Reflecting on Refugee Week 2013

Refugee Week has been and gone for another year. Celebrating the contributions of refugee's in the UK and across the world, Refugee Week also aims to highlight the precarious position which refugees and asylum seekers face everyday.

Stories are often conflated and marred by inaccurate press coverage, creating a bad name for those who are seeking sanctuary from war and violence. One of the most rewarding elements of Refugee Week as a whole is the chance to challenge the unfounded beliefs that refugees and asylum seekers are scroungers. This year HOST attempted to diminish the perception of this often stigmatised group through opening a Human Library for one day only.

The idea of a human library started in Denmark in 1993 to challenge people's prejudice by raising awareness through peer group education, to mobilise people against violence. Just like a real library, the only difference at a human library is the books are people who share their stories with others. The Refugee Wee…


Another Refugee Week has flown by and what a week it has been. Filled to the brim with great events from a number of topical films, a wonderful RefuTEA and an informative evening on detention but it not over yet! Monday 24th June will see our own event, we have organised with the Nottingham Library. The HUMAN LIBRARY will open its doors between 12.00 and 2.00pm. Exactly like a normal library the only difference is the books are human beings, and the Books and Readers enter into a conversation. The Living Books project enable people to speak and find out more about someone else who you may not normally get a chance to speak to. The purpose of the project is to promote awareness and understanding of people different from our selves and what it is like to be an asylum seeker in Nottingham escaping from violence and persecution.

Don't forget to check out our full website at:
The Refugee Council has produced some great visual resources to dismiss some of the many incorrect facts and myths that surround the asylum process. They bring home the reality of the asylum system which too often fails people who are escaping war and persecution. Have a look at the whole collection at:

The British Red Cross, in response to the Leveson Enquiry this week has called for action to be taken against the media's portrayal of Refugees and Asylum seekers. So often are Asylum seekers protrayed in a negative light that 72% of the UK public think newspaper reports are negative and stigmatise Asylum Seekers and Refugees. The Report found that 65% of those who responded to the survey, felt that the media associate words like "illegal immigrants" with refugees and asylum seekers. The Red Cross call for action includes a crack down on poor terminology and facts, which leads to asylum seekers being incorrectly represented both in the media. It is hoped the the new organisation set up by the Leveson Enquiry, to regulate the British press, will pursue a course of action which will bring about a more balanced picture in the UK media. 
Elsewhere in the news, MPs and peers have lunched the first review into the asylum support system for children since 2009. The panel will, …
There has been a lot happening since our last post. It has been a year since we hosted our first guest and thanks to our volunteers we have been able to provide secure accommodation for over thirteen destitute asylum seekers in Nottingham. However there is still a significant number of people in Nottingham who have neither the right to earn a living, nor any entitlement to welfare benefits, not even a roof over their heads. The recent Homelessness and HopeCommission report by Citizen UK revealed the real scale of destitution within Nottingham. With the Nottingham and Nott'm Refugee Forum regularly supports around seventy destitute people per month, at HOST we're looking for volunteers to generously open their homes to help alleviate the number of destitute asylum seekers in Nottingham. 
In the news at a national level this week, UK Feminista lead a coalition of women and organisations to lobby parliament on Wednesday 24th October, calling for gender equality. Women seeking asyl…
HOST Nottingham was jointly set up in 2011 by Nottingham Arimathea Trust, Nottingham and Notts. Refugee Forum, Refugee Action, Rainbow Project, the British Red Cross and Himmah, to co-ordinate the provision of hosting in Nottingham.

We provide training and support for those who are able to provide temporary accommodation in Nottingham and their guests. 
The scheme is flexible, fitting to our host families needs. Some hosts do emergency hosting for a few days, other host for a few weeks, other people are able to offer a room for months. Hosts are checked for their suitability and matched with appropriate guests. Hosts and guests agree the ground-rules for a placement in advance. The guest might need to leave in the morning when the host does and return at a set time, or perhaps the guest stays i the home during the day. The guest might prepare meals independently, or take turns cooking the main meal, etc. 

If you can't spare a room, there are plenty of other ways to help make HOST Not…