Refugee charity holds rallies in Brecon and Hay


Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees (HBTSR) held a rally in Brecon on October 20 to oppose the Nationality and Borders Bill currently under consideration in Parliament.

Despite the gloomy weather on Wednesday morning, more than 70 people turned up at St. Mary’s Church in Brecon to show their support for refugees and asylum seekers.

Supporters wore orange clothing and held orange hearts and banners to symbolize life vests and hope, before joining together to create a “circle of love” around the church, as passing vehicles sounded the horn to express their support.

The group is concerned that the Nationality and Borders Bill, dubbed “the anti-refugee bill”, will deprive people fleeing danger of the opportunity to seek refuge in the UK.

There is no provision in the bill to assist unaccompanied children or those seeking to be reunited with their families. Instead, they say the bill will criminalize those fleeing danger and in need of shelter. The bill could also mean that asylum seekers will be denied the right to work in the country.

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader and Senedd regional member Jane Dodds attended the rally and echoed everyone’s opinion.

She said: “We must not allow those who seek to divide society to demonize asylum seekers and refugees. I am proud that my party continues to oppose this bill in Westminster and I urge our member to do the same.

HBTSR says he has been overwhelmed by the support he has received from many in the area, who have donated 30 bags of toiletries over the past week. These toiletries will be given to people fleeing Afghanistan, who are currently staying in hotels with limited facilities.

A refugee from Malawi in 1973, Adil Gatrad, described the participation as a demonstration of how he wants people to know the UK – as the home of “warm, compassionate and friendly people who care about others in case of need ”.

Adil was welcomed to the country in 1973 and had the opportunity to study and work as a microbiologist in industry, and allowed him to contribute to vaccine research.

Supporters of the vigil made their collective opinion clear on Wednesday, and HBTSR Secretary Dr Alisa Dunn commented on the event: “We were all united by powerful convictions; how we treat refugees depends on who we are. At our best, we are welcoming and kind to those who are facing difficult times. If any of us feared for their life or the lives of those close to us, we would like to know that others would help us get to safety.

Reverend Margaret Blake, President of Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees said: “It was heartwarming to see how many people cared enough about going out on a very humid morning to show their support. It was really nice to have Jane Dodds, MS, and several Powys County councilors with us: Matthew Dorrance, Liz Rijnenberg, Jackie Charlton and William Powell. Together we call on the UK government to heed our voice – and those of people like us in the British Isles – and get rid of the Nationality and Borders Bill as it stands. “

To learn more about Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees, visit: https://hbtsr.cityofsanctuary.org or write to [email protected]

The advisor provides support to stay at the hay market

Hay, Brecon, Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees (HBTS4R) also hosted an awareness event at Hay Market last week.

Some 200 signatures have been collected for the petition opposing the UK Government’s Nationality and Borders Bill and donations of over £ 200 have also been received for the group’s work. A number of new supporters of the group have also emerged.

County Councilor William Powell, who called the booth, said: “At a time when fear and apprehension are rampant in the country, and in light of recent events, it is reassuring to see the kindness and the compassion of so many in our community, towards those who are displaced from their homeland by intolerance, oppression and war.

“I applaud the efforts of HBTS4R to defend Wales as a nation of sanctuary. May this continue for a long time. “


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