LASSN launch helpinleeds.com – a website to help asylum seekers and refugees in Leeds
Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network (LASSN) are launching an online directory of services for refugees and asylum seekers in Leeds, as their contribution to Refugee Week, which starts today (Monday 20 June 2016).
The website called Helpinleeds.com gathers details of 175 different places that asylum seekers and refugees can find help in Leeds, from food and shelter to legal advice and advocacy.
“Finding your feet in a new town, in a new country, is pretty bewildering” said Jon Beech, Director of LASSN.
“Helpinleeds.com is a unique resource, bringing together the names, numbers, opening times, and maps that are vital to people finding the help they require. We used to print a paper version, but that went out of date the minute we published it. We can put this electronic version in everyone’s pocket, on everyone’s phone – and services groups can update their own entries – so it should always be completely up to date. It’s translated into all the main languages used by asylum seekers and refugees in Leeds, and like the Yellow pages, it’s searchable by topic or by location. Making it work well with cheap smartphones was essential.”
The website is not just for people seeking help, but people who want to offer help as well. “Helpinleeds.com has a comprehensive list of all the volunteering opportunities with refugees and asylum seekers across the city. If people are wanting to offer their help, they can find the places nearest to them, or who do the kind of work they wish to support.”
Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network helps asylum seekers and refugees in Leeds to learn English, make friends and connections with people, and people who are destitute to find somewhere to stay.
There were 720 asylum seekers being supported by the Home Office in Leeds in May 2016, and approximately 1500 others who do not receive support. Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network helps 280 asylum seekers and refugees a year to find somewhere to stay, make friends, and to learn English.