as a facilitator, trainer,mentor and coach, including working with large groups of volunteers in other voluntary bodies. One of the experiencesI enjoyed most was teaching English to refugees in London.Here at DCRS, I am starting to use my connections and build working relationships with others in the city who areoffering services we can use, and establishing where there are gaps in provision, and how we might best meet thosegaps.6 English for Speakers of Other Languages. - 24 -
  25. 25. DCRS Annual Review 2010Photographs courtesy of Christine Reid Geoffrey N. READ and the Gold Star Award! Tuesday, 8th March 2011 "I work as part of a team (DCRS) so I will accept it on behalf of that team." - 25 -
  26. 26. DCRS Annual Review 2010 A REVIEW OF SPORTS & FITNESS COORDINATION A Review by Mr. Ellis RANSOM DCRS Sports & Fitness Training Coordinator I was in the position of Sports & Fitness Coordinator for the last month of 2010, as part of the Big Lottery’s Reaching Communities project. My role is to improve our Service Users’ (SU) physical and mental wellbeing by coordinating and signposting activities. We see many of our SU suffer mentally and physically because they are so absorbed by their individual cases and by simply surviving in a foreign environment with little support. Its a privilege to be in this position where I can help to put a smile on some peoples’ faces and see a real improvement in mental health and overall fitness!I have Recreation & Leisure and Immigration & Asylum qualifications and have enjoyed working in both environments. Ihave great enthusiasm for building this project over the next few years and plan a steady ramp up to the middle of next2011. A fortnightly five-a-side football tournament, regular gymnasium and swimming sessions, a weekly running club, weekly youth sessions, monthly orienteering, fishing and individually- tailored activities...are examples of what I believe are achievable by that time. ( Sports icons from, Hope FC, Eden Project, and Wikipedia.) - 26 -
  27. 27. DCRS Annual Review 2010Plymouth Hope FC Football & Family Fun Day at Brickfields Saturday, 10th July 2010 - 27 -
  28. 28. DCRS Annual Review 2010 BEHIND THE LABELS... THEY’RE STILL HUMAN! A Review by Msr. Helen LAOLU-BALOGUN DCRS Project Support Worker Having been a volunteer in various capacities and a Service User (SU) for about five years, I became a DCRS Staff Member in late 2010. Whilst the experience of having been through the system and volunteering over the years both at DCRS and with Refugee Action has come in extremely useful in my new role, the closure of the Plymouth office of Refugee Action shortly after I resumed as a staff brought with it additional challenges.The workload at DCRS has become unprecedented and in line with the DCRS ethos of not turning SU away, we havecertainly become overstretched. Not only this, we now have to deal with the more complicated cases and applicationslike the Section-4 Cases which we would normally have referred to Refugee Action. Thankfully, Ms. AgnieszkaZAMONSKI (formerly the Assistant Manager at Plymouth Refugee Action) made out the time to give us, the new DCRSCProject Support Workers, one-to-one training on Section-4 and other support issues before the closure of herorganisation; and she was always a telephone call away to answer any queries. This was most helpful at the initialstages as I was so apprehensive of getting things wrong! I appreciate (maybe just too well) the implications this canhave on the lives of our SU. Surprisingly, even some of the staff at Bristol Asylum Support Team pointed me in rightdirection when I became stuck. But as time went by, with practice and training, we are acquiring the necessary skills.It is such a relief when we get the great news of SU being granted Leave to Remain, and we know that they are at leastsafe and can move on with their lives. The aspect of the job that has proved practically impossible to deal with are theproblems encountered by those that are said to be at the end of their claims and have acquired the dreaded threeletters label: Failed Asylum Seekers. This happens when: the UKBA says the SU has exhausted all rights to appeal, the solicitors say there is nothing more they can do, NASS Termination Letters arrive, all support ceases and SU have to leave their accommodation in a matter of days, SU say they cannot get any evidence for a fresh claim as family members will get into trouble with the authorities for trying to send documents, some go through the trouble of obtaining evidence from their countries of origin at great risk to family and friends; then this fresh evidence is turned down as not amounting to fresh claims. - 28 -
