Greater Manchester Joint Statement on the #AntiRefugeeBill

Today, 56 organisations and groups across Greater Manchester have come together to oppose the Government’s cruel and divisive #AntiRefugeeBill. The full statement reads:

In Greater Manchester we look after our neighbours, we care about each other, and we support each other.


We know that our boroughs are strengthened by people seeking safety, because we see this every day. As members and representatives of voluntary community arts and faith groups, and organisations across Greater Manchester, we spend our days inspired by those we work with. Our welcome in Greater Manchester for people fleeing the horrific situation in Afghanistan is the latest of our welcomes. The outpouring of support for our new neighbours, who have fled for their lives with courage and dignity, has shown what we’re made of: supporting each other is who we are.


That is why we have to speak out against the Government’s proposals to rewrite the asylum system, and the consequences they will have for refugees and in our communities. In a few months’ time, some people seeking sanctuary will reach the UK, after a frightening journey. They will come from countries suffering terror and conflict – some from Afghanistan. Under the proposed Nationality and Borders Bill, they will be: criminalised, threatened with removal, separated from their families, warehoused in unsuitable accommodation, have their asylum claims deemed ‘inadmissible’ and be prevented from feeling secure or safe.


This Anti Refugee Bill – will punish people and not protect them. It will directly increase destitution, homelessness and exploitation in our boroughs. It will lead to ever more dangerous routes for those seeking safety and will stop people who have fled violence and persecution from rebuilding their lives.


We are united in opposing this bill and call on our leaders in Greater Manchester to stand with us, and on the UK Government to scrap these harmful and divisive proposals.

Signed by:

Emma Meehan, Strategic Lead, 10GM
Dawn Acton, Partnerships Officer, Action Together
Julia Savage, Project Manager, Asylum Matters
Ros Holland, Chief Executive, Officer Boaz Trust
Amanda Croome, Chief Executive Officer, Booth Centre
Javed Rehman, Chair & Founder, Bridging Communities
Andrew Wastling, Fundraiser, Bridging Communities
Karen Mercer, Chief Executive, Call Plus trading as Being There
Susan Cockerill, Organiser, Care UK Chorlton
Nicky Iginla, Chief Executive Officer, Caring and Sharing Rochdale
Ben Gilchrist, Chief Executive, Caritas Shrewsbury
Richard Wilkinson, CEO, Citizens Advice Bury & Bolton
Susan Riley, Chief Officer, Citizens Advice Tameside
Lisa Kidston, Chief Officer, Citizens Advice Wigan Borough
Katherine Rogers, Exodus Creative Producer, Community Arts North West
Stella Barnes, Creative Director, Community Arts North West
Shaheda Mangerah, Senior Caseworker for Asylum Seekers and Refugees, Destitution Project Bolton
Rehana Begum, Chief Officer & Company Secretary, Diversity Matters North West Ltd
Shirley Whittle, Co-Secretary, Eagles Wing Bury
Farai Nhakaniso, Project Coordinator/ Co-Founder/ Everything Human Rights Community Group
Tabeth Mabiza/ Chairperson, Everything Human Rights Community Group
Atiha Chaudry, Chair, GM BAME Network
Nicola McDonagh, Manager, Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People
Jules Palfreyman, Chair, Greater Manchester Equality Alliance (GM=EqAl)
Denise McDowell, CEO, Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit
Jason Tetley, Director, Greater Manchester Law Centre
Jaqui Cotton, Project Coordinator, Growing Together Levenshulme
Ayisatu Emore, Founder, Idaraya Life CIC
Mel Safari, Director, Lingua GM CIC
Charlotte Chilvers, Development Worker, MACC
Atiha Chaudry, Associate Lead, Manchester BME Network CIC
Liz Hibberd, Strategic and Partnership Lead, Manchester City of Sanctuary
Belay Kahsay, Manager, Manchester Refugee Support Network (MRSN)
William Wheeler, Co-Chair, Migration and Destitution Action Group (part of Manchester Homelessness Partnership)
Jo Saunders, Community Development Worker, New Life Church Tameside
Christopher Halliday, Chair, Oldham Unity
Barbara Redmond, Trustee and Secretary, RADAR (Rochdale Action with Destitute Asylum Seekers and Refugees)
Kate Percival, Manager, Rainbow Haven
Pascale Gayford, Good Practice and Partnerships Deputy Manager, Refugee Action
Amanda Littlewood, Project Manager and Director, Refugees & Mentors CIC
Joseph Kiwango, Manager, Revive
Beverley Place, Deputy CEO, Rochdale Connections Trust
Pat Sanchez, Secretaria, Rochdale Women’s Group
Vicky Marsh, Co-director, Safety4Sisters
Alison Page, Chief Executive, Salford CVS
Yvonne Simms, Administrator, Salford Food Parcels
Ricki Hewitt, Head of People, Salford Pride
Robina (Ruby) Begum, Managing Director, Sensewise Consulting
Gulnaz Brennan, Co-Founder, Director, She Inspires Foundation, Women in Neighbourhoods, She Inspires Awards
Carol Farnsworth, Church Warden, St Peters Church, Parish of the Good Shepherd Ashton-under- Lyne
Philip Bowden, Church Warden, St. Peter’s Church Ashton- under- Lyne
Aba Graham, Exec, Stockport Race Equality Partnership
Rose Ssali, Chief Executive, Support and Action for Women’s Network (SAWN)
Gail Heath, CEO, The Pankhurst Trust
Julian Palfreyman, Director, TS4SE Cooperative Ltd
Circle Steele, CEO, Wai Yin Society
Jonny Wineberg, Director of Operations, We Stand Together
Jessica Baker, Development Worker, Women Asylum Seekers Together
Parvin Emampour, Director, Yaran Northwest CIC
Stuart Dunne, CEO, Youth Focus North West

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