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Free in Norfolk

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Voices

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Issue 4 Spring 2015

I am Michal

from Poland a District Councillor

I am Ana

of Afroluso from Great Yarmouth

R.I.P.

Ms. Roisin Ngembu

Musician Marlon Voices out

This is the Afroluso Dance Group

Dr. Joy Barredo shares

Meet Norfolk’s Police & Crime Commissioner

... with stories on UK Border agents monitoring your movements & Election results... A Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) Magazine promoting diversity


What we offer? • Employment, Job Centre Plus and other benefit related issues • Support your job search needs • Practice interview skills through mock job interviews and feedback • Update your CV and build a new portfolio • Find out how other people found jobs & be motivated • Group networking workshops & trainings with time for peer-to- peer support

What you can expect from us • A client centred approach • To be treated equally and fairly irrespective of gender, race, ethnic background, sexual orientation, religion, age or disability • A place for organisations looking to access or provide support to communities • A pathway to accessing local services and community groups • Confidentiality assured • If we are unable to assist you with any issues you might have then we will always refer you to an organisation that can

Information, Advice, Guidance & Training Services

The Bridge Plus

Need help and assistance with housing, health, education or similar rights/access to services issue?

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Some of our regular front line staff & volunteers Beatrice

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Frances

Gervais

Jo

Larissa

Pa Musa

Mo

Sue


INDEX EDITORIAL

Now that the period of purdah is completed which is the period leading to elections when public organisations in the UK are not allowed to say or publish anything that may influence the outcome of the General Election, we provide you at p14 a snapshot of the national results and the winners from Norfolk. Regardless of how you voted, the winners will be your MP’s for the next five years so make sure they hear your voices by all means possible including through this medium. As this magazine is for and about promoting diversity, a matter not exclusive to any individual area of the UK, in this issue our cover story therefore departs a bit away from Norfolk to Hertfordshire, where Michal, originally from Poland has established himself and is now a District Councillor. I would also like to introduce our guest columnist Galya Clark, a Bulgarian born journalist now living in Norfolk. Though it was not initially disclosed, the topical layout of our magazine pages tend to reflect 7 key priority needs of BME communities as identified in a 2012 consultation report co-produced by The Bridge Plus and Norfolk County Council, which are: Housing, Health, Education, Employment, Racism, Access to Services and how these are further influenced/informed by “BME people’s experience of engaging with frontline staff”. Hence the slant and tone of the Voices page and as in the feedbacks, quotes and individual stories we publish. So far so good, as the feedbacks we have been receiving strongly suggest that the magazine has proven to be one effective tool in communicating and championing BME communities’ aspirations. Thanks to Norfolk County Council and Norwich CCG, the magazine continues to be made available in all the 47 libraries of Norfolk and now at all Norwich GP offices. We can offer free copies to anyone who sends a £2 prepaid large envelope to our mailing address to the right of this page. B-Me Voice is a proud product of Norfolk with an expanding geographical reach to influence, inform and inspire BME people throughout the UK. The magazine has survived its first year and we hope to keep counting the years thanks to your believe it the need for it by sponsoring and buying advert pages. We have also heard from people far and beyond. Thanks to all for your comments and support. You can access the online version at www.bridgeplus.org.uk Sincerely

Pa Musa, i4! Contact: office@bridgeplus.org.uk

4 Councillor Michal from Poland 6 Ana’s Afroluso Dance Group in Great Yarmouth

10 Meet Your next MP-Special Community Cuisines event

11 List of BME community Groups 14 UK Elections results 15 Dos & Don’ts and Did you Know 17 Can the Social Service take my child away? 18 Tribute to Late Roisin Ngembu 20 When you die, a Will can make a difference. What’s in a Will

24 Meet Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner 26 Dr. Joy Barredo Shares 29 UK Border Force Monitoring You 30 A call for Australia to stop turning back refugees 31 BME Voices 32 Bulgarian Voices of Nostalgia by Gayla 34 Musician Marlon Voices Out

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I am Michal from Poland

a District Councillor

Who am I?

I am Michal Siewniak from Poland and I am a Liberal Democrat District Councillor for the borough of Welwyn Hatfield in Hertfordshire. I was born in Lublin, lovely city (population 400,000), in the south – east part of Poland, with a beautiful history, many monuments and a very popular ‘University destination’ for many Polish students. Growing up in Poland in the 1980’s was an interesting experience. I sometimes find it hard to believe that it was not until 1989 that people from Poland, as well as many other Eastern European countries, were not able to travel freely abroad, express our views openly, practise our religion or even watch foreign TV. I can vividly remember queuing for basic items just to bake a Christmas cake. We were also not allowed to learn English so I was taught Russian. Overall, our freedom in those days was hugely limited. I believe those struggling years have really made me and many of my counterparts stronger and I think we are probably more likely, without making any assumptions, to appreciate our lives in the modern world, simply because we didn’t

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have much until 25 years ago. Having said that, my childhood was actually great! I spent most of my time, like many other ordinary children around the world, playing sport and visiting friends. I visited England for the first time in 1997 when I was still in secondary school and I stayed in London for one month. It was a wonderful experience, seeing such diverse communities and being able to visit some of the famous buildings and places. I finally moved to the UK about 10 years ago to work. What attracted me to the UK was its multiculturalism. I think a big advantage of my initial years here was the facts that I had a good level of spoken English. I think anyone who chooses to work and live in the UK should put at the top of their priority list, the need to learn English. For me language is the key to integration.

What do I do?

I am a community development worker. I have been doing this kind of work for several years now. I have worked in many areas of the eastern region as a regional community development worker which took me to places like Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

I find my role really interesting, because it gives me a chance to make a difference in other people’s lives, enables me to create a platform for dialogue and mutual understanding. Above all, I learn new things every day. My work makes me believe that we can all live in a more tolerant and “healthy” environment. As a community development worker, my role involves supporting the integration needs of different ethnic community groups and help build their capacity. This entails assisting groups with their governance, developing good policies and fundraising strategies, action planning, marketing and evaluation. Where necessary I act as an advocate for groups in their negotiations with external agencies and raise awareness about the needs of local ethnic minority groups. The most interesting thing about my job is that every day is different, because I get to meet people from many countries and diverse backgrounds. Each day provides me with the unique opportunity to champion diversity and equality. I see every person as God’s creation and understand that despite our differences – we have so many commonalities. I am delighted when I see that people


are more engaged and actively involved in what they do. I love seeing them developing their own skills and ideas and understand their needs and aspirations.

What Interests me?

Learning foreign languages. So far, I have learned three - English, Croatian and Italian, because I believe that each language provides an opportunity to meet new people and broaden one’s horizon. I wish I had time to learn another few. And the best way to learn a language is to go abroad. I also love sport, particularly football. As a young boy I spent a lot of time on the pitch, playing with my friends. In primary school, I won a competition which gave me the chance to go to the USA to watch the World Cup. I still play with some Polish friends every Friday evening for my emotional and physical wellbeing. I also like table tennis.

Your achievements?

I have to admit that there were so many little ones, all of which I am really proud of because I believe I share each with members of the community I work with. The most recent achievement was being elected as a district councilor for Welwyn Hatfield

Borough Council in May 2014. It is a great experience because it gives me an opportunity to serve my local residents because I get to contribute to implementing policies which drive positive changes locally and impact upon their daily lives. But if I were to choose, I would say that organising trips to the Houses of Parliament or European Parliament were special. I have managed to arrange visits for over 250 people from various backgrounds. I very much value the importance of increased civic participation. These projects help to address the issue of civic engagement, build a platform for “community activism” and enthuse people to get involved in democratic processes and intensify the dialogue between institutions and their citizens. I passionately believe that all politicians should put “our residents” at the heart of civic activism and help to bring “democracy” to our communities. I found setting up and supporting many Polish community networks in the county of Hertfordshire very fascinating. One of the groups recently became a global case study and I am proud to be part of the project. The Hatfield Polish Forum was recognised by ‘Cities of Migration’, a Canadian organisation, as an example of good practice in immigrant integration, for its promotion of good ideas and its practical approaches to the integration of urban migrants. I think it is also worth mentioning that on the 9th October

2011, I managed to coordinate the setting up of a Polish national elections polling station at the Hatfield Fire Station. This is the first time a fire station has been used for another country’s national elections. The election was highlight as a good example of partnership work between organizations to promote, build and create a platform for integration and cohesion. I am also very involved in organising some really good sport and health events which again showed me how sports can be a great platform for integration and social cohesion. In March this year, I was invited by the Department of Health to the House of Commons where I was presented with an award for my contribution to public health excellence. Personally and above all, meeting the Queen a few years ago was a “big one” for me. I have to say I was a bit nervous but it all went well!