  29. 29. DCRS Annual Review 2010It is so difficult when due to obligation, I have to explain the options of voluntary return to individuals who are in fear oftheir lives or horrible human right abuses on return to their countries; and worse still, when destitute SU are told tocome back in six months for a review as they are no longer eligible for the token £10 per week Red Cross Vouchers afterjust six weeks.While some single individuals who cannot return to their countries of origin for various reasons go underground andfind ways of coping with destitution, often barely surviving from day-to-day in the most inhumane conditions,sometimes ending up at the mercy of friends or others who often take advantage of their situation.The most vulnerable, mainly families with lone mothers and their children, wait in fear and helplessness for theinevitable dawn-raids... an experience that leave victims scarred for life. Recently, a very vulnerable SU in this precarioussituation asked what to do when this happens; I told her I honestly did not know. Because inasmuch as I have gonethrough this harrowing experience, there is nothing one can do at this particular time, not when surrounded bynumerous officers... most of whom can easily pass for heavy-weight champion wrestlers because of their sheer sizes.Except for those who are fortunate enough to have competent solicitors which are becoming rarer by the day with thecuts in legal aid, dedicated supporters and above all, by God’s divine intervention, it could be a foregone conclusion.Another group are those who end up in limbo. They cannot be removed and are not granted any form of Leave toRemain. One example of this group are some of our SU from Eritrea whose cases have been refused. They lose allsupport and are simply left destitute. Most of these do not bother to go underground as the UK Border Agency (UKBA)do not bother to remove them. They could not apply for Section-4 Support as they do not sign up for voluntary returnbecause they dare not to return home. Most are fleeing persecution because of their faith or to avoid mandatorymilitary service and, for instance, the Eritrean Government is well-known for hunting down and torturing suspected draftevaders. Another example of those in limbo are those at the Kuwaiti Bidouns (stateless Arabs) whose claims have beenrefused. Some have signified their wish to return home; and signed up for assisted voluntary return and in receipt ofSection-4 Support. It is common knowledge that a large portion of the Kuwait Bidouns were born there, but are notdeemed for authorised citizenship under Kuwaiti law. Some are Bidouns simply because their male ancestor failed tofile for citizenship in 1960 when Kuwait achieved independence. Most are not allowed to work or obtain a driver’slicense, nor are they allowed to travel because they lack any travel documents.Following the Iraqi invasion in 1991 some, who fled the country to take shelter, were not allowed back. The governmentissued a series of measures to force and keep them out of the country, and thousands were forced to seek asylum and 7live in exile in any country that would take them .7 - 29 -
  30. 30. DCRS Annual Review 2010According to a report by Human Rights Watch in May 2010, the Bidouns frequently cannot obtain essential state-issueddocuments such as marriage licenses or birth and death certificates. Refugee International stated further that adultswho have managed to obtain an ID card describe the renewal process as interrogation as they try to prove that yourfamily roots are from any other countries.Despite the above, this group of SU are required by the UKBA to obtain travel document from their embassy, but onapproaching the Kuwaiti embassy in London, they told us they are turned away and warned not to return as they arenot regarded as Kuwaitis. In essence, the UKBA has refused to grant them leave to remain and their country has refusedto recognise them as citizens, and as such will not issue them with travel documents... another Catch-22!For those living in limbo, their lives are simply on hold; no one is sure of how long they will remain in this situation, withthe uncertainties impacting negatively on their mental health and total well-being. For us at DCRC, we can only do ourbest to keep our SU going, although at times, the hopelessness of some situations leaves us feeling simply quitehelpless.It is my dearest hope that all those who encounter and deal with this group of SU would always have it at the back oftheir minds that behind the label that says Failed Asylum Seekers, there is an individual person who is somebody’sfather, somebody’s mother, somebody’s brother, somebody’s sister or somebody’s child... they are still human! - 30 -
