Start with Hope – Change will follow

Little Amal’s journey: https://www.walkwithamal.org/

Little Amal is a giant puppet who represents the journey of child refugees. Her walk began from the border of Syria/Turkey and will end on 3 November 2021 in Manchester with an outdoor event starting 7pm at Castlefield Bowl https://www.walkwithamal.org/events/when-the-birds-land/  : The arrival of Amal to Manchester marks the end of her epic journey. In the lead up to Amal’s arrival local schools, refugee communities and Manchester International Festival will be creating a giant flock of puppet birds. Her days in Manchester culminate in a spectacular finale event. Surrounded by the communities of the city, Amal understands that she has reached her final destination. She is now ready to begin her next even longer journey: creating a new life in a new home. 

You could perhaps make paper birds to put in your window,  or cover the Meeting House in them to greet Little Amal. There is an origami pattern here – these work really well to impress small children  : https://www.origamiway.com/easy-origami-bird.shtml

Free Spirit: Penny Walker

Penny has been so active about making the world a more friendly, safe and inclusive place to be that her contribution to a future world of love and peace cannot be under-estimated.

Here are just a few articles about her life:

For those who knew Penny Walker, and those looking for inspiration: Loraine is from Penny’s inspirational Peace House in Coventry … the video ends with a poem PENNY WALKER by Loraine Masiya Mponela 20 June 2021:

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Police powers amount to ‘political attack’ on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities

What could the proposed laws in the #PolicingBill mean for Gypsies and Travellers? Mattey Mitchell, Campaigns Officer at Friends, Families and Travellers shares in this video:

The Government is planning to bring in harsh new laws for nomadic people. We have launched a new tool to support Gypsies, Travellers and members of the public to write to their MP, registering their concerns about the policing bill. We need your help.

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Home Office use of ‘contingency units’

8 March 2021 From ICIBI: An inspection of the use of contingency asylum accommodation – key findings from site visits to Penally Camp and Napier Barracks

During the week of 15 February 2021 inspectors from ICIBI and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) visited Penally Camp and Napier Barracks, spending two days at each site.

Read more about initial findings here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/an-inspection-of-the-use-of-contingency-asylum-accommodation-key-findings-from-site-visits-to-penally-camp-and-napier-barracks


Please find below a version that can be shared of my submission in response to the call by the Independent Chief Inspector for Borders and Immigration, David Bolt https://www.gov.uk/government/news/call-for-evidence-an-inspection-of-the-use-of-hotels-and-barracks-as-contingency-asylum-accommodation:

It can be downloaded here:


Call for evidence: An inspection of the use of hotels and barracks as contingency asylum accommodation

The Home Office emphasis on find and remove, and increasing the tensions of an already hostile environment demonstrate a clear lack of willingness to find a humanitarian way forward in these exceptional circumstances.

The bottom line is that the Home Office has, at best and being very generous, allowed the conditions described to prevail by their lack of care, but it seems that there is a deliberate policy to promote and continue the hostile environment, whilst paying substantial sums to the private sector.

There are strong moral, political. practical, and financial arguments to support the campaign for *Indefinite Leave to Remain/settled status for all who are undocumented or in the legal process.

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Status Now 4 All – EDM #658 and #1442

Please ask your MP to support EDMs #658 and #1442

EDM1442: Undocumented migrants and covid-19 vaccination tabled on 03 February 2021 by Claudia Webbe – MP Leicester East

Motion text

That this House believes that access to essential healthcare is a universal human right; regrets the continued existence of structural, institutional and systemic barriers in accessing NHS care experienced by undocumented migrants and those awaiting determination of their asylum, visa and immigration applications; considers that an effective public health response to the covid-19 crisis requires that the most vulnerable can afford to access food, healthcare, and self-isolate where necessary; understands that some of the most vulnerable people in society will not access vaccination against the virus, since to disclose their identity to the authorities would risk their arrest, detention and deportation; fears that without urgent Government intervention this will lead to further avoidable premature deaths, especially in the African, Asian and Minority Ethnic population; and therefore calls on the Home Office to grant everyone currently in the UK at this time who are undocumented migrants and those awaiting determination of their asylum, visa and immigration applications indefinite leave to remain, and to be eligible in due course to receive the covid-19 vaccination.

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Gaylan Nazhad

Nazhad is a bespoke photographer specialising in portrait and bodily representations in the Rembrandt style. Since 1989 he has been active in the arts as photographer and producer in twelve theatre shows internationally, including dramatisations of Bertolt Brecht’s ‘Mother Courage’ and Eugène Ionesco’s ‘La Jeune Fille à Marier’. After graduating in Theatre Directing at Sulaimani Institute of Fine Arts, he went on to study Master Degree in Documentary Film at The Royal Holloway University of London. He currently lectures in photography at the University of Shanghai.

​For Banner Theatre in the United Kingdom, Nazhad has covered a wide range of stories, from the plight of displaced populations in the Middle East to the social trauma experienced by refugees in the West. In 2018 Nazhad published his first photographic collection in book-form, entitled ‘101 Beads: Kurdistan in War’, which was praised, despite the dangerous and tragic circumstances, for its intimate portrait work and honest use of absurd realism. During his coverage for the book, Nazhad gave public talks for a variety of institutions, including the BBC. His work remains passionately human in context, often with a sharp focus on moral ambiguities, existential angst and beauty in unexpected places.

​Find out more here: https://gaylan.wixsite.com/101beads/101beads