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Ana’s Afroluso Dance Group Timeline | About | Friends | Photos | More • Profile:

Ana Moreira, born in Portugal, lives in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

• Timeline:

Lives in UK, Since 2003

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• Post Update:

I live in the wonderful town of Great Yarmouth. It has been home for several years now. I was born in Portugal and my parents are originally from Cape Verde which is one of the African countries colonised by Portugal. I have a degree in business management. I came to the UK 13 years ago when I was in my twenties. I have learned a bit of English in Portugal but not enough to feel confident to communicate with people when I arrived here. Now it’s really different. When I arrive in the UK 13 years ago, I really didn’t speak any English, but now people say I have some sort of an English accent. I came to England because I wanted to have a new experience of life and to study and improve myself. I wanted to be a nurse but then while I was studying to improve my English, I decided to do a degree in business at University of east London (UEL, Stratford). At first it was very challenging to learn English. I found it very difficult to learn but as soon I made friend, my spoken English begin to improve. And then I started a job in 2003 which meant making more friend and work colleagues, which also helped to improve my English. I think I developed my confidence of speaking English mainly through conversations with friends and work colleagues.


• About Afroluso:

Coming to the UK was a big decision I had to make. As an EU citizen, I wanted to explore and experience life, but above all I wanted to work. When I first arrive, obviously the main barrier was language. My first teacher was a nice Englishman who was very supportive. He always told me that one day you will speak perfect English. I never believed that was possible, but now I think the level of English I have is perfect for someone who started speaking the language just a few years ago. I have learned a lot from my first English teacher. He taught me a lot about English culture and way of life. I still remember a lot of what he told me, and this has helped me to engage with the people much better. I feel very welcomed here. I think if you really want to work there are always opportunities. You can do your own thing or work for others. I have experienced both. I moved to Great Yarmouth in 2012 after visiting a friend having being fed up with living in London. When I first visited Great Yarmouth, I liked it because I felt it was quiet and private and a great place for someone like me bringing up a child, something I was looking for. I found Great Yarmouth to be a place I could easily relate to, as it already had an established community of Portuguese speaking people. I think Yarmouth is a city that understands diversity.

It was exactly three years ago that I started the dance group, AFROLUSO, in Great Yarmouth. I have been a dancer since I was a child, and I never stopped. So having a dance group was something I always wanted. Afroluso means Afro as in Africa and Luso is a name we use in Portugal to mean all the countries colonised by Portugal. The group has an active membership of about 20 people from ages 11 to 18. We also have 7 active volunteers. I started the group when I came to Great Yarmouth. The idea started as a conversation with some friends when we all agreed that there was nothing for young people to do, and when I suggested starting a dance group everyone supported it. I wanted the group help share and show a bit of our culture. After speaking to lots of people and with the encouragement and support from the community, the group was founded. The group uses dance moves from all the African countries colonised by Portugal such as Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde, Angola and Mozambique. That is why our logo is a mix of the flags of all the former countries colonised by Portugal. The group is not just about dancing. It is an opportunity to showcase our culture, to involve young people is some meaningful activities outside of school and stay out of trouble and also to keep fit. You can see that all of our main dancers are young people. Every year, we get invited to more than 20 events by different organisations and community groups to perform. This takes us to so many different places in the county. We also organise our own events. What am I good at? Well I think I am a very good dancer. I also think am really good at engaging with people, especially young people. So many parents ask me how I manage to keep the young people focused and involved. But I think growing up as a child and being involved in groups has taught me a lesson that I can use to connect with young people. I just love working with young people and I think they can be very inspiring if you understand them. I also loved being a mom. As a single parent, my daughter is my first and best friend. Managing a group is a lot of hard work but we have been together for three years now, which is a great achievement. Most of the original members are still with us, but some have grown up and moved on. For a group like Afroluso, it is always going to be a challenge to make it in the entertainment business. The key is finding your own way of keeping the group together, training the dancers, recruiting new members and getting the right equipments needed. I am very happy with the way the group is going. At the moment it is just great because we are getting more recognised in Norfolk. I would like to see this continue for the sake of the young people because they put a lot of effort into the group and they enjoy it. The kids just want to have fun. Someday we hope to perform at the Norwich Festival. You also can expect us to do something for Black History Month this year. We would like to widen our network with more people and communities throughout the county. During my spare time when am not working, I like to go to the gym. Personally, I would one day like to be running my own business. The challenge for the group right now is getting the right help and support to keep it going on, doing the work we doing and being able to recruit the next generation of dancers. My special thanks to all the parents and young people who take their time to come to practice and perform with the group.

• Facebook Likes & To Send Message:

The best way to contact us is through Facebook and we always welcome people inviting us to perform at their events https://www.facebook.com/afroluso.luso

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Latest News from Hate Free Norfolk Next Steps for Hate Free Norfolk

W

e have done a lot of work over the last year or so, to promote the Hate Free Norfolk message, to engage with community groups and to help people who are subject to hate incidents. Two of our Specialist Hate Crime Advocates have now come to the end of their post, but we still have an Advocate operating in Great Yarmouth and North Norfolk. Jonna can help you if you live in that part of Norfolk and are experiencing hate incidents. You can contact her via our website.

We are currently reflecting on what we have achieved so far and what we need to do next. Experience tells us that there are some real gaps in support for people, and that many community organisations may not have the knowledge and resources to give people the help they need. This is something we need to address. We are also very keen to work with BAME communities in Norfolk as recent events around the world and here at home have meant that some people and communities feel unwelcome or less accepted than they used to be. This has resulted in some local hate incidents. We would always encourage you to go to the police if anything happens to you or ask for help from your local community group or organisation. Please sign up to our newsletter so you can keep up to date with the latest news. www.hatefreenorfolk.com Michelle de Oude Chair of the Hate Free Norfolk Network

Pledge in Russian

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Equality

& Diversity Images & Quotes

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Chloe Smith & Clive Lewis with the crowd.

Meet Your Next MP community lunch The Bridge Plus+ held an Election Special Community Cuisines event on 23 April 2015 which was attended by four parliamentary candidates: Lesley Grahame and Adrian Holmes from the Green party, Labour’s Clive Lewis and Chloe Smith of the Conservative party. Late apologies were received

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from Jess Asato. We thank them all for their attendance. The event was part of our regular community engagement lunches for people to get together, socialise and enjoy ethnic food prepared by volunteers. The lunches are an opportunity to discuss issues of concern to community members,

to share information from support organisations and service providers, and to help service users and volunteers stay informed about relevant services, events and opportunities. Regardless of who is elected to be our next MPs, we believe they will be there to represent the interest of all community members.


List of BME Community Organisations This list is subject to change and is constantly being updated. The information was provided by the listed groups. Please note that some of the smaller organisations are very fluid in nature with their lead contacts, who are mainly volunteers, changing very often. Please check our website www.bridgeplus.org.uk for an updated version of the list. 1. AFROLUSO (Portuguese Dance Group in Great Yarmouth) Email:afroluso@hotmail.co.uk Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/afroluso.luso Telephone: 07427662455 YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_ query=afroluso 2. Amnesty International (Norwich Group) c/o Charing Cross Centre 17-19 St. John Maddermarket Norwich NR2 1DN Email: info@norwichamnesty.org.uk 3. Anna Mudeka’s Tambai Promotions – African music & dance Websites: http://www.annamudeka.com/ or http://mudekafoundation.com/about-us/ Telephone: 01362822194 4. Bulgarians in Norwich & Norfolk (BNN) Mailing Address: c/o 30 Esprit close, Wymondham, Norwich, NR18 9LY Contacts: gclark@abv.bg T:0798 605 3330 or rosica_sl@yahoo.com T:07591220858 Facebook: https://en-gb.facebook.com/ ueaBulgaria/posts/135667739934013 5. Ethnic Minority Association of Norfolk (in Great Yarmouth) Email: Norfolkema@gmail.com or fodaysuso@ hotmail.com Telephone: 07910922070 6. Filipino Community Group in Norwich – PINAS (Pinoy in Norwich Aksyong Samahan) Mailing Address: 113 Nursery Close Norwich, NR6 5SH Email: tess.ward@hotmail.com Telephone: 07964048305 7. Gambian African Network (GAN) Main Contact: Mr. Abdoulie Mendy Mailing Address; C/o The Bridge Plus+, Suite 209-Sackvile Business Place, Magdalen Street, Norwich NR3 1JU Telephone: 07886109568 8. GYROS-Great Yarmouth Resettlement & Orientation Services Mailing Address: 26-27, King Street, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2PQ Email 1: admin@gyros.org.uk Email 2: info@gyros.org.uk Telephone1: 01493 745260