  31. 31. DCRS Annual Review 2010 - 31 -
  32. 32. DCRS Annual Review 2010 THE FOOD PROGRAMME A Review by Mrs. Christine REID DCRS Trustee & Food Programme Coordinator Overview. Members of our Food Team steadily issued food parcels to our destitute asylum seekers throughout the year 2010. Nearly 1,600 food parcels were issued to individuals and a small number of families. Funding. We gratefully received funding from our main funder, the LankellyChase Foundation, for a further three years. Expenditure. This meant that we could keep to our Food Expenditure Budget to £640 per month. Together with the donations we received, that figure covered the expenses of our Food Programme. We still managed to keep within budget whilst giving ourService Users the same level of support throughout the year. Opportunities also arose during the year to purchaseoccasional Nice-to-have items. Our expenditure continued to be closely monitored week-by-week, month-by-month.Donations. The donations of food and other goodies continued to be delivered to the Centre or collected by Members ofour Food Team. Donations continued to be received from schools, faith groups and other organisations, and individuals,and we are so very thankful for these as they supplement the very basic diet that we are able provide. Our annual HarvestFestival Appeal brought in extra items, including a large donation of toiletries and Nice-to-have items from the Notre DameSchool and Widey Court Primary School. We have continued to build on our links with other providers, such as theShekinah Mission and About Time. This gives DCRS the opportunity to share surplus food with one another.Fresh Produce. We were delighted to receive some fresh vegetables and fruit at Harvest time from various groups.Some of our Volunteers have allotments or gardens, and brought in some fresh fruit and some of their surplus home-grown vegetables. This gave our Service Users that little bit extra which is always appreciated.Organisation. We operated a four-day opening for the distribution of the Food Parcels. During 2010 the Centre’sDrop-in Days were increased from two to four and as time passed the distribution gradually started to even out over thefour days. The food we purchased from the local supermarkets continued to be delivered on Tuesdays. - 32 -
  33. 33. DCRS Annual Review 2010The Food Team. We have a very hard working team of Volunteers on our Food Programme and some of Service Users alsovolunteer. They beaver away in the kitchen dispensing refreshments as well as preparing food parcels. The increase in DCRSDrop-in Days and the closure of the Plymouth Office of Refugee Action has meant additional demands on the Food Team butthey coped admirably. And do they find it a chore to make endless cups of tea and coffee? The answer is No! It’s all part ofthe practical support and hand of friendship that is the Masiandae Centre!The Devon & Cornwall Food Association (DCFA). In May 2010,a new charity was formed... DCFA. Its aims are twofold: To stop surplus short-date food from going to landfill which is both costly and a waste of good quality food. To help relieve some of the poverty in our community.Spare Food is Share Food!DCRS is just one of the dozen or so charitable organisations inthe Plymouth area that will benefit from the services of DCFA.Thank You! A big thank you to the members of the Food Team for all their hard work and commitment during 2010,and also to the Trustees for their continued support.Further Information. Further information regarding our Food Programme can be seen by visiting our website at: You will find our Food Brochures there which you can download and print off required. Photographs courtesy of Christine Reid - 33 -
