Hartshill International Festival

Saturday 4 May 2010

Hartshill International Festival

Angela, Tamba and Misbah and later Salma and Zara represented Asha at this annual event at the North Staffordshire Medical Institute. Asha was given READ MORE


Canal and River Trust Work Party

alt likely lads
Likely Lads

April 8th was a warm, sunny day so we enjoyed our walk down to the canal from Asha, ably led a clever back route by Matt, one of the volunteers. We were met at the headquarters in Etruria by John Keaveny, the volunteer coordinator at the Canal and River Trust who kitted us out in high vis jackets and armed us with sacks and litter pickers. We walked along the canal, picking up litter as we went. There wasn’t a huge amount but there were some bad patches. We were a little concerned for Matt who found a very littered corner on a very steep bank down to the canal. We were relieved when he rejoined the group and impressed by his bulging sack! After an hour or so we found a grassy patch to sit and enjoy refreshment and a fascinating chat before getting back to work. Lots of people passed us as we worked and some colourful canal boats went by. It was an enjoyable and companionable afternoon and we felt glad that we were contributing to the environment of the canals and the wellbeing of those who enjoy them in Stoke on Trent. Most of the volunteers registered, so that they are now on the mailing for the Trust. We hope to do another work afternoon soon.

Concert in aid of Asha at Trinity Church Leek

For some time now Trinity Church and the Methodist churches in the Staffordshire Moorlands Circuit have committed to supporting Asha in various ways as part of their mission plan (awareness raising, volunteering, fundraising, befriending, donating money, food, clothes and bicycles)

On Saturday 20thOctober Hannah Turner and Young Phoenix singers combined forces to put on a concert of varied vocal and instrumental music in aid of the ongoing work of Asha, which receives no permanent funding and relies on small grants and donations.

Hannah performed a variety of solo pieces, some new and others well known and Young Phoenix chose a selection of mainly unaccompanied songs from their growing repertoire. Their programme was very much enjoyed and Trinity is grateful for their willingness to come along and help raise money in such a good cause.

The event attracted a good audience from local churches, the Methodist circuit as well as the wider local community.  A group of volunteers and asylum seekers from Asha also attended, which included a trio of drummers form various parts of Africa who welcomed folk as they came into church with a burst of drumming .They also performed three pieces half way through the programme .Their enthusiastic drumming and singing complemented the typical English programme really well and afterwards everyone from Asha enjoyed meeting with folk from Leek which they don’t get much of an opportunity to meet.

One of the asylum seekers had brought for sale a number of his paintings evoking scenes from his home country, which were sold in aid of Asha.  It is hoped that more of these will be available on Eva Massey’s craft stall at Wednesday Coffee mornings at Trinity.

In the absence of Angela Glendenning a Trustee at Asha, who was feeling under the weather that day ,Godefroid Seminega concluded the evening by explaining what Asha is all about and the huge gratitude felt for the moral and financial support that evenings such as this provided.

A total of £419 was raised

Maureen Wisken





Progress Report from Paul, Refugee Action

[campaign@refugee-action.org.uk] 5 November 2018


It’s only three weeks since the launch of our #LiftTheBan campaign to give people seeking asylum the right to work.


With your help, we’ve shown millions of people – including senior politicians – that the case for lifting the ban is undeniable.


Thanks to our supporters, and the more than 100 organisations backing the campaign, here are some of the things we’ve achieved in such a short space of time:

  • Media coverage including The Guardian, Times, Telegraph, Financial Times and New Statesman
  • A growing coalition of campaign partners as varied as the TUC, Ben & Jerry’s, Crisis, the Church of England and Amnesty International
  • The Labour Party has officially shifted its position to back our campaign
  • Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said she was ‘listening carefully’ to the arguments for lifting the ban, during a parliamentary debate on the campaign
  • Home Secretary Sajid Javid said ‘we are looking to see what more we can do’ in response to an Oral Question in the House of Commons
  • More than 16,000 people have signed our petition to give people seeking asylum the right to work


We’re overwhelmed by how strongly the public has come out in support of the rights of people seeking safety in the UK. Research shows that 71% of the public are behind us on this issue, but to see that put into practice is something else entirely.


There is still a long way to go, but we’re now more confident than ever that we can transform the lives of people seeking asylum by winning their right to work.


We could not do it without your help.


There’s a lot more to come from the #LiftTheBan campaign, so please keep helping us push to turn cross-party backing and public support into real change.


Bicycle Donation

Photo of Asha’s footballers playing and their bicycles donated by Asha to help them moving and to come to play.

Thank you for all of the donations. The bikes donated are regularly being used to help a number of refugees to access both programmes to improve health and wellbeing, socialisation and employment and volunteering opportunities.

The West End Methodist Church

Saturday 3 November 2018

The West End Methodist Church hosted a three day Christian Aid exhibition  and invited Asha to display our Women’s Group Craft Work on the final day Those who don’t know the church and its community centre and café won’t know that not many moons ago it was the very dilapidated West End Pub! It is now a superb community hub with a whole variety of activities to engage every age group.

Asha was delighted to attend and pleased to report that the craft work raised £33.

Staffordshire Vegan Festival Kings Hall Saturday 30 June 2018

Asha was very pleasantly surprised to be invited to the Vegan Festival and even more surprised to learn that Asha would be a beneficiary.  With support from Asha trustee Cath Ralph, Manjula and a couple of other asylum volunteers Asha set up a stall and took along some of the women’s craft work for display and sale.  The happy outcome for Asha was a donation of just under £600.

We already have a date for the festival in 2019.  It is on Saturday 10 August.

Thank you Vegan Supporters.

Women’s International Day 10 March 2018

Responding to an invitation from Stoke and North Staffs Women’s Network women from Asha’s sewing group took part in a Craft Fair at Burslem School of Art.

Those who took part very much enjoyed the occasion and the team were pleased to receive this endorsement of their participation from Mo Sullivan who wrote:

‘I am writing to ask you to pass on thanks to Asha’s craft group of women and children, and also to Godefroid, Lydia, Eva, Ryn and Rufieda for their wonderful contribution to the craft day held in honour of International Women’s Day at Burslem School of Art last Saturday. Angela supported in her usual invaluable way as did Cath Ralph.

‘The Asha women and their lovely craft work and friendly manner played a big part in the success of the day, and the children were very well behaved.  Godefroid and Lydia were very efficient and good humoured in planning everything in detail beforehand along with the helpers, and Lydia was a great ambassador for Asha on the day.

‘Linda Holt, chair of the Stoke and North Staffs Women’s Network who organised the day and funded Asha’s travel and helpers’ costs would also like to pass on her and the organising group’s appreciation.’

A Women’s Group Baking Day 3 March 2018

Fourteen members of the Women’s Group enjoyed baking bread under the expert tuition of two members of B’arts, Rebecca Frankenburg and Siobhan McAleer. Their products were delicious and demonstrated that the ASHA oven works well!

We hope this is a prelude to more Asha users taking advantage of the myriad creative activities which take place B’arts.