Dover Together Schedule announced!

The Dover together Multi-cultural festival is happening on Saturday 20th May 2017 from 12pm – 4pm. Come and enjoy the days activities- you can taste delicious food from across the globe, enjoy listening to some great genres of music and join in with the wonderful dance routines or chill with a tai chi class.

Come and join in and be part of a welcoming Dover Community event

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Dover Together Multicultural Festival: Get Involved

Samphire is excited to announce three amazing ways that local people and community groups can get involved with the upcoming Dover Together Multicultural Festival this spring.

The event itself will be held on May 20th between 12 – 4 pm in Pencester Gardens Dover. But there is no need to wait until May 20th to be part of this special celebration. Before May you can:

  • enter our raffle to win the chance to take part in a free international cookery workshop on May 6th

Get Involved – Food

  • learn some new sewing skills at our upcycling costume making workshops on May 9th and 14th

Get Involved – Upcycling

  • As a local community group or school access a series of professional free dance or music workshops to develop a performance for the festival and learn a new skill

Get Involved – Music & Dance for Schools Community Groups

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Vacancy – Fundraising Officer, deadline 3rd January 2017

An opportunity has arisen with Samphire for a fundraising professional to help to secure the future of our excellent Ex-Detainee and Community Engagement projects. Our mission is to improve the lives of people released from immigration detention and experiencing destitution in the UK, and to support the development of well-informed, cohesive and diverse communities in the Dover area and beyond.

Are you energetic, resourceful, self-motivated and an excellent communicator? Do you have the ability to tell a great story? Are you willing to make an ask? Do you have a passion for Samphire’s mission? Have a proven track record in frontline fundraising?

The Fundraising Officer will be expected to hit the ground running, using their initiative to identify appropriate sources of funding, grasp and convey the importance of Samphire’s work to deliver our ideal structure by securing funding for our future.

This position is for a fixed term of nine months, with the possibility of extension contingent on funding.

Fundraising Officer (Dover-based)

NJC salary scale points 29-31, starting salary £25,694 p.a. (pro rata)

Part-time, 3 days a week (22.5 hours per week)

The Candidate

Essential

  • 2 years trusts fundraising experience, preferably in the community development or migration sectors
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal (letter writing, formal applications and the ability to present the charity’s work externally in an engaging and informative manner).
  • Proven track record in writing successful funding applications.
  • Degree-level education or equivalent experience.

Desirable

  • Experience of working in an NGO and/or a development charity within a trusts and foundations fundraising setting.
  • Experience of preparing and maintaining budgets.

Download the full Job Description and Person Specification -Fundraising Officer 11.12.16 and the Application form – Fundraiser 12.16

Please send your completed application forms by email to recruitment@samphireproject.org.uk or by post to Samphire, 54-56 Castle Street, Dover, CT16 1PJ.

The deadline for applications is midday (12.00pm) 3rd January 2017. Interviews will be held on 6th January. The successful applicant will be expected to start as soon as possible.

Dover Together: Multicultural Festival

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Samphire is excited to announce that we have won funding from the Big Lottery Celebrate programme to run a Dover Together festival in the spring.

Dover Together will be a chance for all communities in Dover to come together and celebrate both their, and other, cultures and try food, music, dance and art from around the world.

When: Saturday May 20th 12 – 4 pm

Where: Pencester Gardens, Dover.

But don’t wait until the 20th of May to get involved. There are lots of opportunities to be a part of the festival before then, not least the chance to take part in free workshops in the run up to the festival to learn a new skill and develop a showcase to perform or display on the festival day. For more information on the festival, the free workshops and other ways to get involved: click here.

 

Samphire releases new I’m Checking My Facts about Immigration animated video series.

Over the last few months staff and volunteers at Samphire have been working hard on an accessible series of animated videos to help people access the facts about migration. There are so many myths and stereotypes about immigration to the UK which Samphire is trying to help set straight by making a non-partisan video which deals directly with the facts about immigration to the UK.