  34. 34. DCRS Annual Review 2010 THE CLOTHING STORE A Review by Mr. John JEBB DCRS Trustee & Clothing Store Coordinator 494 Service Users visited the Clothing Store in 2010 resulting in actual issues of items rather than just browsing. The store is still only open on Mondays and Wednesdays despite the Centre being open a full five days a week. We may extend to another day if both demand and volunteer availability allow for this. We have made considerable progress in matching the demand for items within the very limited storage space available. In view of this, although we are always most grateful to all our donors, we would ask if they could provide mainly the items which are in most need, as mentioned from time to time in our monthly newsletters and Thank You letters. At present, this includes: Curtains, Duvet Covers, Men’s Belts, Men’s Shoes, Pillows, Towels, and Underwear in good condition.We are also re-assembling some Rough Sleepers’ Kitsand so the following would also be welcome: Gloves, Scarves, and Warm Weatherproof Jackets.We cannot usually accept electrical goods, but it is always really helpful if prospective donors telephone the Centre ifthey have any queries about items they may wish to donate. - 34 -
  35. 35. DCRS Annual Review 2010Photograph courtesy of Trish Baxter The Staff of DCRS together with some of our Auxiliary Caseworkers on an Away Day Trip in 2010 - 35 -
  36. 36. DCRS Annual Review 2010 THE INTERNET SUITE A Review by Mr. Martyn TYRELL DCRS Volunteer & Internet Suite Coordinator The increased offering of our DCRS services has meant that over the past year the Internet Suite has become a more frequently available facility. In the course of the year we have increased our opening hours from two mornings to five mornings a week. So it has been a year of much change. Our Internet Suite opens during the regular Centre drop-in hours. This means that it is available for three hours a day and is supervised by volunteers each day. We have four desktop computers offering broadband internet access in the downstairs room of our Centre. As there can be over twenty people seeking to use the Internet Suite during the opening hours of the busiest days, we do have times when people are queuing to use a computer. We aim to ensure everyone gets access in turn by limiting the duration of individual sessions to 30 minutes at peak times. This system works well and has also created opportunities while people are waiting for a computer session, to chat with volunteers and play various board games such asbackgammon, or even work on completing a 1,000 piece puzzle! Apart from the busiest moments, often found onMondays, our Service Users get access to the computers with little delay and enjoy the chance to check emails, readnews, browse web pages and most popular of all, watch video from their country of origin.For many of the people who come to our Centre for help, there are significant language barriers in their everyday livesamongst us. The internet access gives them a chance to reach culture, news and entertainment in their first language.Some will read web pages in their first language; others will watch news clips or music videos. Email is an importantservice that we all rely on… and the internet service enables many people to check their emails and keep in contact withfriends and family that way. Naturally enough, mainstream English news services are limited in their coverage of mostof the world news, so the internet is often the only medium that enables people to find out detailed news of what ishappening in other continents.During the past year we have introduced the use of headphones with disposable hygienic covers. This has allowedpeople to listen to their own music of choice without competing volume levels with their neighbour. Overall this hasbeen a positive change and the quality of experience listening to music delivered via the headphones is higher than theprevious arrangement of using desktop speakers. The layout of the room has been changing as the potential uses of theroom develop. What was known as the stage-end of the room was developed into the area for the computers duringthe course of the year. This step of moving the computers to the end of the room has opened up the large floor area forother uses. With new plans and funding to increase the number of computers and to refurbish the downstairs room,2011 should see an even better Internet Suite available for use. - 36 -
