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Hamida White is a special member of the Justice First family. She previously worked with our organisation from its formation in 2006 and later went onto work for British Red Cross. In that time she generated lots of funding for our charity by helping with events such as meal auctions, dinners, quiz nights and creating bags to go on sale, to name a few! Hamida has a multifunctional role here every Thursday, offering a triage support service in our Reception. She welcomes clients, checks them in for their appointments and establishes who they are here to see. She can also offer interpreting to Dari, Pashto and Farsi speakers. On Thursdays clients may have appointments to see either Solicitor, Sarah Rodgers from the Immigration Advice Centre, Client Adviser, Ali Deghan from Migrant Help, or our Caseworkers Kath Sainsbury, Solafa Eltom or Lucie Fleming. As an employee of British Red Cross on…
We are lucky here at Justice First to have the support of Sarah Rodgers from the Immigration Advice Centre in Middlesbrough. Sarah is an experienced Immigration Solicitor who has been volunteering her time, to help our clients since 2012. Sarah offers free advice, assistance and guidance on all asylum matters and works with our caseworkers on more complex client issues. Sarah offers appointments every Thursday at Justice First, 133 Norton Road, Stockton from 10.00 12.00 which can be booked by telephone on 01642 601122. More information about the Immigration Advice Service can be found at the following link: immigrationadvicecentre.com/ #immigration #advice #volunteering #support #asylum
🎉AGM and Annual Celebrations!🎉 On Thursday 16th January 2020, we held our Annual General Meeting at our new premises at 133 Norton Road, Stockton on Tees. It gave our Chair, Barbara Hungin, opportunity to welcome our Board of Directors and Trustees of Justice First, Staff, Supporters, Volunteers and Friends to gather together and celebrate another year of challenging but amazing work in Teesside. ⭐On Saturday 1st February 2020 we had our Annual Celebration Meal to thank each of our Volunteers. We truly appreciate their unwavering commitment to facilitate a friendly information, advice and guidance service, along with helpful language translation and wellbeing support to our clients.⭐ 👋🏻We also said farewell to our long-standing and much valued, Vice-Chair, Fiona Cuthill, who has been with Justice First since it's original formation in 2006. Fiona has been a great asset to our team, especially with the strategic planning and management of our organisation,…
We value our passionate volunteers here at Justice First. We could not do without their input, especially with our clients being so vulnerable and needing consistent support. Edward Berry, aged 20, is volunteering with us for the next year and half whilst completing his law degree at Durham University. He discovered Justice First, via Facebook and became interested in our work, as he may specialise in Immigration Law in the future. He has a huge respect for this organisation and is keen to help spread awareness of the valuable outcomes being achieved for our clients, who are struggling in the complex asylum system. Edward feels that Justice First is a very rewarding place to volunteer, it takes him 2 hours to travel here and offers time around his busy study schedule. He is also part of a society called "Durham for Refugees" and he is keen to be involved in…
Jutyar Hasane also shared his experiences with us too. Jutyar is originally from Iran and is currently living in Stockton, Teesside. He has been a client with justice First for the last 2 years. He is here to see a caseworker today for help with his fresh claim. He has also accessed support from Migrant Help with housing issues. He is happy with the service he has received from Justice First and feels supported. 👍🏼
The impact of our work
Our staff keep meticulous records of the number of people assisted and each case file is kept up to date. This is a huge administrative task, but vital to the success of our mission. Our key aim is to enable asylum seekers to re-engage with the legal process by gathering sufficient evidence to mount a fresh claim. Once this is achieved and the claim is accepted, they have access to legal aid and can be passed on to solicitors. Whilst only a small proportion will go on to be granted leave to remain in the UK, this number has increased recently and this is in part due to the use of Article Eight of the Human Rights Act. This is of importance to asylum seekers who have children that are growing up and being educated in the UK, as it allows them to argue that their children’s right to a family life depends on themselves and their parents being granted leave to remain in the UK. This is a complex area of law and one for which it is not possible to obtain legal aid, so our staff are gaining expertise through training and through practice in the use of Article Eight to assist our clients.
Our educational and awareness raising work is also important as this supports both our local fund raising and also the environment and welcome that asylum seekers in our region receive. Our staff provide training, make presentations and lead workshops. This work includes providing opportunities for asylum seekers and settled residents of the area to meet each other and engage in activities, such as cooking, walking in the countryside, playing football or attending social events together and to learn from each other through social interaction. Whilst it is difficult to keep records of the number of individuals influenced or engaged in this work, we estimate that we reach four to five thousand people a year.