New English Classes Resource

The Local Author­ity have recently launched a new online lan­guage resource for migrants in Leeds. The webpage — Learn­ing Eng­lish in Leeds — provides a com­pre­hens­ive and up-to-date ref­er­ence for all of the Eng­lish lan­guage learn­ing oppor­tun­it­ies in the city and is a great resources for organ­isa­tions like us fre­quently have cli­ents who wish to learn the language.

Learning English in Leeds

Posted in News

Amnesty Leeds PAFRAS Quiz

Amnesty PAFRAS Pub Quiz!

Posted in Events, News, Uncategorized

Football Beyond Borders

Football: Beyond Border Poster

Posted in Uncategorized

New Fundraising Page

In an attempt to save money related to host­ing a fun­drais­ing page, PAFRAS has offi­cially signed up as a char­ity on Givey where more than 100% of dona­tions will be retained. We are no longer a mem­ber of Just Giv­ing and our page on this site has been taken down.

These changes have come about as a res­ult of our need to cut mem­ber­ship costs and max­im­ise income from dona­tions for PAFRAS and our fundraisers.

As a res­ult there are now new ways to donate such as donat­ing a por­tion of your sales on eBay through the PayPal Giv­ing Fund and even adds a social dynamic so that you can link your Face­book and Twit­ter account so that you may share with your friends the causes you have con­trib­uted to.

To find out more please visit our dona­tions and fun­drais­ing sec­tions of the web­site where all the rel­ev­ant and up to date inform­a­tion will be posted.

Posted in Donating, Fundraising, News, Uncategorized

PAFRAS to close one drop-in

PAFRAS Braced for Cuts

We are very sorry to announce that the Board of Trust­ees have taken the dif­fi­cult decision to close our Tues­day drop-in.

Tues­day 15 Octo­ber 2013 will be the last drop-in on a Tues­day for the fore­see­able future. We will con­tinue to offer a drop-in ser­vice every Thursday,  includ­ing the pro­vi­sion of case­work and men­tal health sup­port as well as numer­ous other ser­vices through our part­ner­ships with other organisations.

At the Thursday drop-in we will also con­tinue to serve hot meals and dis­trib­ute food par­cels, toi­letries and cloth­ing as well as mak­ing small hard­ship pay­ments for essen­tial expenses such as tele­phone credit or travel to import­ant legal and med­ical appoint­ments. For this we will con­tinue to need your sup­port. If you have a dona­tion that you wish to make after Tues­day 15 Octo­ber please bring it to the Thursday drop-in, 10 AM to 1:30 PM, at St Aidan’s Com­munity Hall (map). If you aren’t able to make it on a Thursday please get in touch and we’ll arrange to receive your dona­tion at the PAFRAS office in Chapeltown.

Long-time sup­port­ers of PAFRAS will recall that in July 2011, when we reduced our case­work pro­vi­sion from two to one drop-ins per week, we had hoped that that would be a tem­por­ary change. Obvi­ously things have not turned around as we quickly as we would like, the Board has made this dif­fi­cult decision now with the aim of secur­ing the longer-term future of PAFRAS. We do still have cause for optim­ism about the future, and, if we have the resources to do so, we hope to (re)expand our ser­vice in the future – the need for it has never been greater.




Posted in News

Fusion: a benefit for PAFRAS










Fusion – a taste of jazz, folk, fla­menco, Africa and the East

As part of our tenth anniversary cel­eb­ra­tions PAFRAS and its sup­port­ers have organ­ised a num­ber of events through­out the year — both inside and out­side of our drop-in.

Fusion are a multi-instrumentalist band  break­ing new ground in world music.  They mix and blend songs and sounds from a vari­ety of tra­di­tions, as well as their own ori­ginal mater­ial, for each per­form­ance draw­ing on a wide range of instru­ments – from jazz per­cus­sion, sax­o­phone, flute, melod­ica, man­dolin and violin, to key­boards, fla­menco and elec­tric gui­tars, bag pipes, cla­ri­net and record­ers, piano accor­dion, Irish whistle, double bass and Arabic lute.