9. Hala’s House 2 Home – Resettlement support 18. Norwich International Youth Project (NIYP) Project Co-ordinator: Rachael Martis project with Arabic interpreting support. Telephone: 07964 719 796 Mailing address: The Stage, Email: r.martis@niyp.org.uk Facebook: 52 St. Augustine’s Street, Norwich, NR3 3AD https://www.facebook.com/ Email: halasamir@live.com norwichinternationalyouthproject website: www.norwichhouse2home.com Website: http://www.niyp.org.uk/home.html Telephone: 07808135376 10. NEAD (Norfolk Education & Action for Development)-explores global justice & equality issues, linking them to local issues and life-style. Mailing Address: Charing Cross Centre, 17–19 St John Maddermarket, Norwich, NR2 1DN. Telephone: 01603 610993 Website: www.nead.org.uk Facebook: www.facebook.com/NEADorgUk Twitter: @NEAD_Norfolk 11. Nepalese Community Network Contact: Dev Ghimire Email: devghimire@gmail.com Telephone: 0750065816 Contact: Neelam/Mahesh 07723 327 453 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dev. ghimire.180 12. New Routes Mailing Address: Norwich Social Centre, Catherine Wheel Opening, St Augustine’s St, Norwich, NR3 3BQ Email 1: info@newroutes.org.uk Email 2: projects@newroutes.org.uk Telephone1: 01603 662648 Telephone 2: 07799661009 13. Norfolk Congolese Association (NOCA) Chairman: Elvis Beya Mobile: 07576684000 or Tel: 01603290015 Email: info@noca.org.uk Web: www.noca.org.uk 14. NORFRESA (Norfolk French Speakers Association) Mailing Address; C/o The Bridge Plus+ Plus, Suite 209-Sackvile Business Place, Magdalen Street, Norwich NR3 1JU Email: koulounger@yahoo.fr 15. Norwich Association of Malayalese(NAM) Indians Website: http://www.norwichmalayalees.co.uk/ Contact: Jason 0776141528 16. Norwich Asylum Seekers and Refugees Forum (NASREF)-is an open membership meeting group comprising of organisations or individual involved with support, advice or delivery of services to asylum seekers and refugees within Norwich. Email 1: nasref1@gmail.com 17. Norwich Congolese Community Group Chairman: Odon Kasera Mobile: 074 044 69157 Email: elvisbeya19@yahoo.co.uk

19. Norwich United Karate Coordinator’s Contact: 074 044 69157 Email: kaseramurhula@yahoo.co.uk 20. One Love United Football Club established May 2010. Membership includes people from diverse backgrounds, Europe, Africa, Asia and UK. Main Contact: Gordon Turner-Chairman Email: gt21@talktalk.net Email2: Junior De Silva jjsjunior@hotmail.co.uk Telephone: 07737 412288 21. Ormiston Families at HMP Norwich Mailing Address: The Visitors Centre, HMP Norwich, Knox Road, Norwich, NR1 4LU Email: debbie.campbell@ormiston.org Telephone: 01603 702301 22. Polish Community (Norwich) Key Contact: Iwona Paciorkowska Email: iwona77@live.co.uk Telephone1: 07923297325 23. Saudi Society Club of Norfolk – offers activities for children and women. Mailing Address: c/o Bowthorpe Hall, Norwich, NR5 9AA. Main Contact: Amani Alsiary Telephone: 07702491810 Email: umkhaled5@gmail.com 24. The Neesa project -is a voluntary group which provides social and education activities for women and children. Email: theneesaproject@yahoo.co.uk Telephone: 07852 732 799 Website:www.theneesaproject.co.uk 25. WORD Trust International- A widows and Orphans Relief and Development TrustSupporting widows, widowers, single parents and orphans. Mailing Address: New Hope Christian Centre. Martineau Lane, Norwich, Norfolk NR1 2 HX, UK Main Contact: Everjoice Makuve Telephone: +44(0)1603 617905, 01603926118 +44(0)7588487957. (0)7969810239 Email: wordorphan2003@yahoo.co.uk Website, www.wordtrustinternational.com/ 26. Zimbabwe Community Association of Norfolk (ZIMCAN) Email: zimcan@live.co.uk Website: www.zimcan.btck.co.uk Main Contact: Francis Nhamo. Telephone: 07956437813

Compiled by The Bridge Plus+ a Norfolk based black/Asian and minority ethnic (BME) organisation. Tel 01603 617 076 or office@bridgeplus.org.uk

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Plans for Refugee Week 2015

E

very year, hundreds of events are planned for Refugee Week. This year, it will be celebrated from the 15th to 21st June by groups and organisations across the country, to highlight the contributions and resilience of refugees in the UK. In Norfolk, the organisations listed below have traditionally supported Refugee Week by organising, and or hosting events and talks to raise awareness and contribute to community cohesion in the county. This year, due to lack of funding for the coordination of the week’s event in the county, there has not been any booklet or programme timetable, but we believe most of the previous member groups listed below is likely to do something during the week. Please contact them direct via their website contacts or email.

1. Amnesty International Norwich Group 2. British Red Cross Noc@redcross.org.uk 3. Cinema City 4. Creative Arts East 5. Norwich City College 6. NORCA 7. Future Radio 8. New Routes projects@newroutes.org.uk 9. NEAD kaja@nead.org.uk 10. Norwich International Youth Project 11. Norfolk Constabulary Diversity Team 12. Norfolk Fire Services 13. Norfolk Library and Information Service 14. Norfolk Record Office 15. Norwich & Central Norfolk MIND cdwmanager@norwichmind.org.uk 16. Norwich City Council 17. Norwich Puppet Theatre 18. Norwich United Nations Association 19. Notre Dame High School 20. Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts 21. Sprowston Community High School 22. The Bridge Plus+ http://www.bridgeplus. org.uk/refugee-week/ 23. Writers Centre Norwich 24. Wymondham High School

Source: Movement Against Xenophobia

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Senior People’s Services from Cotman Housing Association Did you know that you don’t have to be a Cotman tenant to get help from our services for senior people? Our services can help if you live in a private rented, other Housing Association, Council or owner occupied home.

Older People’s Outreach Service If you are aged 60 or over and living in Norwich and need support and advice this free service could help you. We can help with: • Support to move to more suitable housing and access care services • Support to overcome loneliness and find new things to do • Support to set up alarm systems or other assistive technology • Support to make sure you are getting the right benefits …And much more

Norwich HandyVan Service If you are aged 65 and over and living in the Norwich City area and need small jobs to be done around the home we can help. This service is free if you are on Council Tax Reduction and costs £15 per job plus materials if you are not. We can help with: • Fitting smoke detectors • Changing fluorescent light bulb tubes • Plumbing in washing machines • Putting up shelves …And much more

Want to find out more? Phone us on 01603 731696 Or email us outreach@cotman-housing.org.uk

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2015 UK Election Results returns a Conservative government.

THE FINAL SCORE IS:

4 5

1 3

7

6

2

9 8 The basic annual salary for an MP from 1 April 2014 is £67,060 Below is Norfolk’s 9 Members of Parliament & their Constituencies To find your MP using postcodes and names of MPs or constituencies, or fragments from this link: http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/

1. Keith Simpson MP

6. Chloe Smith MP

2. Brandon Lewis MP

7. Clive Lewis MP

3. George Freeman MP

8. Richard Bacon MP

4. Norman Lamb MP -

9. Elizabeth Truss MP

5. Henry Bellingham MP

Member of European Parliament (MEP)

Broadland Conservative Tel: 01603 865763 email: keithsimpson2015@gmail.com

Great Yarmouth Conservative Tel: 01493 652928 email: brandon.lewis.mp@parliament.uk

Mid Norfolk Conservative Tel: 01953 600617 email: george.freeman.mp@parliament.uk

North Norfolk Liberal Democrat Tel: 01692 403752 email: norman.lamb.mp@parliament.uk

North West Norfolk Conservative Tel: 01553 692076 email: bellinghamh@parliament.uk

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Norwich North Conservative Tel: 01603 414756 email: chloe@chloesmith.org.uk

Norwich South Labour Tel: 01603 622017 email: clive@labourclivelewis.org

South Norfolk Conservative Tel: 01379 643728 email: richardbaconmp@parliament.uk

South West Norfolk Conservative Tel: 01842 757345 email: elizabeth.truss.mp@parliament.uk