To see why we think it is important that we help people understand the facts about migration check out Part 2 of our video: Confusion

The series of videos look at the questions of who migrates to the UK, via what routes, for what reasons and what impact their migration has on the UK. The video can be viewed as one 10 minute piece or in parts each of which deals with a different area of migration including: the numbers, EU Migrants, Non-EU Migrants, Asylum Seekers & Refugees and Immigration Detention.

All of the videos are available on our YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH_-dBkKODDBy1VjNZQdJ2w and on our publications page.

We can’t raise awareness alone so please share the videos as widely as possible!

Full Video: 

 

Samphire’s Patron Bishop Trevor visits for the launch of our 2016 Make Christmas Count: Ex-Detainee Festive Appeal

FullSizeRender (1)Rt.Rev. Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover, Samphire’s patron, took time out of his busy schedule this morning to visit our offices and have an update on the work we are doing here. Bishop Trevor was happy to meet volunteers who give up their time to support the work of Samphire and was keen to learn about what motivates our volunteers to dedicate their time and energy to our work. One long standing volunteer said: “I volunteer at Samphire because I enjoy it, it is a great environment to be in but my original drive to get in touch with Samphire was because I felt like they were working to encourage a sense of common humanity. Common humanity is an idea which I am happy to give up my time to work towards.”
image3Bishop Trevor was excited to hear about the new Community Engagement and Awareness Raising work and engaged in a wide-ranging discussion about how we can make sure that everyone feels included in this work and can get their voices heard. The Bishop also restated his support for Samphire’s Ex-Detainee Project, commending the project for the way it supports the most vulnerable in society and ensures that they do not feel alone.

 

The Bishop commented: “I feel like society is moving into a very dangerous and demoralising time. Society seems to be getting more and more fragmented, and some powerful vested interests seem to be working towards this fragmentation. I am a patron of Samphire because I think they are trying to stand against this fragmentation, to bring people together from all backgrounds, races and beliefs, and build a sense of community. This applies both locally in Dover, and nationally for ex-detainees and the communities they live in. By doing this we can start to work towards a society in which nobody feels isolated and in which we can deliver a bright future for all.”

Bishop Trevor was also kind enough to launch our 2016 Make Christmas Count Appeal. This Appeal raises money for our Emergency Fund which supports struggling, destitute and homeless ex-detainees. To find out more about why ex-detainees need our support year round (and especially in the festive season) and how to donate: click here

Detention: Updates and Awareness

Although the IRC (Immigration Removal Centre) in Dover shut almost a year ago Samphire continues to be actively involved in networks and campaigns to raise awareness of, and fight to change, the way immigration detention is used in the UK.

Over the last few weeks Detention Forum has been running it’s 2016 Unlocking Detention virtual tour of the immigration estate. They have released a number of amazingly powerful first person blogs and accounts along with running live Q and As every Friday with someone currently held in the immigration detention estate. To see what they have been up to have a look at on their webpage: http://unlocked.org.uk/blog/about-detention/.

If you’re not sure where to start we have picked a few pieces which should not be missed form the first few weeks:

1. Ajay’s powerful letter to ‘pre-detained me’:http://unlocked.org.uk/…/a-letter-to-the-old-me-before-bro…/

2. A summary of the live Q and A with Abdi detained in a prison under immigration powers:
http://unlocked.org.uk/…/live-q-and-a-with-abdi-detained-i…/

3. Abdal’s powerful first person account: http://unlocked.org.uk/blog/the-death-warrant/…

To further highlight the vital importance of talking about, raising awareness and campaigning to change the detention system here in the UK Stonewall have released a new piece of research into the experience of LGBT asylum seekers held in the detention estate. This shocking report highlights the fact that in detention asylum seekers who have fled to the UK because they believe it to be a country which will respect and uphold the human rights of LGBT communities face discrimination and persecution. Read the full report here: http://www.stonewall.org.uk/…/defa…/files/no_safe_refuge.pdf.

Make sure you get involved in raising awareness on this vital issue which continues to be a blight on the UK’s human rights record.

Reflections on the Conservative Party Conference: What we should expect from politicians.