They draw on songs and music from Morocco, India, Greece, Egypt, Hun­gary, Zim­b­abwe, Syria and the Pun­jab, mix­ing melod­ies and moods to forge a new highly ori­ginal sound. Their latest pro­ject has been to explore the songs of the Seph­ardic Jews of 15th Cen­tury Spain, cre­at­ing a haunt­ing new piece with echoes of the Inquis­i­tion….  A new song learnt in Greece tells the story of migra­tion  and a tra­di­tional folk tune from Hun­gary is com­bined with an Indian chant. They recently per­formed at Otley Court House Art Centre and are play­ing at Square Chapel Arts Centre in Novem­ber. So this is a good chance to see them in Leeds.

Fusion have per­formed at Music­Port, the regional world music event, and they are lined up at a num­ber of ven­ues and art centres in York­shire in 2013 . Audi­ence feed­back includes ‘simply stun­ning’ ‘excel­lent’  ‘most tal­en­ted group I have seen in twenty years’.


Posted in Events

New Research On Volunteering

In 2012 PAFRAS col­lab­or­ated with Lora Evans from the Uni­ver­sity of Leeds to take a qual­it­at­ive look at the exper­i­ences of refugees and (refused) asylum seekers of volun­teer­ing. ‘Exper­i­ences of Volun­teer­ing’  presents some of her find­ings in the form of case stud­ies of some of the indi­vidu­als who participated.

Down­load the research here.

Posted in News, Uncategorized

Fundraising Folk — An evening with Robin Fishwick and Friends


Fri­day 12 July, 19:30 — 22.30
Heart, Headingley

Robin Fish­wick (band­camp),  is a local singer, musi­cian and com­poser, play­ing fre­quently at folk and open mike ses­sions in the city. His songs, vary­ing from the wry to the con­tem­plat­ive, often reflect his Quaker values.

He plays a range of wood­wind includ­ing renais­sance instru­ments, record­ers and xaphoon and his stringed instru­ment of choice is the timple of the Canary Islands.

Tonight he’ll be play­ing with local musi­cians Rob Langley (aka Cheb Ghobbi) on the bass and Dibbs Dibbleth­waite on key­boards and woodwind.

The Occa­sion­als

Also per­form­ing are Amyas/Henry “two names are cool” Merivale and Thomas Brouwen (he’s a tall man with a deep voice and when he’s not pluck­ing at a double bass he can be found wield­ing the ukulele).

Rory Scam­mell
Last but not least we have Leeds’ own Hurdy-Gurdy Man per­form­ing on one of the most bizarre instru­ments in folk music! Visit his MySpace

All pro­ceeds will go to Pos­it­ive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers; sup­port­ing des­ti­tute refugees and asylum seekers in Leeds since 2003.

Tick­ets (£5/£3 con­ces­sions) avail­able on the door or from ticket source.


Posted in Events

Read ASAP’s response the the government’s latest consultation on Legal Aid here!

In their well argued response to <em>Transforming Legal Aid</em> the Asylum Sup­port Appeals Pro­ject make the moral and prac­tical cases for retain­ing legal aid for migrants of all kinds; includ­ing refused asylum seekers and show how imple­ment­ing the pro­posed changes would lead to many mis­car­riages of justice.

