Asylum Seekers have been welcomed to Wales with complete kindness thanks to a unique initiative from our Cardiff and Vale community.
Barry-based Stand Up to Racism (SUTR) Vale were proud to support Butetown Community Centre, and Life Skills Aid, at the first-ever Asylum Seekers Welcome Day in Cardiff.
Chairs Hilary Brown and Alison Woolcock, plus four of our core members, Sue Vincent-Jones, Louise Ludvigsen, Emma-Davies Powell, and Megan Gardner joined volunteers to distribute free clothes, toiletries, a hot meal, and a fruit and veg take-away bag.
This first event at Butetown Community Centre was aimed at men based in the area, many of whom have been relocated from the notorious Penally Camp.
This new initiative helps those who find themselves forcibly displaced after fleeing their home country. Many have had to leave their birthplace due to war or other factors that are a direct danger to them, and, often, their families.
Over 200 Asylum Seekers came along during the five hour long event to chose items from the very generous amount of clothes donated, enjoy traditional cuisine, and take home a bag full of essential foodstuffs.
Next month sees a women and children’s Asylum Seekers Welcome Day, and it is envisaged that both events are just the start of a long-term community effort.
SUTR Vale Treasurer Emma Davies-Powell said: “I loved every minute of it. Being able to make a difference is all I’ve talked about since being home. It’s now something I can tell my kids about, which will hopefully allow them to be more understanding and better people.
Thank you Hilary, you work so hard for so many communities and thank you for bringing us along with you.”
SUTR Vale have long-supported making Asylum Seekers feel welcome in Wales. They are completely committed to this new initiative, and committee member Sue White is also part of a collective who were instrumental in setting up Welcome Packs for those leaving Penally.
The packs, which contained a hat, socks, gloves, scarf/bandana, towels, deodorant, razors, shave gel, soap, toothbrush, and toothpaste, were greatly received by those leaving the Camp with next to nothing.
Widely-publicised, including by SUTR’s Vale Social Media lead Chelsea Jones, the Welcome Packs caught the hearts of our community with very generous donations being made – including a couple of much-needed bicycles.
The voluntary group thank all those who have given their time, their efforts, and their items, to support all Asylum Seekers seeking sanctuary in our nation.
For more information on how to join Stand Up To Racism (Vale) and get involved, contact us on email@example.com.
🖤 Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) Vale are a Black-led Campaign Group who, with the strong support of Allies, are looking to unite our communities – locally, nationally, and internationally.
🖤The voluntary group are open to all who support their aims and values.
🖤More information, background, and pictures are available here.
Stand Up to Racism Vale are also supporting a number of campaigns, and joining with the organisers to ask for your help in raising crucial funds.
Help Mohamud Hassan get the justice he deserves
Mohamud Hassan, 24, was arrested in his Cardiff home on Friday 8th January under the most violent of circumstances. Twenty South Wales police officers removed all occupants from the residence leaving Mohamud alone. We are attempting to raise money for funeral arrangements and legal fees. A case has been opened however to ensure justice we are also looking into opening a private case of our own.
BLM (Cardiff) have set up a Link Tree for the Mahamud Hassan Campaign – this includes Mahamud Hassan Fundraiser, Justice4Mahamud Petition, Body Cam Footage Police Petition, and a Welsh Media Report, all in one place: https://linktr.ee/blmcardiff
On 17 February 2021, Mouayed Bashir, a 29-year old Sudanese man died after being forcibly restrained by Gwent Police at his home in Newport, South Wales.
Police arrived at Mouayed’s home after his parents called 999 when he began to experience a mental health crisis. Several vehicles and a large number of police officers attended the property.
Although not under arrest, he was placed in handcuffs and leg restraints, and subsequently died.
The family want to find out how he died, and why Gwent Police behaved like this. Then they will take action.
Justice for Christopher Kapessa
Christopher’s body was found in the River Cynon, on 1 July 2019, after he and others were out by the river. An initial investigation by SWP concluded that Christopher’s death was as a result of a ‘tragic accident’.
After concerns were raised, the force’s major crime investigation team was brought in. On 19 February 2020, the CPS wrote to the family stating that there was sufficient evidence to support a charge of manslaughter but that a prosecution was not in the public interest.
The family wants the CPS decision reviewed but needs £10,000 for legal fees to get started, and more later to proceed.
Thank you for your support & donations to assist the family of Christopher get justice.
On 25 May 2019, what started as a joyous bank holiday for Siyanda ended as a nightmare and changed her life forever. Without any provocation, Siyanda was racially abused and physically assaulted by adults much older than her.
Siyanda and her family expected the police to investigate the incident thoroughly but what they experienced was a litany of failures. To their horror Siyanda who has disabilities, was arrested and then charged with GBH, and she was convicted and sentenced to four and half years on 13 March 2020.
An appeal was dismissed by a single Judge. An onward right of appeal to the Court of Appeal has now been lodged and representation has been secured by Siyanda’s new legal defence team Virgo Consultancy Services Ltd who have retained Michael Mansfield QC to advocate on behalf of Siyanda at her appeal.
The national campaign ‘Free Siyanda‘, was launched to right the wrong and ensure that justice prevails in this case.
Support here: freesiyanda.com
Thank you all who have donated, shared, and supported.
Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist. She blogs about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
As a founding member of Stand Up To Racism (Vale) Sue promotes the Black-led Campaign Group who, with the strong support of Allies, aim to unite our communities. And also acts as Communications Advisor for the voluntary collective.