Richard Howitt Labour Tel: 01223 240202 e-mail: richard@richardhowittmep.com


Did You Know & Dos and Don’ts • From 9 March 2015, new EU migrants who have arrived in the UK will be prevented from claiming benefits until they have started work. New migrant jobseekers will also no longer be able to claim Housing Benefit. Action has already been taken to halve the amount of time EU jobseekers can claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit. To add, migrants who cannot find a job after 3 months will lose their right to reside in the UK. • The highest number of Black footballer to play for England’s national team in a single match was 60% in a game against the USA on 28th May 2005 with the following players: Sol Campbell (was Captain), David James, Glen Johnson, Ashley Cole, Wes Brown, Jermaine Jenas and Kieran Richardson started. Zat Knight was a half-time substitute for Campbell. Richardson was substituted after 59 minutes. Defoe was a 63rd minute substitute for Cole. Source: http://www.englandfootballonline.com/ TeamBlack/Black.html • Don’t make the mistake I made! I am not crazy about football but I love my Norwich City football club scarf, warm and a nice mix of colours. However, a few years ago while driving on the streets of London around Upton Park, little did I know that my scarf which was openly displayed in my car would have a different meaning to provoke a stream of pedestrians to repeatedly bang on my car hood. The next bang was a friendly tap on my glass window, and as I rolled it down an Asian man advised me to hide my Norwich scarf as I was in a rival turf. I later found out that Norwich had won against Upton Park a few weeks earlier in the premier league. So should you be warned where to wear you club outfit! • Did you know that since 30 November 2014 the way you pay the toll crossing charge at Dartford Crossing has changed? Dart Charge is the new electronic system that replaced cash payments at the toll booths. Instead of stopping at a barrier to pay the charge at a booth, drivers will need to pay before travelling which can be done online, at one of many retail outlets including those with a Payzone terminal, or by phone. You can also pay by midnight the following day if your use of the crossing was unplanned or you forgot to pay in advance. Don’t despair, if you fail to pay, you will be sent a penalty notice to pay the fee within 28 days just as is done with unpaid parking tickets. The rates are: Cars £2.50, 2-axle goods £3.00, Multi-axle goods £6.00. The crossing will continue to be free to use between 22:00 and 06:00.

• Did you know that the death penalty was abolished in the UK just 50 years ago in 1965? That people were hanged for just pick pocketing. Children were not spared either. • Identity card for foreign nationals - It is established that since the 1990s, there have been over 8 different forms of residence permits or ISD (Immigration Status Documents, as they were called) issued to immigrants depending on the reason they originally came to the country. The first form of a uniform kind of identity card for foreign nationals in the UK was first introduced for students in 2008. Before then, different categories of immigrants have different forms of paperwork to prove their right to stay in the UK. As of October 2012 all immigrants are now being gradually issued a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) which is a plastic card similar to a drivers licence. However not everyone has such cards as yet, because people are not required to change their existing forms of residence visas until when they expire.

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27/11/2014 10:28

Children's Services

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Dates shaded white must be open for pupils. Yellow shading indicates pupil holiday. Red shading indicates bank holiday. Five Professional Development days must be taken within pupil holidays, we suggest 3 September, 23-24 October, 5 January and 22 July.

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Can the Social Service take my child away?

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afeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility. Anyone who works with children - including teachers, GPs, nurses, midwives, health visitors, early years professionals, youth workers, police, Accident and Emergency staff, paediatricians, voluntary and community workers as well as social workers have responsibility for keeping them safe. A local authority may be involved with a family because they have concerns about the welfare of a child. This does not mean that the local authority is seeking to remove children from the care of parents or other carers. If a local authority is involved with a family it is likely to want the carers of children to engage with its social workers, attend meetings and to listen to advice which they give. This can quite often involve a lot of meetings, not just with social workers but with other professionals. It is very important to attend these meetings. A local authority has a duty to provide

assistance to children who are in need. It also has the duty to protect children who it regards as being at risk of harm. If its concerns are significant then it may be that the local authority or another professional agency will ask to convene what is called a ‘Child Protection Conference’. If it does convene such a meeting it is important that parents or carers attend. Parents and carers do not get a vote on whether or not a child is registered at risk of significant harm but nonetheless have the opportunity to set out their views to the meeting. If a child is placed on the Child Protection Register it does not mean that a child is going to be removed from the carers. It does mean though that a Child Protection Plan will be put together and the expectation will be that the carers cooperate with that and meet regularly with identified professionals usually on six week basis. Registration is usually reviewed every six months. If the local authority’s concern is such that it thinks that it may need to ask the Court to take decisions about a child

CAP-Taking a lead on providing services to support unpaid carers

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he Carers Agency Partnership (CAP) is a partnership of eight local charities, which provide services to support unpaid carers. We aim to reduce the social isolation carers can experience due to their role, as well as ensuring there is access to peer support, and we rely on the valued skills of volunteers in order to do this. There are a number of volunteering opportunities within CAP that can help support carers in your local community, such as supporting carers groups, community ambassadors, fundraising, admin work and befriending. ‘I have been involved with West Norfolk Befriending as a volunteer for about 10 years. My clients have all been a joy to visit and are so appreciative of the time given to them. Many of them are very lonely due to their isolation and do not see anyone all week except for carers/cared for. They all have wonderful tales to tell and with a little encouragement they soon begin reminiscing about childhood antics, school days, and their working life. We always manage to have a laugh even if

they may ask carers to attend a meeting. That will usually involve what is what is called a “Letter before Action” which will outline its concerns. If such a letter is issued it is important that legal advice is sought straight away as funding is automatically available to support carers in such a meeting if they have parental responsibility or they are the father of the child. In other words parents will automatically qualify for free legal advice. A local authority cannot remove a child from care of parents without a Court Order or unless it has the parents’ permission. If parents give permission for a child to be accommodated i.e. go into foster care, that permission can be withdrawn at any time. The only authority who can remove a child from parents without a Court Order and without the parents’ or carer’s permission are the police. However they can only do that if they believe the child’s welfare is at significant risk and that can only last for 72 hours. It very likely that an agency known as CAFCASS (the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) would be involved if the matter of a child would involve family court proceedings. CAFCASS is an executive non-departmental public body which is independent of the courts and social services. They work under the rules of the Family Court and legislation and it is their responsibility to work with children and their families, so that they can come up with an assessment that would enable then to best advise the courts on what is considered to be in the best interests of individual children. This article is intended as a general outline of the basics. It is inspired by and with parts adapted from: Working Together to Safeguard Children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children of March 2013

the client has been a little “down” when I first arrive. Those who are able, love going out for coffee and cake and we encourage as many as possible to attend our social functions (which always involves a meal!). It is a pleasure to hear the “buzz” of conversation when they all get together.’ Volunteer Befriender at West Norfolk Befriending. Our volunteers come from varied backgrounds, and therefore bring a wide range of skills and experiences to their roles. We believe in creating partnerships, where volunteers benefit and develop through their work, as much as we do from the valuable time that is contributed. We take a person centred approach to volunteering and will work with you to identify where your skills can be most useful and where the experience will be most rewarding for you. In return for your time, we offer a chance for you to make a real impact in carers’ lives, as well as improve your skills and confidence. We also offer training and support in your role and out of pocket travel expenses. For further information on voluntary roles in the Carers Agency Partnership or for an application pack, please contact Ryan Hughes (CAP Volunteer Co-ordinator) on ryan@wnbefriending.org.uk / 07443522486 or visit http://www.carersagencypartnership.org.uk

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‘My Roisin’

In Loving Memory of Roisin Ngembu A Tribute Written and Read by her Dad

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his is my final goodbye to Roisin Belle Ngembu, my daughter, (also known as Ro, Ro Belle, Rosh Posh, baby Roisin, Wahala Pikin) who passed away on the 11th March 2015. Roisin was a special person, our gift from God and she fulfilled her God sent mission competently and to a very high standard. I am very thankful I was her Dad. I will treasure her all my life. Her beautiful memories will live with me forever. It was absolutely a pleasure to be next to her. Roisin was a sociable person with many friends. She was considerate, loving, selfless, nurturing, thoughtful, generous, and compassionate. And to me, she was simply my pretty daughter who loved and stood by me no matter what. She was my rock and she was amazing. She was in a true sense an independent person. I was her father and a stabilizing influence. We had a serene, genuine daughter/father relationship that excelled and surpassed the imaginations of some. I am ever so grateful to Rebecca, Roisin’s Mum, who made all that

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possible. I had an uninterrupted 18 years relationship with Roisin. I want Becky to know that she got my other children, Michael, Dauebi and Emilie and I hope they will feel that way too. Becky has been Mum to all of you. Roisin took up jobs in Sports Direct, at a local Fish and Chip shop and later she worked as a self-employed photographer in a popular night club in Norwich. She offered me discounts, brought me fish and chips, and most of my best pictures and videos were edited by Roisin. I will miss all of that. Roisin had a good, happy and richly varied life, and we have enjoyed family holidays together in Europe and Africa. She recently celebrated her 18th

birthday in ‘The Dstrkt’ London with her sisters and boyfriend. She enjoyed active sports like skating, gymnastics, dance and swimming, but a knee problem slowed her progress. Her favourite TV programmes were: Shameless, Angry boys, The Only Way is Essex, from which she coined the phrase ‘The only way is Norfolk.’ She planned to study Business management at the University of Manchester in the UK and eventually run her own photography or nightclub business. So I was very happy with Roisin and her developments.


