By Jill Mann, TLC partner and also works for Together for Peace (T4P):
10 small things I’ve done this week that connect me to being human ….(in the midst of all the horrific media coverage)
1. Spent 2 hours at another ‘pay as you feel’ community cafe in Richmond Hill Primary School listening to and talking with newly arrived people in Leeds.
2. Found a good home for the spare unused fridge that I’ve had in a garage (it’s gone to a family who have right to remain in Uk).
3. Petitioned the BBC about use of the word refugee and refugee crisis rather than migrant crisis. Words do matter.
4. Read an article about 7 moments in history when the UK has welcomed refugees into the country and reflected on how the UK could do more in 2015 – http://www.buzzfeed.com/jamieross/times-from-history-the-uk-welcomed-refugees?utm_term=.svekz1b64#.fll2jW6p5
5. Petitioned the government to accept more people seeking asylum, from the warmth and safety of my own home. Felt grateful for my life here.
6. Petitioned Theresa May for the UK to grant sanctuary to people fleeing from war. Felt deep sadness for the global displacement of people.
7. Spent a lunchtime with an inspiring small organisation called No Borders Leeds sorting abandoned tents & sleeping bags from Leeds Festival and donated clothes and supplies for people in Calais.
8. Spoke with Johnny Ianson from BBC Radio Leeds about what small organisations and people power can achieve and also about how my own family fled in desperation many years ago from Ireland to England during the Potato Famine.
9. Collected donated musical equipment for CATCH (an awesome community group in Harehills) and saw the faces of the eastern european lads light up with joy. Priceless!
10. Wondered about what routes to England other people’s families have taken? If you’d like to share your story, please do.
ToastLoveCoffee is partnering with CATCH and will be opening its doors again once the planning permission is sorted and the refurbished portacabins arrive. I hope to see you in the new venue!