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For Asylum seekers and refugees to be safe, respected, supported and empowered to rebuild their lives free of persecution.
To achieve this, LASSN
runs projects that address the needs of refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants at risk of harm or exploitation in Leeds, and
raises awareness of issues facing people seeking refuge and other migrants in Leeds.
All our projects are about sharing a welcome and extending kindness and care to people seeking refuge, or recent migrants who are having a tough time.
We create opportunities for people in Leeds
to show friendship and solidarity,
to learn more about the reality of seeking asylum, and refuge,
to hold on to the hope that tomorrow can be different from today.
LASSN is all about finding ways for people in Leeds to help folks from far away.
We are always on the look out for volunteers, fundraisers and donors, or people who want to show their support in other ways – running gigs and fundraisers, holding coffee mornings, rattling tins, running marathons, riding bikes…
We’re always keen to tap into the energy, skills, and resources of the people who share our vision.
Many refugees and asylum seekers will experience homelessness at some point.
Grace Hosting volunteers offer a hot meal and a safe place to sleep for people who have nowhere else to turn – and many have continued to offer this throughout the Pandemic.
In 2020, we opened Grace House – a house for four asylum seeking men with no income, no right to work, and nowhere else to stay. This respite from destitution allows people the mental and physical space to focus on improving their health, and getting casework support to resolve their immigration difficulties.
As demand surges, we hope to open a second home, Eva House, in early summer 2022.
People seeking refuge in Leeds typically need help with settling in, finding out about and getting involved in local community life, accessing services and overcoming the stress caused by both past trauma and the asylum process.
Volunteer Befrienders build trust by forging a relationship through meeting up for a few hours each week for at least six months.
Refugees and other migrants sometimes struggle to find work in the UK.
Mentoring and Befriending offers people who are thinking about work the chance to build their confidence, improve their English, and to make contacts and friends in their local community, finding out about the help and services available to them.
Our Tea and Talk Social Groups meet in person and online, giving participants chance to meet new people, build confidence, learn new skills and practice speaking English.
English at Home helps people learn a skill that is vital for their everyday life.
Or volunteer tutors support people seeking asylum seekers and refugees who can’t access mainstream ESOL classes because of caring responsibilities, difficulties with transport or other reasons.
Tutors provide regular one to one lessons online and offline, so that students can become more independent and confident on paper and in person.
Updates and New Resources
LASSN and support for Ukrainian people
LASSN Trustees met this week to discuss LASSN's response to the events unfolding in Ukraine and how we can be [...]
Friends of LASSN, Winter 21
It's been far too long since we last gave you an update about what's happening at LASSN, and the difference [...]
Updated Guidance for Volunteers – December 2021
Earlier this week, the UK Government announced new measures to help combat the spread of new strains of COVID. What [...]
“What can I do to help refugees from Afghanistan?”
A lot of people have been in touch over the last week, with unbelievably generous offers of help, housing, volunteering [...]
LASSN’s support of tech across Leeds and beyond, since the start of the Pandemic in 2020
In the last year many people have experienced disconnection and loneliness, and the people LASSN work alongside are no exception. [...]
Updated Guidance for Volunteers: Step 3, 17th May 2021
So it's the end of Lockdown? Almost. From 17th May 2021, most of the UK experienced a relaxation in Lockdown [...]
“The opportunity to build a relationship with and support my befriendee has been invaluable for me. I have learnt so much and grown as a person as a result. Everyone at LASSN is so supportive too.”
“My befriendees and I have a great time together and it is a superb feeling to help some one make a new life in our city.”
“I feel honored to be part of such a fabulous charity.”
“I have been very impressed with LASSN as a company, and my english at home partner, who is fantastic.”
“The chance to meet people from different backgrounds and the opportunity to expand my teaching skills.”
“I feel LASSN is doing immensely valuable work and I want to be able to contribute to that work.”
“Helping someone to learn English has the potential to make a difference to an asylum seeker or refugee’s life. Thinking of ways to do this is creative and challenging, which (selfishly) as a retired person, I need!”
“I feel like I’m making a real difference to people, and all of the work is so well informed and ethical.”
“Feeling useful; helping people in need; supporting a really important frontline area of work; meeting amazing people.”
“LASSN provides an extremely important service to some of the most vulnerable people in Leeds.”
“Being able to support, offer something valuable to my Befriendee… Time, knowledge and friendship.”
“I have learned a lot from my guests and been inspired by them.”
“Making a difference to an individual’s life, caring and helpful staff.”
“I also enjoy meeting other members and the social events.I am also very pleased to have such wonderful support from Tina and the LASSN team.”
“I feel that there is an organisation behind me that knows what it is doing.”
“We have learned more about people of other countries and their plight which has underlined just how fortunate we are.”
“Really great volunteer support and coordination.”
“I was a teacher and very much enjoy teaching still. I have liked working for LASSN for 17 years.”
“EAH is very well organised. The training is regular and of a high standard. I feel well supported. The resources are regularly added to.”
“I also like feeling confident that LASSN is genuinely driven by its values and that decisions are taken on this basis.”
“I find befriending really enjoyable, sometimes a bit challenging and I learn a great deal.”
“I have found Befriending (to be) an incredibly rewarding experience as it gave me the opportunity to build a relationship with someone who comes from a completely different background from my own and share our experiences with one another.”
“Meeting the people involved and knowing I am able to help guests as they cope with the system. I know it has made a difference to their lives.”
“The staff are absolutely great and give me the confidence and resources I need.”
“I’ve loved getting to know the person I’m befriending and her family. I feel like we’ve become genuine friends which has been really nice.”
“I have been working with LAASN for15 or 16 years and find it very interesting and rewarding.”
“The support given. The thorough workshops and tutorials offered. I like a lot of things!”
“Helping others learn English and making good connections with people from other nations.”
“[I can] show them that there are many people who do welcome them here and want to help them feel a part of our society”
“Meet interesting people from different countries and with different experiences to us enjoy welcoming people into our house and making use of the available space we have to share.”
“The opportunity to provide practical and immediate help to destitute asylum seekers who are being unjustly victimised by Government policies that I believe to be heinous.”
“Making friends with people from countries like Iraq and Somalia, listening to them, their way of seeing the world, their accent, holding one of their children on my knees while chatting to the mother.”
“Meeting people from different parts of the world and cultures is always interesting and rewarding, so we get back far more than we give.”
“Meeting new families from different parts of the world and feeling that I might help to make them establish their lives in the UK.”
“Since first contacting LASSN with a view to volunteering I have been struck by the helpful and supportive approach of all the people who work there and how quickly you are made to feel a part of the organisation.”
“I really enjoy supporting and helping my befriendee. It has been an enrichment to my life and am so pleased that we have such a positive relationship.”
“The opportunity of meeting people from different backgrounds and helping them in whatever capacity you can guided by LASSN.”
“The strong feeling of support and excellent quality of training received from LASSN to enable me to carry out my volunteer role.”
“I only want to say how grateful I am to be able to visit Suhad from Iraq, to listen to her, bring her flowers and to be called sister by her.”
“Very supportive organisation. Excellent online resources. Good to feel you’re doing something of value.”