ourselves that good people must die. However, death should not kill their names, so let Roisin’s memory live on. Rosh Posh, we shall always remember your special smile, the caring heart and the warm embrace that you gave us. You were always there for me no matter what. In life we loved you dearly and in death we do the same. It broke our hearts to lose you. You did not go alone, for part of me went with you. I have decided to give Roisin a befitting send off to return her to the almighty who gave her to me in the first place. Her ashes will be taken to Cameroon, my country of birth, and buried where she told me she was going to build a home for me. I thank all of you who have called, visited and sent messages. These tokens of support have truly helped us all cope at these difficult times. To leave your tributes, please visit Roisin’s memorial websitehttp://www.forevermissed.com/ findmemorial?q=roisin

I last saw her on Monday 9th March and then the next day the sad news of her death broke our hearts. With tearful eyes, we watched her fade away and although we loved her dearly, we could not make her stay. Despite our hope, a golden heart stopped beating and we all wept with shock. Roisin was neither a weak person nor emotionally unstable by any means. therefore, immense anger, deep hurt, inconsolable grief, disbelief are a few of the words and feelings that I can associate with Roisin’s death. What happened on the afternoon of the 11th

March left me completely traumatized. We are here to share our grief, so I hope you will not feel ashamed or embarrassed to weep openly. Looking around, I can tell that Roisin is still at work because this tragic event has brought many of us together, reconciling our differences. When someone so young is taken from us at the start of their life, understandably we are not as comfortable with words and phrases that point towards the celebration of their life. But hidden in all the pain and sorrow that we feel, there is undeniably something special to celebrate. To remember that she was part of our lives and remind

Roisin with mom Becky

B-Me VOICES

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What is a

WILL?

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Will is a legal document that takes care of your financial issues when you die, it allows you to leave money and things to other people, decide what you want to happen to your remains, and state who you want to make sure the Will is carried out (your executor). You can write a Will yourself, but it is best to have someone else look at it, such as a solicitor or someone at Citizen’s Advice Bureau. For your Will to be valid, you must be 18 years or over. There are lots of free or cheap Will writing services provided by different organisations including unions, insurance schemes and banks. An older people’s project could also be a good place to find out from. • Your Will must be in writing, signed by you, and 2 witnesses must sign it while you are there. Your nominated executor cannot be a witness. The date of signatures must be recorded on the Will. • The Will should not be signed by someone who is a beneficiary or spouse/civil partner of a beneficiary. • For a Will to be valid, the person writing it must do so voluntarily, without hindrance or pressure. The person must be aware of what s/he is doing.

to be the Executor of this my Will provided s/he shall survive me by 30 days but if s/he shall predecease me or otherwise fail to survive me by 30 days or otherwise be unable or unwilling to act then I appoint .……………….……………….……………….……………….…… (full name of another executor – s/he cannot be a witness) of………...……………….……………….……………….…..….… (2nd executor’s full address) to be Executors of my Will and Trustees of my Estate (hereinafter called “my Trustees”). 4. LEGACIES I GIVE the following Legacies subject to any tax being payable by the person/organisation receiving the legacies: (name of person/organisation, how much/what they are getting) (name of person/organisation, how much they are getting) Or: NO Legacies are to be given under this Will. 5. Personal Property I leave all my real and personal property to …(insert the name and relationship of the person here) after payment of all my just debts, funeral and testamentary expenses, for her own use and benefit absolutely. (If you wish instead to leave specific items to particular people, section 5 might look like this): I wish to leave the following items, free from all charges and duties, as follows: 1. To my daughter/s – e.g. all of my….……………….……….….

• If you are making some complicated changes to your Will, it is better to write a new one.

2. To my neighbour Mr/Mrs – all of my….……………….……..…

Below is an example of a simple Will.

4. To my sister/brother….……………….………….……………..

WILL of ………………………….……………………………………….… (write your name here) 1. This is the last Will & testament of ……………………….………………………….…(your full name) of……………………….………………………….……………… (your full address) 2. I hereby revoke all former Wills and codicils made by me and declare this to be my last Will and Testament. 3. I APPOINT …….……………….……………… full name of executor (s/he/they cannot be a witness as well as executor) of………...……………….……………….……………….………… (full address of executor)

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This article is inspired by the sudden death of people from BME communities within the last 12 months. Some of the surviving families were left with very expensive funeral bill. In some cases a Will would have made a difference. Funeral cost is still a big issue for many foreign nationals, and in the rush to bury loved ones, it is not clear where to get cheaper funeral services or financial support, leaving some people with huge debts. On behalf of the surviving families, we are aware of three incidents where community contributions have made a big difference, so we say thanks to all those who continue to contribute to the costs.

B-Me VOICES

3. To my friend (full name here) ….……………….……… – my car I leave the residue of my estate to my husband/partner….….….. (their full name here). 6. I REQUEST that my body be buried/cremated and (ashes buried/scattered…………………………………………… only include this section if you need it) the expenses relating to my funeral shall be a first charge on my estate. SIGNED by the above named in our presence and by us in his Testator (you sign here) Date:….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….…. 2. Second Witness 1. First Witness Signed: Signed: Name: Name: Address: Address: Occupation: Occupation: Note: Make sure you destroy any previous Will once this one is signed


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Wise words, wits & Humours

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The Government introduces an NHS insurance charge to be paid by immigrants who are not EU nationals

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s of 6th April 2015, non-EU migrants will now be subject to a ‘health surcharge’ as part of their immigration application. This means if an immigrant is coming to the UK for longer than 6 months or extending their stay in the UK they will be charged an extra amount. The scheme is but an insurance premium that has to be paid towards the cost of any potential health care cost of the immigrant. Prior to the changes, migrants coming to work, study or join family members in the UK were entitled to free NHS treatment in the same way as permanent residents and citizens. The charges will be £200 per annum for all those on short visits lasting over 6 months and £150 per annum for students. The charge will be payable when the immigration application is made and will

be calculated on the basis of the time that the migrant will be allowed to stay in the UK and the number of dependents they have. Some category of migrants coming to the UK with family members, for example, a spouse and a child, could end up paying up to £1800 in addition to the Home Office application fees. However, if the individual’s application is refused, they will be refunded the surcharge payment automatically. Individuals with private healthcare insurance will still need to pay the surcharge. The surcharge does not apply to applications submitted before 5th April 2015. Some EU nationals may be caught up by the law if they do not meet the revised definition of a qualifying residence. Seek proper advice if in doubt. A plan to extend the surcharge to primary and community healthcare has been cancelled.

The following people will be exempt from the surcharge: • visitors and those granted entry clearance for 6 months or less (but if these people use the NHS while on a short visit to the cost of £1000 plus, it will go against their immigration record) • Tier 2 intra – company transfer migrants • migrants making an application for asylum, humanitarian protection or Article 3 claims • victims of human trafficking • a migrant applying under the ‘destitute domestic violence concession’ • Her Majesty’s Forces family members • a dependent of another country’s armed forces member who is exempt from immigration control • those making immigration applications under the Turkish European Communities Association Agreement • a British Overseas Territory Citizen who is resident of the Falkland Islands • nationals of Australia and New Zealand Source: Collated from different source on the internet

B-Me VOICES

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Stephen and Chief Constable Simon Bailey

Deputy PCC Jenny McKibben

Meet Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner -

STEPHEN BETTS

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f I asked you what the role and purpose of the police is, you could probably tell me. But if I went on to ask what you understand about my role as Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), what would you say? Would you have heard of me before? Would you know what my responsibilities are? For those of you who would answer ‘no’ or ‘I’m not sure’, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Stephen Bett, and I was elected in November 2012 by the people of Norfolk to be your first ever PCC. The role I was elected into is a new one, introduced by the Government to make sure the local area has an efficient and effective police force and provide leadership for all of the organisations involved in reducing crime and making communities safer. The work I and my deputy Jenny McKibben do is based on what you, as the people of Norfolk, and organisations across the county tell me are your crime and policing concerns. That information shapes my plan for keeping Norfolk a safe place for everyone who lives, works and visits here. It also informs the objectives I set for our county and, more specifically, our police force, and helps me set the policing budget for Norfolk (including how much you pay through your Council Tax). To keep our county a safe place, I have asked Norfolk’s organisations to focus on: • Reducing anti-social behaviour and the crime types which have the biggest impact on our communities, and taking action to stop those committing crime doing it again and again.