  37. 37. DCRS Annual Review 2010It is thanks to the large number of volunteers that have helped over the course of the year that this service has not onlybeen able to continue, but to increase to five days a week. Thank you to those of you who have given your gift of timeand effort to help each day. From what I have witnessed in our Internet Suite, this has been making a very big differenceto the lives of the people who rely on and benefit from the internet access at DCRS. INTERNET USE IN 2010 – A GLOBAL VIEW! In 2010 over 51 million people in the UK were using internet access. This is approximately 83% of the population. How does this compare with some other areas of the world? The number of people estimated to be using the internet:  Middle East: 63 million or 30% of the region’s population. The country with highest percentage of its population using the internet is Bahrain where 88% of people use the internet. The lowest is Yemen where just over 1% of people use the internet.  Africa: 111 million or 11% of the region’s population. The country with highest percentage of its population using the internet is Tunisia with 34% of people use the internet. The lowest is Sierra Leone with just 0.3% of people use the internet.  Asia: 825 million or 22% of the region’s population. The country with highest percentage of its population using the internet is South Korea with 81% of people use the internet. The lowest is Myanmar (formerly Burma) with just 0.2% of people use the internet. Source:; US Census Bureau, International Telecommunications union. - 37 -
  38. 38. DCRS Annual Review 2010THE RECEPTION DESK A Review by Mr. John JEBB DCRS Trustee & Triage CoordinatorThis has become a very effective operation thanks to a dedicated teamof volunteers who represent the first point of contact within the Centre. This isfar from a low key role as it frequently involves:Multi-tasking,Signing-in new arrivals,Answering the telephone,Issuing Clothing Store and Internet Suite tickets,…often, seemingly, all at the same time!Thank you to all our Volunteers! - 38 -
  39. 39. DCRS Annual Review 2010 THE DCRS WEBSITE A Review by Kanda P. The DCRS Webmaster It’s been a few years since I was invited to volunteer to produce and run the DCRS website. I’m really honoured and I’m quite content to work away quietly in the background. As you may have known I started out as an amateur with somewhat limited know-how in webpage- making. Thanks to this opportunity I’ve gained so much confidence in the basic tasks. My love for the technicalities of the web and my belief in what DCRS is trying to achieve for mankind, and its community, keeps me continuing in this volunteer role. However, as a completely self-taught webpage-tweaker who only started to learn all the web and graphic technicalities just a few years ago from a near-zero experience... my work for DCRS isn’t as smart as those produced by the real professionals!Friends and Supporters should know that we’re not paying for our DCRS website, indeed, you should also know thatthere’s been absolutely no monetary expenses on my part at all! Thanks to,,,,,, and etc., for the free space on the internet!If anyone has any suggestions or comments regarding our website then do please feel free to inform the DCRSNewsletter Editor who will pass them on to me. - 39 -
  40. 40. DCRS Annual Review 2010 THE BIG LOTTERY A Review by Mr. John SHINNER DCRS Trustee & Project Director The award of nearly £400,000 from the Big Lottery Fund over a four-year period was an enormous encouragement to DCRS. There are serious responsibilities that come with it however, and principally these are regular reporting to them of our progress against a list of targets and outcomes that DCRS is expected to meet and matching their funding to support the work already in place before we received the award. In November 2010, we received a visit from our Big Lottery contact, Mr. Paul RIDLEY, to review our work over the first six months. He was encouraged by the progress we had made but there were still a number of questions that needed to be addressed... largely about our part of the financial commitment. In December 2010 we were able to supply him with the answers he needed.In March 2011 we undertook a telephone conference at the nine-month point of our contract. In preparation we hadsent details of the present financial situation and a detailed description of our position against targets and outcomes.Normally the conference should last between thirty and forty minutes but having read our submissions Paul stated thatwe had answered already most of the questions he intended to ask. Our conversation centred on our Sports & Leisure 8activities because Paul is at his happiest in the great outdoors! He was delighted with Elliss plans for camping onDartmoor, orienteering and family activities at the beach. Paul was also pleased to 9learn that Irena and Helen were well on the way to achieving their OISC Level-1 status 10and that Jo HIGSONs plans for language classes and one-to-one sessions wereprogressing well.All-in-all Paul wanted to congratulate DCRS on a unique experience for him in that hehad never received such a comprehensive and positive report from a charitableorganisation such as ours.8 Ellis RANSOM is our Sports & Activities Coordinator.9 Irene ONIONS and Helen LALOU-BALOGUN are two of our Project Support Workers.10 Joanne HIGSON is our Training & Outreach Coordinator. - 40 -
