The Asha Drummers share their music at Alsager’s One World Fair

The Asha Drummers performed to a very appreciative crowd at the Alsager One World Fair on Saturday 5th October.  The drummers come from a number of African nations;  Godefroid  from Rwanda, Keita  from Guinea,  Guigui from Ivory Coast, Tamba from Sierre Leone and Bertrand from Cameroon.

The group, lead by Keita, mainly performed West African drumming and they were supported superbly by Pauline who lead the dancing.  She was amazing! Her energy and enthusiasm encouraged many people in the audience to join her and for fifteen minutes the atmosphere in the hall was electric as people responded enthusiastically and danced to the fantastic sound of the drums.

The drummers were joined by a group of parents and children who came from Asha to support the event  and who really enjoyed being part of such a happy  occasion.

The performance was a great success and Kathryn, one of the organisers, said, ‘The drummers were really fabulous and were the highlight of the morning!’

NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Nurses visit Asha 21 September 2019

Angie Powers writes:

Gloria and I received a warm welcome from Godefroid and the Volunteers when we arrived at Asha. There was a large group of women that were interested in the screening programme and so we did 3 presentations. The women engaged with us and genuinely seemed interested in the programme. There was lots of information and leaflets available for the women to take away, some of the information was in different languages to support the diverse language barriers and population. Although, there was not many women within the screening age that we spoke to, we reiterated how important it was to look after yourself and be self-aware of the signs and symptoms. Godefroid has asked us to go back at another time and talk to the Men’s Football Group. We are happy to return at some point in the future and I can drop off some more leaflets when I am next in the area.

South West Peak

Click on the link to see what we did! A huge thank you to Rachel Finn for volunteering to produce and provide this video

A commemoration of the life of Debashish Chakraborty will take place at Asha on Wednesday 25 September from 5 to 6.00 pm – ALL WELCOME

On Tuesday 10th September Godfrey received this devastating news from Debashish’s brother.

It is with great sadness that the family of Debashish Chakraborty announces Debashish Chakraborty unnatural death, on Saturday night (7 September 2019) Debashish was missing from home and 8 September was reported to Police from the family. On Monday debasing body was found in Rupsha river in Khulna, Bangladesh (9 September 2019). We want proper investigation about unnatural death of Debashish Chakraborty.
We are suspecting it was cool blooded and pre planned murder.
Waiting for police report and investigation, seeking for everyone’s help and corporation.

Debashish was a stalwart and long-term volunteer with Asha.

Our ‘community’ of asylum seekers grieve for grieve as they grieve for themselves, fearing the same thing could happen to them.

Local people who came to know Debashish in many guises, as a computer buff, a good cook and someone always ready to help who remained cheerful against the odds, find themselves deeply shocked and saddened.

Godfrey is in touch with his brother and we will compile a collection of photos and your recollections of Debashish to send him. Please send us a memory to lighten  the heart of his family.

Tasha’s Challenge

Tasha Zacune, a long-time supporter of Asha, is walking to raise money for the British Red Cross to continue their support for asylum seekers and refugees.

Tasha writes: I know the BRC assists many people at ASHA and this is why I decided to complete this challenge of walking 108 miles in September. I have been increasing my walks at weekends from eight to 10 miles and in September I will be trekking in Peru and these miles will count towards my total. I thought this was a perfect opportunity to increase my walking AND to raise money. Some charity walks cover the costs of travel but I will be self- funded and every penny raised will go to the British Red Cross.



A trip to the seaside 31/08/2019

A volunteer reported: ‘Llandudno did not disappoint!  When we arrived, it was windy and cold and the tide was in!  However as soon as the children saw the sea, they rushed towards it and started to play in the waves regardless of the weather.  By lunch time the sun came out and we all had a lovely afternoon.’ 

Three coaches had set off from Asha at 9 o’clock, only 15 minutes late. Families with children were a priority but Asha’s footballers were included and an assortment of regular Asha users and, of course, our asylum and local volunteers. On arrival volunteers from Alsager and Trinity Church in Leek were waiting to greet the coaches and point the way to the beach.  All the volunteers wore red Asha bibs so someone was always on hand in case of need.

A young man from Afghanistan was so enraptured by the sea and didn’t want to leave.  It is on a day like this that people seeking asylum can feel normal and it is on a day like this that happy memories are made.

Asha sings! 30/08/2018

Led by Penny Vincent supported by Lotika Singha staff, volunteers and users were gathered together for the second impromptu singalong. It was a joyous occasion which lifted everyone’s spirits.  We’re sure that singing together will be similarly invigorating when Penny and Lotika visit the Women and Children’s groups on 13 September. 

Reach up 23/08/2019

Reach Up 23/08/2019

The project started with 25 participants and ended up with 42! On a Monday for six weeks Sporting Communities in partnership with Coca Cola and UK Youth worked with Asha users on how to prepare to enter the job market.  Four days were inhouse and two were rather different and challenging when participants were guided around various shops and introduced to managers and could ask questions about what prospective employers looked for when they were reading a CV or interviewing a candidate for a job.  On four days everyone who was in Asha joined participants and their tutors for lunch cooked by asylum seekers. This made every Monday feel like a special day because Asha’s cooks maintained their reputation for excellence. Sporting Communities commented that Coca Cola and UK Youth were impressed by the attentiveness of the participants, their thirst for knowledge and the energy they brought to their learning. Keita received special thanks for his support and problem- solving approach. 

Going wild at the South West Peak

Day number one of Asha on the south West Peak Project at Gradbach Scout Camp. Team building games. a nature trail, berry picking, getting stuck in the mud and clay modelling. Fantastic day had by all!!! A big thank you to Debbie Rushworth!