I have asked the Chief Constable to concentrate specifically on: • Reducing crime and anti-social behaviour • Tackling domestic abuse and sexual violence • Reducing the number of people killed or injured on our roads • And making improvements to the service received by communities so that more people are satisfied with their police force. I meet with the Chief Constable at public meetings six times a year to ask questions and challenge how the police are meeting these objectives and how the policing budget is being used. I hope this brief introduction to my role as your PCC has helped you feel a little more informed about what I’m working to achieve on your behalf. If you’d like to know more, please take a look at my Police and Crime Plan, come along to one of the public meetings I have every other month with the Chief Constable, or get involved with the community forums whose views and experience help shape the work I do. All of that information is on my website – www.norfolk-pcc.gov.uk - or you can get in touch with my office by telephone on (01953) 424455 or email opccn@norfolk.pnn.police.uk

• Reducing vulnerability, promoting equality and supporting victims. • Working more closely together to prevent crime and repair harm, with the aim of reducing demand on police and protecting the availability of our frontline resources at a time of Government funding cuts. There are a number of priorities for this part of our work, including tackling domestic abuse and sexual violence and improving support for victims, and looking at how we help people who might commit crime or become a victim because of drug or alcohol problems or because they have mental health issues. Stephen talking with young people at sports project

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GFX 3709

Engaging with Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) communities to improve mental health services in Norfolk

Research has repeatedly shown that people from a black and ethnic minority community can have more adverse experiences and negative outcomes within mental health care. This is why Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is keen to engage and work with its diverse communities. It is important that our Trust provides fair and personal services for everyone and this can only be done by us engaging with our local community.

Our Trust has started to engage with its local diverse communities through a project called Open Mind. The aim of the Open Mind Project is to create an opportunity for local BME communities to be heard and for them to engage with our Trust in addressing the social and cultural inequalities in regards to accessing and using mental health services.   If your community is interested in being involved please email our Equalities and Engagement Manager ravi.seenan@nsft.nhs.uk or contact us on 01473329145.   At our Trust we want to make sure that everyone is well informed about the services we provide.  

3697_wellbeing_Card.pdf

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Did you know for example that we have a Wellbeing Service www.readytochange.org.uk which offers access to a range of workshops and other psychological interventions to anyone experiencing problems with mental wellbeing including mild to moderate anxiety, depression, stress, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For more information regarding what Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is able to offer, our website provides a guide to what is available where. http://www.nsft.nhs.uk 12/03/2015

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ready to change?

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My Not-So Everyday Heroes by Dr Joy Barredo

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hen I started work in diversity and mental health back in 2004, I had no idea how my life, – personal and professional, would be forever altered through the people that I would encounter. In this re-telling of stories both inspiring and harrowing, I look back on several people who have inevitably left an imprint on my heart and mind, many of them I consider personal heroes who have endured and survived what I can only imagine as the frontier between humanity and cruelty. First, let me tell you the story of a woman from Southeast Asia, Adele (Not their real names). When she decided to leave her family and friends to marry a British man, it was because she thought she has finally found her one chance at happiness. Soon after the wedding her horrors began. Apart from her husband treating her like a maid, Adele soon discovered how evil he truly was when he started prostituting her. Her dreams of a happy

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Some people come into our lives for a reason, some for a season.

ever after were replaced by neverending nightmares. And not too dissimilar a story was that of Marie’s*. On the last leg of their journey to freedom, Marie and her family needed to cross a river. They had to pay the boatman money, but he demanded more than that. He required sex with Marie’s daughter. My heart broke listening to her, especially after realising that her daughter made the sacrifice and was undergoing therapy to help her heal. Another asylum seeker I met was Salim*. He escaped from prison in the Middle East after being accused of a crime he didn’t commit, and was subjected to daily torture. His family scraped enough money to buy his freedom. A lorry took him away from home and into Spain. This was where he learned to sleep in parks and on benches. Then he travelled to France, to Germany, to Holland and eventually landed in Essex. Not happy in Essex he made his way to Norwich, where he pitched a makeshift tent down by the river near the train station. When he finally found a home, his neighbours would dump trash on his doorstep and wrap used condoms around his doorknob. He said those were trying times, but could not give up because of his 5-year old daughter. Although they spoke on the phone intermittently, nothing prepared him when she said, “Daddy I miss you. When are you coming home?” At this point I had to turn away, in order to inconspicuously brush away my tears. Salim was also unforgettable because he learned English solely by watching Eastenders and Coronation Street! And then there was a client from

sub-continent Asia, Ana*. When I met her on the 20th of August 2004, she expressed how much she wanted to make friends, but that she was very shy. So I thought, why not do it the Filipino way and use food to meet new people? I told her that in two weeks’ time we would have a party called the Festival of Cultures, where I will invite people from different communities and they would bring food from their own culture. Thus the first ever Festival of Cultures came on the scene on the 4th of September 2004. And for this I will never forget Ana. The subsequent Festival of Cultures grew bigger than the last and everyone who came managed to make at least one friend! But it’s not just clients who made my role as Social Inclusion Manager inspiring. There was a woman I met in February 2004 who proved to me that there were non-BME people in positions of power and responsibility who were sincerely committed to creating equality and equity for everyone. Her name was Joan Emerson. I will forever be grateful for everything she has taught me and all the support along the way. However, none of the work I’ve done would have been possible if not for the vision of Peter Gianfrancesco, the former Chief Executive of Norwich Mind. He believed in diversity, and he believed in me. Working in the business of diversity and inclusion was not always easy, but it was never dull. It was rewarding to say the least. In some ways I have become a guardian of these stories, and I can honestly say that it has been a privilege!


 Immigration soars 20%. The true figure was 4%!

Migrant news

It is not surprising that we are confused about migration issues. There is a daily diet of scare stories. In a 31-day period in 2003, the Daily Express ran 22 front page articles on a supposed threat of a flood of refugees. The pressure to twist the news led Express NUJ journalists to lodge a formal complaint to the Press Complaints Commission against their own newspaper. Reporters on the Daily Star refused to work on a mock-up front page attacking Muslims. When challenged about a front page story headed “Swan Bake” about asylum seekers stealing swans, The Sun could offer no real evidence to back up the claims. The hype reached fever pitch around 1 January 2014 when the regulations for Romanians and Bulgarians changed. Scaremongering turned into farce when very few migrants arrived.  Daily Mail Flights full £3,000 a ticket The truth  cheap seats available, demand down EasyJet web site, January 2014

9

Whose work and at what pay? Work and pay

Some foreignisworkers cause of that hardship the take highly-skilled jobs such as banking crisis, the recession computer specialists and and the government’s health professionals. austerity programme. A few come as senior

Some foreign workers take managers in foreignhighly-skilled jobscompanies such as that owned computerinvest specialists here. and health professionals. A few In these jobs, international come as senior managers in recruitment pushes up pay foreign-owned companies – consider footballers for that investexample. here. In these jobs,

have worked hard

of UK nationals.

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% of all new jobs are created by migrant start-up firms. source: Financial Times 2014

AAgovernment that government report report that studiedthe the impact on studied on jobs, found “little “little evidence of jobs found evidence caused by ofdisplacement” displacement” caused migrants. by migrants. Someemployers employers will Some will try tryto torip rip off migrants and unions will off migrants and unions will fightexploitation exploitation to to protect protect all fight allworkers. workers.The The TUC TUC believes believes effective enforcement of of effective enforcement the Minimum Wage the Minimum Wage and and protection for protection for established pay established pay rates will rates will stop migrants being stop migrants being blamed blamed for the actions of bad for the actions of bad employers. employers.

Unions want Unions wantfair fairpay payfor forallall workers. workers.

source: Fiscal Sustainability Report, LFS, Institute for Fiscal Studies

source: Fiscal Sustainability Report, LFS, Institute for Fiscal Studies, Home Office/BIS Report 2014, Financial Times 2014

Trade unions have worked hard to protect established pay rates and it has been the recession and bad to protect established pay employers that have squeezed rates and it has been the market, migrants take jobs to work. But does this mean wages, not competition from locals don’t do to do Unemployment in thelocal people recession and bad employers localswant don’tto want they arelevels stopping migrant workers. especially in agriculture and that have squeezed wages, workof and keeping South Eastgetting and in into the East especially in agriculture food production.These These tend to not competition from migrant paylower down? and food production. Migrants tend to raise England are than the be low-paid jobs protected by workers. tend to be low-paid jobs national average. productivity levels as they Unemployment levels in the the by National Minimum Wage.haveMigrants protected the National scarce skills, high tend to raise South West are lower than In our region many workers Minimum Past has shown motivation and fresh PastWage. experience productivity levels ideas. as they national have takenthe jobs belowaverage their but pay experience has shown that 17.2% of migrants set up their that migrants tend to start on have scarce skills, high has been squeezed and many skill level, or part-time jobs migrants tend to start on low own firms compared to 10.4% low pay but quickly move on motivation and fresh ideas. are taking when theyworkers really want a full-part-time pay buttoquickly movework. on to of UK nationals. better paid 17.2% of migrants set up their jobs the when they time one, and level ofwant pay full-time better paid work. own firms compared to 10.4% ones. Trade unions has been squeezed. But the