  41. 41. DCRS Annual Review 2010 Volunteers and Staff at DCRS: Left: Bethany BUCK preparing a display for Awareness Raising Photographs courtesy of Trish BaxterMiddle-left : David FEINDUONO, Theresa (Italian Placement from Tell-us), Tom BANNAN;Middle-right : Helen LALOU-BALOGUN and Irena, happy newly appointed PSWs; - 41 -
  42. 42. DCRS Annual Review 2010 WHY I STILL CARE... AND WORK! A Special Article by Dr. Penelope KEY, A Founder DCRS Trustee... and still working! Many friends and relations tell me it is time that I resigned from my DCRS responsibilities. I am old and not in good health. I was Chair of the Board of Trustees for a long term and handed that job over into the capable hands of Lorna SEWELL. She too has been involved from the beginning. But we both care enough to persist. Because we care! When I feel I can’t do more, then I see Sam’s smiling face… Sam KALLON… our Founder, who died so sadly, so young, and so sincere about the plight of the incomers… asylum seekers, migrants, refugees… whatever you name them. I am proud that we have kept alive our Masiandae Centre in Plymouth. You can read the numbers of people... our neighbours... who seek us out and rely on our staff and volunteers to love them and helpthem. I remember the first small room where I watched and listened to Sam as he held out his hand to all comers rightthrough the day. Sam’s grave has a picture of his handshake, symbolising the sort of person he was, and what he wantsall of us to be in his name and through our Centre which he started with his wife and daughter. thThe Refugee Council reminds us that 2011 is the 60 Anniversary of the UN Refugee Convention,the international treaty which guarantees the rights of refugees. The Refugee Convention hassaved countless lives and no country has ever withdrawn from it. 2011 also marks 60 years ofthe Refugee Council and despite through the lack of funding support, theyre determined tocelebrate this anniversary in style!Refugee protection is part of our national history and is something that the UK should take pride in. We want the BritishGovernment to know that we’re proud to protect refugees. Refugees are people who simply want safety... somethingthat we all take for granted... and we must always be prepared to welcome them. Countless good people in Devon andCornwall have worked through these last years at providing our new neighbours with smiles and handshakes, food andclothes; even at times a place to sleep.I want to do more than I have done yet. I am getting old and can’t walk... but I can still smile, shake hands and provide alistening ear!Editorial Note: Please see the next article that gives information on the Founding of the Masiandae Centre and a picture of Sam. - 42 -
  43. 43. DCRS Annual Review 2010 Thank you! - 43 -
  44. 44. DCRS Annual Review 2010 THE FOUNDING OF THE MASIANDAE CENTRE A Special Article by Mr. Geoffrey N. Read A DCRS Trustee & Newsletter Editor DCRSC was started by a group of refugees and local community members in 1999 with the purpose of providing assistance to refugees and asylum seekers (ASR) in Devon and Cornwall. DCRSC endeavours to ensure that ASR enjoy the full benefit of their entitlements under UK and International Law. It aims to provide a culturally sensitive practical response to the needs of the refugee community. Samuel Moinina KALLON founded DCRSC in 1999 together with his wife Sarah. He named and opened the Masiandae 11 Centre as a safe place for ASR and black and minority ethnic people to meet in Plymouth. He was the first Project Coordinator of DCRSC, and as such, he became well known and loved throughout both the black and white communities in(Photograph courtesy of Dr. Penelope Key) Plymouth. Sadly, Sam died on 26th April 2002 aged 39 years but DCRSC is committed in continuing to run the Masiandae Centre as a memorial to Sam and his devoted work. The following is an extract taken from the local press at that time: SAMUEL MOININA KALLON, one of Plymouths most influential refugee support workers, has died at the age of 39. Mr. KALLON was the founder of the Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support Council and worked in the Masiandae Centre based in Wesley Methodist Church. 11 „Masiandae‟ comes from Sam‟s tribal language in Sierra Leone, of which there are many, and means “Let‟s Help One Another”. - 44 -