The Conservative Party Conference this year focused heavily on the issue of immigration.  Immigration came up in relation to the NHS, students and business practices, among others. While some of the policies which tied in with immigration – like training more British doctors – are certainly needed, Samphire feels that the tone of the debate set by the Conservative party is dangerous in a political climate in which xenophobic hate crime has been increasing and only acts to reinforce some of the widely held stereotypes about immigration. Framing the policy of training new British doctors as a means of reducing immigration acts to devalue the amazing contributions that foreign workers make to the NHS, and potentially leaves immigrant NHS employees feeling unwelcome. Cutting down on the rights of foreign students to study in the UK as a means of reducing the overall net migration statistic ignores the wishes of much of the higher education sector and reinforces the myths that immigrants are takers not givers – despite the fact that international students, who pay much higher fees, now pay 26% of all tuition fees in the UK thereby providing a vital source of higher education funding. While the Conservatives have already back tracked on the suggestion that they would ask businesses to report on the nationality of workers, the business lobby has still criticised the government for not recognising the vital importance of immigrants to the business sector and for not promising to ensure that British business can continue to gain from immigration.

We need to be talking about immigration in the UK but it is disturbing to see a political party consistently deny and disguise the amazing benefits that immigration brings to the UK. This is especially dangerous when foreign people living in Britain are feeling less and less welcome on Britain’s streets. Samphire calls on all political parties to make sure that their narrative about immigration is driven by facts. We suggest that while trying to deal with the issues and debates around immigration they ensure that they also recognise the vital contribution of immigrants to the UK. Finally, we expect politicians who lead this country to stand up and make a stand against xenophobia to ensure that we continue to live in a diverse, tolerant and liberal society.

The Demolition of the “Jungle” in Calais: Concerns and Actions

Just over 20 miles from Dover, on the other side of the Channel, the “Jungle” refugee and migrant camp continues to be a humanitarian disaster which is fostering wide spread debate and dissent. Samphire has already written about why we feel that closing the camp is not a long term solution to the humanitarian problems encountered there as it doesn’t address the push or pull factors that lead these desperate people to Calais in the first place. Despite this the French authorities intend to begin permanently demolishing the camp as early as the beginning of next week. The French authorities have found dispersed accommodation for the, roughly, 9000 adult inhabitants but the fate of the over 1,000 unaccompanied children (under 18s) living in the camp is still unclear.

Home Secretary, Amber Rudd has announced that the UK government will fast track the transfer of a number of unaccompanied children from Calais who have the right to be in the UK. But the exact numbers remain unclear. Moreover, it remains uncertain whether or not these will be the 178 children which charities have identified who have the right to move to the UK to join family under the Dublin III agreement, or the 209 which have been identified for transfer under the Dubs Amendment. So far no children have arrived in the UK under the terms of the Dubs amendment which was passed back in May. Even if it is both these groups this still represents only a fraction of the children likely to be displaced next week when the demolition is proposed to begin.

With this in mind it is vital now that we raise our voices to highlight concerns about what is going on in Calais. So what can we do?

  • Write to Amber Rudd to hold her to her promise to fast track transfers of unaccompanied children from Calais and to enact the Dubs amendment. You could also ask her to clarify exactly how many of the unaccompanied children the British government is committing to support.

Email: privateoffice.external@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk Contact: https://www.amberrudd.co.uk/contact

  • Write to your local MP to ask them what they are doing to encourage the government to support unaccompanied children from Calais. You can find your local representative here: http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/.
  • Share information and your concerns with your friends and family, in person, via e-mail or on social media, encourage people you know to learn more about the issue and to take steps to safeguard the children affected by the crisis in Calais! If you are a member of a group or organisation like a church group, political party or the WI ask other members of the group to take action too!
  • Get involved with Stand Up To Racisms weekend of action this weekend (14th-16th of October 2016) to raise awareness of the issue of child refugees in Calais.

The situation in Calais is rapidly changing and it is unclear what the future holds for the refugees and migrants trapped there, for France, for Dover and the UK, and for lorry drivers whose journeys are currently so terribly disrupted. We hope to host more conversations about Calais and positive solutions to the challenges there in the near future.