JOBS

Most migrants come to the UK international recruitment pushes up pay – consider to work. But does this mean footballers for example. they are stopping local people getting into work and keeping the less skilled labourlabour In the less skilled Most migrants come to theInUK pay down? market, migrants take jobs

B-Me VOICES myths book 2013.indd 17

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07/04/2014 19:12


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UK Border Force Monitoring Your Movements in & out of Country

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ou would have thought this was already happening. But from 8 April 2015, information on passengers leaving the UK will be collected as is done for those entering. According to the Home Office, exit checks will provide vital information that confirms a person’s exit from the UK. Before 1994, limited exit checks were operated at the majority of air and sea ports. The paper-based embarkation checks were piecemeal and were not carried out on all modes of transport, and only a small proportion of passengers were checked against watchlists. The paper-based nature of the checks meant that there was only limited ability to match records and therefore no usable information about outbound passengers was collected. And then in 1998 exit checks were scrapped entirely. Since 2004 the UK has moved to a more sophisticated approach of checks by starting to collect Advance Passenger Information (API) for both inbound and outbound air passengers. API includes the passenger’s full name, nationality, date of birth, gender and travel document number, type and country of issue. This mean they are now collecting over 80 per cent of all journeys – including 95 per cent of flights, providing them a better picture than ever before about who is leaving the country, but it does not cover all modes of transport. The new approach will reintroduce exit checks for all scheduled commercial international air, sea and rail routes.

What exit checks will do From 8 April, exit checks will take place at all airports and ports in the UK. Information that is included in passports or travel documents will be collected for passengers leaving the country on scheduled commercial international air, sea and rail routes. The data collected will be provided to the Home Office to give them the most comprehensive picture about whether those who enter the UK leave when they are supposed to. The information will improve the Border Force’s ability to identify and further tighten the immigration routes and visas that are most vulnerable to abuse. Exit checks data will also be used to target people who have overstayed their visas and are in the UK illegally. For example, they can use new powers under the Immigration Act 2014 to remove people’s driving licences and prevent illegal overstayers from opening bank accounts. The checks will also improve security by helping the police and security services track the movements of known or suspected criminals and terrorists, supporting the wider work across government and our law enforcement agencies.

How exit checks will work? According to the Home Office, the changes will have minimal or no impact on passengers’ journeys as most passengers will not notice any significant difference to the usual outbound travel processes. It is worth noting that Airlines are already providing the Home Office with

Advance Passenger Information (API) which is provided by customers when booking their flights, hence for most passengers, nothing will change and they will not notice the new system in action. Where API cannot be provided – for example on some rail and ferry journeys – carriers and ports will check travel documents and collect data by checking or scanning passports or national identity cards. The checks will be carried out by staff working for the airline, rail or ferry operator.

Who will be exempt? The vast majority of passengers leaving the country on scheduled commercial international air, sea and rail routes will go through exit checks. School coach parties of European Union children under 16 years old will be exempt from checks. Alternative arrangements, separate from exit checks, are being put in place to cover: • journeys made within the Common Travel Area (journeys between the UK and the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) • small, non-scheduled flights (General Aviation) • non-commercial pleasure boats (General Maritime)

Racism Discussion Feedback @ Community Cuisines Lunch of January 2015 • Most of the participants said they would normally call someone they know to report a racist incident even if there was a witness present. Very rarely will they call the police unless there is an injury, in which case it is very likely it could have been reported by a member of the public. Many agreed with the point shared by one that the police approach tends to make them feel more like a suspect than as a victim. Majority said they will most likely involved a third party support agency such as the Red Cross, or a BME support worker from a voluntary organisation similar to The Bridge Plus+, this has to do with their lack of trust of authority, lack of personal confidence and language barrier. • And when a volunteer asked, so how do we know when such things are happening? The overwhelming answer was we don’t because people do not report or share their experience of racist incidents other than with friends and family. Most importantly, because it is difficult to prove. • According to one volunteer, they had to approach an employer on behalf of a cleaner who was being bullied by a colleague which made a huge difference for the victim.

• I had to quit my job, said one contributor because another worker keeps shouting and threatening me and when I complained to the supervisor, nothing was done. Not even the manager was able to do anything. He said there was no proof. The next time he put his finger in my face and I called the police, but they never came. For this reason, I did not feel safe, so I had to quit. The only other people I thought of approaching were the Red Cross, because I thought someone must respond to a trusted name like the Red Cross. • One person shared that they were wrongfully arrested and were only released because the accuser recanted their story. There were no apologies and nothing else was done.

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A call for Australia to stop turning back the boats and locking up refugees (Abridged version of a speech made by a famous Australian writer, Tim Winton which also reminds us of what’s happening here in Europe too)

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e belong to a prosperous country, a place where prosperity and good fortune have made us powerful. Yes, whether we feel it or not, we are exceptionally powerful as individuals and as a community. We have the power of safety. We’re richer, more mobile, with more choices than most of our fellow citizens worldwide. Not because we’re virtuous, but because we’re lucky. What secret are we hiding? Well, it’s awkward, and kind of embarrassing. You see, we’re afraid. Terrified. This big, brash wealthy country. We have an irrational phobia. We’re afraid of strangers. Not rich strangers. No. The ones who frighten us out of our wits are the poor strangers. People displaced by war and persecution. We’re even scared of their traumatised children. And if they flee their war-torn countries in boats, well, then, they’re twice as threatening. But these people arrive with nothing but the sweat on their backs and a crying need for safe refuge. Yet, they terrify us. So great and so wild is our fear, we can no longer see them as people, as fellow humans. First, we criminalised them. Then, we turned them into faceless objects. But for someone seeking asylum, someone arriving by boat, this special species of a creature called a “boat person”, the pity isn’t there. Pity is forbidden. All the usual standards are overturned. Their legal right to seek asylum is denied. They’re vilified as “illegals”. And their suffering is denied. As if they’re not our brothers and sisters. Yes, we hate suffering. But apparently their kind of suffering is no longer legitimate. And therefore, it’s no longer our problem. Our moral and legal obligations to help them are null and void. Since August 2001, Australians have gradually let themselves be convinced that asylum seekers have brought their suffering and persecution and homelessness and poverty on themselves. Our leaders have taught us we need to harden our hearts against them. And how obedient we’ve

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been, how compliant we are, this freethinking, high-minded egalitarian people. We’re afraid. But the government has made them go away. They have stopped the boats. And spirited the victims away. Now, we don’t have to see their suffering. In fact, we’re not allowed to see it. They’re out of sight, and out of mind. And here at home, all is well, all is calm again. For the past few years, as traumatised people have fled towards safety, towards what they believed was a civilised and compassionate haven, our national peace of mind has been built upon the hidden, silent suffering of others. And that, my friends, is what our elected representatives have done. Using the military, using warships. Using spin and deception in Parliament. Shielding its deeds from media scrutiny. With the collusion of our poorer neighbours, the client states of Nauru and PNG (Papua New Guinea). The political slogans have ground their way into our hearts and minds. The mantras of fear have been internalised. We can sleep at night because these creatures are gone. It wasn’t enough to turn these people away. We had to make them disappear. So. All is well. Nothing to be afraid of any more. Until we find other poor people to be afraid of. Folks who are here already. Australians who are poor and powerless and, therefore, somehow troublesome, embarrassing, even dangerous. Because that’s the thing. Once you start the cycle of fear, there’s always someone new and different to be afraid of, some new group to crack down on. My friends, we weren’t always this scared. We used to be better than this. I remember because I was a young man when we opened our arms and hearts to tens of thousands of Vietnamese. Australians were poorer then, more awkward, less well travelled as a people. And yet, we took pity on suffering humans. No cages, no secret gulags. We had these people in our homes and hostels and halls and community centres. They became our neighbours, our schoolmates, our colleagues at work. I was proud of my country, then, proud of the man who made it happen, Malcolm Fraser, whose greatness shames those who’ve followed him in the job. Those were the days when a leader drew the people up and asked the best of them and despite their misgivings,

Australians rose to the challenge. And I want to honour his memory today. It breaks my heart to say it, but fear has turned us. In the past 15 years, it’s eaten into our public spirit and made a travesty of our most sacred values, the very things we thought we stood for as a society: our sense of decency, fairness, justice, compassion, openness. In our own time, we have seen what is plainly wrong, what is demonstrably immoral, celebrated as not simply pragmatic but right and fair. It’s no accident that both mainstream political parties have pursued asylum seeker policies based on cruelty and secrecy. First, pandering to irrational public fear and then at the mercy of it. Because these policies are popular. I don’t deny it. It hurts me to acknowledge it. But it’s a fact. A hard-hearted response to the suffering of others has calcified and become the common sense of our day. We used to be better than this. I still believe we’re better than this. In this country, a nation built upon people fleeing brutes and brutality for 200 years, we have a tradition of fairness and decency and openness of which we’re rightly proud. We’ve always thought it low and cowardly to avert our gaze from someone in trouble or need, to turn our face from them as though they did not exist. Now, of course, we don’t see faces. And that’s no accident. The government hides them from us. In case we feel the pity that’s only natural. Asylum seekers are rendered as objects, creatures, cargo, contraband, and criminals. And so, quite deliberately, the old common sense of human decency is supplanted by a new consensus, built on hidden suffering, maintained by secrecy. If current refugee policy is common sense, then I refuse to accept it. I dissent. And many of my countrymen and women dissent alongside me. I don’t pretend to have a geopolitical answer to the worldwide problem of asylum seekers. Fifty million people are currently displaced by war and famine and persecution. I don’t envy those who make the decisions in these matters, those who’ve sought and gained the power to make decisions in this matter. I’m no expert, no politician. But I know when something’s wrong. And what my country is doing is wrong.