  45. 45. DCRS Annual Review 2010Vice-chairman of the Support Council, Mrs. Lorna SEWELL said:"Samuel KALLON was a person who felt very deeply about the plight of asylum seekers and refugees, as hewas one of them. He was a very gifted man who spoke six languages, as well as being a qualified professionalin his own country. All his friends and colleagues are saddened by his death...In a book of condolence at the church one of his friends has written in tribute to Mr. KALLON: "Sam, youwere our help and our big brother. You did for me so many things.Mr. KALLON had said he found the work in Plymouth rewarding and that he was happy that the communitywas growing well.Picture shows the exterior of the Masiandae Centre (Photograph courtesy of Dr. Penelope Key) - 45 -
  46. 46. DCRS Annual Review 2010 ANNUAL AWARDS A Review by Mr. John SHINNER DCRS Trustee & Project Director The following short report may be an embarrassment to those mentioned, including the Editor of the DCRS monthly Newsletters and this Annual Review! However, I believe the following is worth recording. In the past six years, five of our Staff Members and Volunteers have received major local awards for the work that they have undertaken in the voluntary sector. DCRS has provided three winners in successive years of the Sam KALLON Memorial Trophy honouring work with Asylum Seekers and Refugees in our City. Isatta KALLON, Sams wife and one of our Trustees, was the first to receive it followed by Trish 12 13 BAXTER and Helen LALOU-BALOGUN who was a DCRS Volunteer is now a valued Staff Member. This was followed by David FEINDOUNO’s award of the trophy given to the volunteerof the year for their contribution to Sports & Leisure.In addition to being a Founder Member and Company Secretary of the recently incorporated Devon & Cornwall FoodAssociation, Geoff READ, a DCRS Trustee and Communications Coordinator, was a recipient of one of the PlymouthHerald and First Devon & Cornwall’s Gold Star Awards in 2010.Finally, just so that grass doesnt grow under his feet Geoff has set up a charitable support group, the PlymouthLaryngectomy Club, to help those suffering or who have suffered, from throat cancer!Congratulations to all! What a remarkable group of Staff and Volunteers with which DCRS is blessed! Gold Star Award “I work as part of a team (DCRS) so I’ll accept it on behalf of that team."12 TrIsh is our Lead Project Support Worker.13 Helen is a Project Support Worker. - 46 -
  47. 47. DCRS Annual Review 2010 Award WinnersPhotographs: top row - courtesy of Trish BAXTER, bottom rows - from The HeraldTop: Isatta KALLON, Trish BAXTER, Helen LALOU-BALOGUNBottom: Geoff READ, David FEINDOUNO - 47 -
  48. 48. DCRS Annual Review 2010 A FINANCIAL STATEMENT14 Compiled by Ms. Svetlana STOUPNIKOV DCRS Trustee & Treasurer INCOME £ EXPENDITURE £ Balance brought forward from 2009 35,031 Staff costs 58,048 Big Lottery Fund 56,320 Recruitment 1,435 Migration Impact Fund 6,000 Staff expenses 1,184 General donations received 12,352 Rent rates 8,139 Anonymous donations received 10,000 Utilities 4,110 Hilden Charity Trust 4,500 Office expenses 440 The LankellyChase Foundation 10,000 Equipment & stationery 2,318 Lloyds TSB Foundation for England & Wales 8,000 Food Programme 6,744 Plymouth City Council 10,921 Telephones & fax services 2,571 Plymouth Diocese 1,500 Volunteer Expenses 1,354 Reimbursements & Other Funding 8,758 Training 642 Investment Income 167 Insurance 1,009 th J Franklin Fund 500 AGM & 10 Anniversary costs 22 Frank Pleske Fund 1,920 Service User Relief 2,961 Repairs & Renewals 1,036 Travel costs for Service Users 6,465 Photocopier rental 1,330 Miscellaneous small programmes 1,503 Postage 725 Health & Safety 1,018 Other expenses 204 TOTAL: 130,938 TOTAL: 103,258 Balance carried Forward: 62,71114 DCRS Annual Accounts are independently audited in accordance with current Charity Comm ission guidelines. Copies of the completeaccounts are available upon request. - 48 -