Down­load the doc­u­ment here:

Write to your MP:

Posted in Uncategorized

A Poem by John Taylor


We’re all in it together


What was it that made Great Bri­tain Great
Was it tak­ing riches from oth­ers at a very fast rate
Did we truly believe it was our right
To feel super­ior to oth­ers just because we were white
Or was it that we recog­nised the mis­takes made in our Colo­nial days
By try­ing to atone and put right the errors of our ways
Have we now moved on to become a bet­ter land
Or do we still tend to bury our heads in the sand
His­tory shows it is hard to achieve
A Gov­ern­ment that is open and does not deceive
Why do some politi­cians start out intend­ing to serve
But often end up tak­ing a lot more than they deserve
It is hard to please every­one of that I am sure
What we need is a dis­play of inten­tions which are totally pure
Have things got bet­ter as time has moved on
Or have we now come to wor­ship the evil of Mammon

I am not try­ing to paint a pic­ture which is all doom and gloom
Diversity and equal­ity has been afforded much room
Whilst reces­sion and aus­ter­ity meas­ures are mak­ing things hard
Money’s been found for new retail centres and London’s Shard
Does poverty in this coun­try truly exist
Or has the true pic­ture become clouded in mist
Between rich and poor the gap is get­ting big­ger
But to live a reas­on­able exist­ence how do we cal­cu­late that figure

Whilst many poor people are sink­ing at what appears to be a fast rate
It is where and when you are born that really determ­ines your fate
If we look at third world coun­tries and try to com­pare
It could be said that the cit­izens of Bri­tain have a deal which is fair
Surely it is not just ourselves that we should be striv­ing for
Shouldn’t we also be try­ing to help those flee­ing real poverty and war
Many arrive at a Brit­ish bor­der or port
It is quite often their last chance of hope — the last resort

Escap­ing from oppres­sion, tor­ture, risk of death or much hurt
Arriv­ing at what they think is a safe haven, often treated like dirt
They are looked upon by many as though they come from another planet
In a so called civ­il­ised nation where many dis­play the traits of a gan­net
Many liv­ing here have developed a cul­ture of greed
Whilst totally over­look­ing those who are in des­per­ate need
Thirty thou­sand pounds for one cock­tail in a Lon­don nightclub, I kid you not
Don’t you think some people have totally lost the plot

If you had been born in a coun­try of real poverty or a war torn place
To escape, improve or save your life, wouldn’t you have been at the head of the race
Refugees and Asylum Seekers are human beings just like you and me
But unlike us they haven’t been handed everything on a plate, its plain to see
It’s hard to under­stand why where you were born
Will often determ­ine whether your life will be happy or for­lorn
Surely all human beings have the same basic right
Food on the table, warmth and a bed for the night

Luck­ily some of those who arrive in Leeds
Have some­where to turn for help with those needs
PAFRAS was foun­ded by Christine Majid
Now ten years on it’s a good job she did
Start­ing by giv­ing out food and advice from her car
She never envis­aged things would develop so far
Open­ing a twice weekly drop in at St Aidan’s Hall
She has provided much needed sup­port to many who would oth­er­wise fall

Receiv­ing almost eight thou­sand vis­its a year
The neces­sity for this facil­ity is totally clear
Provid­ing food, cloth­ing, advice and a friendly chat
She has cre­ated a large happy fam­ily; there is no doubt of that
Those who have noth­ing seem the most grate­ful of all
For the little they are given to try and help them stand tall
Volun­teers and dona­tions are cru­cial to ensure the Char­ity sur­vives
As it con­tin­ues to assist oth­ers try­ing to change their lives

There is a lot to be thank­ful for after ten healthy years
But aus­ter­ity meas­ures and lack of fund­ing has raised many wor­ry­ing fears
Without such sup­port, we pon­der, where will our cli­ents turn
Many have no where to live and denied a wage to earn
Some applic­a­tions to remain in the UK have dragged on ten years or more
It makes you won­der what the UK Bor­der Agency was set up for
So to cel­eb­rate PAFRAS a dec­ade on
It is you the pub­lic we must rely upon

If with this poem you feel you agree
I am happy with that and will not charge a fee
If how­ever you feel you would like to donate
To help us raise ten thou­sand pounds, then that would be great.
If you do act because of what I have writ­ten
Then you have gone a small way in help­ing put the Great back in Bri­tain
The Big Soci­ety is what David Cameron thinks he has made
But we’ve been all in it together for at least the last decade

Copy­right by John Taylor 21/04/13

Posted in Uncategorized