Lancaster poets read for refugees at King St Studios

The poetry reading on Wed 21st was a great success, raising nearly £300 for RAIS! Many thanks to all who took part: poets Mike Barlow, Carole Coates, Barbara Hickson, Elizabeth Hare and Jane Routh; to wonderful harpist Celia Briar who provided the musical interval; and to Roy and Kath at King Street Studios for hosting the event. Thanks also to the volunteers who helped, and everyone who came along to support us and enjoy this lovely evening.

Travel expenses for asylum seekers required to report at reporting centres outside Lancaster

The Home Office guidance states:

Asylum seekers living outside of the 3 mile radius of their reporting location  and receiving asylum support are eligible to receive assistance with travel expenses for reporting. (The Home Office (2018) Reporting and Offender Management, p.31)

If this applies to you, you need to apply in person at the reporting centre.

If your application is approved, you should get a ticket for your journey home, and one for your next journey to report.

This means that the asylum seeker has to meet the cost of the first outward journey (or the next journey they make if they have not previously claimed travel expenses). If you cannot afford the ticket for the journey, then you can apply to RAIS for financial help (subject to available funding). Just bring your letter telling you when and where to report to our Monday afternoon drop-in at the Cornerstone.

Easter holidays

Please note our Easter holiday arrangements:

There will be no drop in or help line on Monday 2nd April.

The help line will be operating as usual Tuesday 3rd – Thursday 5th April.

Lancaster Law School Law Clinic for immigration advice

There will be a legal advice drop in

at the Quaker Meeting House, Room 4

on Wednesdays 14th, 21st and 28th February and Wednesday 5th March

from 1 pm to 3 pm

Supervised by an experienced immigration barrister, the clinic will offer advice on immigration issues for anyone from the refugee and asylum seeker community in Lancaster who has a legal problem.

You can either:

just come along to the clinic,

or, if you need an interpreter,

you can arrange an appointment by coming to the RAIS drop in on any Monday from 3.00 to 5.00 at the Cornerstone, Meeting Room 1, or by texting 07731 552259, giving your name and language spoken. Alternatively you can contact us via our website.

RAIS cèilidh success: thank you to all our supporters!

The cèilidh held at the Gregson last Saturday was a huge success! It was a sell-out, and raised an amazing  £654.30 to support our work.

A big thank you to:

The musicians who gave their services free: Caton Ceilidh Band, Fiddler on the Hoof and Celia Briar; callers Jackie and Fiona, and all who helped on the night;

Everyone who donated raffle prizes: The Sliver Tree, Lancaster Arts, Cherry Trees Practice, The Cutting Room and Lush, as well as many individuals;

… and all who came along to join in and support our event.

RAIS drop-in is moving!

From Monday 4th December our drop-in will be at the Cornerstone, Sulyard Street, Lancaster LA1 1PX (at the corner of Dalton Square).  Same times: 15:30 until 17:30, every Monday.

Come and see us for information and support, or just to use our computers.

Morecambe Bay Credit Union

Morecambe Bay Credit Union holds a session at the Ridge Community Centre, 4 Ridge Square, Lancaster LA1 3HR every Tuesday afternoon from 13.00 until 15.00.

Credit unions are a great way for refugees to save, for example for a deposit for a rented house or flat, or to buy furniture etc. Savers can access loans at fair interest rates. No need for an appointment – just drop in.

New drop-in launched

This Monday RAIS launched its new drop-in service for refugees and asylum seekers at the Gregson. All our volunteers were kept busy with enquiries about issues including general orientation in Lancaster, access to legal advice and job-seeking. All refugees and asylum seekers are welcome to come with enquiries, or just to use our computers.