  49. 49. DCRS Annual Review 2010 A FINANCIAL REVIEW A Review by Ms. Svetlana STOUPNIKOV DCRS Trustee & TreasurerI am very pleased to present the Financial Review for 2010. The Auditors Report on the Annual Accounts for 2010 arecontained in a separate document and can be obtained on application to DCRS. However, a Financial Statement isgiven on the preceding page. We can report that the finances of the DCRS are sound.Once again we are extremely grateful to receive grants and donations to support our work. DCRS needs regularfunding in order to operate effectively and I would like to record my personal appreciation to our funders and thoseindividuals who have given their financial support. A list of or funders for 2010 is shown on the following pages.Without their generous support we could not have provided the services we have. General donations from faith group;organisations and individuals were £14,283 2010.Over the past few years DCRS has had considerable financial support from the Lankelly Chase Foundation to run itsFood Programme. The Food Programme has been running effectively since 2005. I would like to sincerely thank allthose corporate and individual donors who supported and helped DCRS during the year by providing food and monetarydonations to support those service users in need.In 2010 we received funding from the Big Lottery Fund and from a new project ‘Community Engagement Project’ toexpand our activity and provide more effective and comprehensive service for asylum seekers. The grant allowed us toemploy four new members of staff... two Project Support Workers, a Training & Outreach Coordinator, and a Sport &Outreach Coordinator.Our finances are divided into two basic business functions, Restricted Funding and Unrestricted Funding; which meansthat some funds arrive with conditions imposed upon their use (restricted) and some without set conditions(unrestricted).Our total income in 2010 amounted to £130.938 compared to £71,438 in 2009. Our total expenditure in 2010 was£103,258 compared with £82,907 2009. - 49 -
  50. 50. DCRS Annual Review 2010Our receipts from funding are divided into two broad headings: Restricted Funds are funds meant for specific projects or activities which are declared by the donors. The total Restricted Funds in 2010 were £89,191. Unrestricted Funds are donations that are available for DCRS to use towards any purpose. The total Unrestricted Funds in 2010 were £41,747.During 2010 DCRS received income from grants towards the costs of certain activities. DCRS also relied on voluntaryincome to fund our work and to enable investment in the maintenance of our current work and the development ofnew initiatives and activities. As a result, we believe that DCRS is in control of its spending, ensures priorities areaddressed, takes advantage of opportunities to improve services as they present themselves, and strives to improveservices for our service users.As a result of the efforts of the DCRS Staff and its Board of Trustees, DCRS is convinced that it is well-placed to continueto meet the opportunities and challenges that the future undoubtedly holds.Numerous funding applications have been submitted for 2011 and DCRS has already been successful with the J. PaulGetty Jnr. Charitable Trust (a grant for three years). DCRS is optimistic in its hope to reach relative financial stability.Finally, I would like to acknowledge the tremendous generosity of all our staff members, supporters and volunteers aswell as the outstanding efforts of our Trustees who have been involved in our fundraising efforts, either directly orindirectly. Thank you all! - 50 -
  51. 51. DCRS Annual Review 2010 FUNDERSDCRS is currently funded by …. J. Franklin Frank Pleske Trust Fund … and Voluntary Donations. ACKNOWLEDGMENT Our grateful thanks to : ROUTEWAYS THE PLYMOUTH DIOCESE ( ( for their assistance in reproducing copies of this review. - 51 -
  52. 52. DCRS Annual Review 2010 STAFF, TRUSTEES & OTHER VOLUNTEERS BOARD OF TRUSTEES15 Mrs. Lorna M. SEWELL Mr. Arnold MELHUISH Chair Vice-Chair & Secretary Miss. Elizabeth A. HARDINGE, MBE Mrs. Isatta (Sarah) KALLON Personnel Coordinator (Staff & Volunteers) Trustee Dr. Penelope KEY, OBE, MSc, MBBS Ms. Svetlana STOUPNIKOV Fundraising Sub-committee Coordinator Treasurer Mr. John JEBB Mr. Geoffrey N. READ, MCIM Triage Coordinator & Clothing Store Newsletter Editor & Annual Review Editor Coordinator Mrs. Christine REID Mr. John SHINNER Food Programme Coordinator Project Director & Assistant Treasurer Mr. Colin G. STARES Ms. Lucy BECKWITH Auxiliary Project Support Worker & Fundraiser Co-opted Member to the Board15 All Trustees are Volunteers. - 52 -