During the last meeting issues that affect families facing immigration and settlement issues were discussed. These include the isolation and stigma which people may feel, the mental health stress this has on families as well as practical problems about finding money to pay immigration and NHS fees. What really has an impact on people is the way that they are treated when they attend places like Lewisham Council or an Immigration Reporting Centre.
The Immigration Action Project is intended to be a place of education, action and support. Hannah from Citizens UK worked with parents to look at what might be an effective first course of action. So the parents decided to write a letter to the head of the NRPF team at Lewisham to invite him to meet with parents at St. Mary’s to see how things could be improved. The letter has been delivered and we await a response. It is wonderful to see such courageous advocacy in action and to witness parents supporting each other so kindly.
Parents were also able to meet with Jess from the Coram Children’s Legal Centre who was able to offer immigration advice on an individual basis. Next meeting will be the 11th July so do come along!
St. Mary’s is very excited to be part of a fantastic new project with Citizens UK and Coram Children’s Legal Centre. Many families in our community face issues around immigration, settlement and citizenship in the UK. This can affect your right to work, to receive benefits and to receiving treatment under the NHS. By getting together and discussing the issues which affect families we can attempt to provide the right help both practically and emotionally. Most importantly, by working together we can start to campaign for real changes.
Come to the next meeting on the 13th June@ 9am and find out more. We also have an immigration advisor coming into the session to provide support and answer any questions you have in complete confidentiality. This is an ongoing project which really puts the values of St. Mary’s vision for our school community into practice.
Catching the Thames Clipper from Embankment, parents got a fantastic riverside view of the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf before disembarking at Greenwich. We then had a look at the Cutty Sark, a wander through Greenwich Market and a picnic in Greenwich Park. After recharging, some of the parents even continued the sightseeing tour to the Maritime Museum before catching the bus back to Lewisham.
Why don’t you have a day out in London with the children over the summer holidays? You can use your Oystercard on the Thames Clipper (child travel is 50% off/under 5’s are free) and places like the Tate Modern and the Greenwich Maritime Museum are free. There is so much to explore!