BME VOICES • Dear Bridge Plus, I was finally granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK and received all my documents. I want to thank you for helping me in this matter and the support I received from The Bridge Plus was absolutely indescribable. I am grateful that there is such an organisation out there to assist people like me with various issues. I appreciated your input to my personal statement which was a crucial document to my case. I also appreciated the service and the support rendered to me by your staff particularly the follow up phone calls to check on my well-beingand how I was coping with the daily life routine. It’s not always easy to get such support, but you managed to do a great job for me. Again, thank you and feel free to publish this note of appreciation in the B-Me Voices and I will definitely recommend The Bridge Plus to anyone who is in a similar situation I was in. Yours Sincerely, Lourence.

• According to my UK Residence Permit, I am several years younger than what should have been my actual age. Can you help me figure out how old I am, because I don’t know? As the oldest male child of my family, I have not been to school and I don’t know my actual age. One thing I do know is people from my village that I am older than. Age may just be a number, but while here I discovered that someone who was several years the high school junior of my kid brother is, according to our UK residence permits, a year older than me. And can you believe that I was already married with a child when my brother first went to high school. When I was being brought by the Home Office as a refugee to the UK, my age was what was written on a piece of paper against my name by a complete stranger who was just doing his job to get me to a safe country. How do I rectify this?

• I am from an African country where English is the official language. But when I was first interviewed by the Home Office, I could not understand most of the questions due to the accent of the interviewer. I knew beforehand that I could have requested an interpreter but with my level of English, I did not expect to need one.. After all, I have been waiting for over a year for the interview that would determine my right to stay in the UK, and to ask for an interpreter at the interview might have meant another long wait.

• I am not fine. I know some people from my country may be are very happy here, but life has not been good to me. I thank God for saving my life from the war I left back home, but to be honest, that was when my happy life ended. Life in the UK has been an ongoing struggle for me. However it is not the end because I know that is how life is. That is why I said I am not fine… maybe someday soon!

• I am a minority in my own community of BME people. Although there are many people from my country, I am from a different tribe and region to everyone else. It is a known fact amongst my countrymen that my family was politically prominent in the previous government before the war. That alone could attract a lot of enemies for me.

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Bulgarian Voices of Nostalgia by Galya Clark

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he Bulgarian society in Norwich and Norfolk is small, but well known through their regular participation in the annual Festival of Culture organised by Norwich Mind and for their National day celebrations which tend to attract lots of people. The society was founded in 2008 with the ambition to have a Bulgarian club, to teach their children Bulgarian language, folklore dance and possibly have a Bulgarian church in the future. It has a membership of over 100 with an average of 10-15 volunteers each year. In the period 2009 – 2012 all of these were possible when the group was being hosted for free at The Bridge Plus’s NICE Centre, which was truly a BME communities’ hub. At the centre they were able to run a school, hosted the first Bulgarian national election polling station in 2012, threw private and nationality day parties, which all adds to the nostalgia for an opportunity to come together as a community and share. With the closure of the centre due to lack of funding, they are now left with no choice but hiring different halls throughout the city to celebrate their nationality days – which are four in number per year -; 3rd March – the day of Liberation from the Ottoman Empire, 24 May – the day of Bulgarian alphabet and culture, 22 September – the Day of Independence;. The Bulgarian language lessons for Bulgarian children and the folklore dance lessons for adults had continued for nearly two years but then stopped because of the lack of venue. Another quite interesting activity is organising the election voting poll in Norwich for two consecutive years 2013 and 14 hosted by Norwich City Council. More than 100 people registered and voted. Most of them are working migrants who valued their right to vote and influence change in the political and economic conditions in their country of birth. Who is coming here from Bulgaria, and why, you may ask. Generally it is people of working age, who wish to work, pay taxes and contribute to Britain’s future. People, who are looking for a better life and who

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wish to integrate but also, to keep their historical identity. What you could expect at a Bulgarian event celebrating one of their nationality days is lots of delicious homemade food comprising a mix of Bulgarian national dishes. The events are always open to all nationalities. There is always the opportunity to see the traditional Bulgarian dance, called ‘horo’

What they do to integrate? What do the Bulgarians do for their integration in UK? Of course, there are many things they do other than just work, such as attending English language courses, attending college, and attending other local social activities. However, there are a lot of challenges that people from Bulgaria face here resulting from the insecurity of the political environment and attitude towards immigrants. Most Bulgarians tend to have friends from their own communities but several have also made British friends from their places of work. Below are stories and voices of nostalgia. According to Neli Mihaylova, a cleaner - I arrived in the UK two and half years ago to find work having lived in Bulgaria for 44 years. My first impression of the UK was that it was not that different by the look of the houses and the empty streets I left back home. It took time for me to makes some useful local connections and friends. I was really excited to discover the Bulgarian society because I was longing to meet people that I can speak to in my own language.. Unfortunately, at the moment, we haven’t got a dedicated venue for our activities and we really need support for this. Now I feel much happier because I get along very well with my colleagues. Even with my limited English, four months into the job, I was awarded “employee of the month”.

Nostalgia still worries me says Pavlina Boralieva, an accountant - Our group is not big and we are very spread across the county. Regardless of what we do as individuals, we always like to socialise with friends and people we know. Maybe if we have a place to meet monthly this will make a big difference to our wellbeing. We will always be immigrants in the eyes of the local people. My family is established here, not perfectly, but ok, because we have good education and demand for our professions. The problem is, most of us still have language barriers, so we sometimes feel nostalgic for our own country. “This is the county where I would like to establish myself for the future” says Tsveti Koleva, farm worker For nearly 5 years I have lived in the UK and I am proud to say that this is the country where I want to establish myself for the future. I like everything here and the State cares about its people. Yes, there are also some negatives, for example access to the health system here is slow, but still it works well. I have been working for many years at the same small family farm in the? where in Norfolk. The conditions are not perfect, but still they are good. My employer is a very understanding Englishman. I am happy with the Bulgarian society. But unfortunately our Facebook Page has not been able to substitute for group meetings. I think if we had a venue where we could get together to meet regularly, we would be able to share more and learn from each other. For example, if people send messages looking for a room, work or advice/opinion, they usually receive 1-2 comments or in the majority of the cases, no answer. I would like to see us become more proactive and united. We shouldn’t forget that we are Bulgarians in a foreign country and need to help each other.


Changes to how to prove your knowledge of English for Citizenship and settling in the UK

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hanges to English Language tests goes live- You may already be familiar with the fact that the Home Office is always changing its rules, forms, fees and how to meet the requirements for immigrants. With regards to people who want to live in the UK, since 28 October 2013, there has been two parts to proving one’s Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK (KoLL requirement), both of which must be met by all immigrants applying for settlement (permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain) and for naturalisation (citizenship applications) unless the individual is exempt under the rules. Hence every applicant has to pass the Life in the UK test (a computer based test) and have a speaking and listening qualification in English at a level of qualification which used to be satisfied by ESOL Entry Level 3 and above. Prior to the changes, these tests were being offered by different providers throughout the country. However as of 6th April 2015, the Home Office has yet again introduced new rules with respect to which tests can be accepted. This means that many tests that were previously accepted have been removed including the Pearson Test, some Cambridge

3. An accredited college such as Norwich City College or Adult Education ESOL is still accepted for British Citizenship according to the Home office website, but check with the provider to make sure this is the case.

tests, ESOL tests and IESOL tests. These are being replaced with Secure English Language Test. What we now have is a few new test providers which include Trinity College London, for the UK only and IELTS SELT Consortia for the UK and the rest of the world.

So what is really new?

Following the immigration changes of 6th April there are now 3 types of IELTs test. 1. Secure IELTS (International English Language Testing System) for immigration purposes: International students need to take IELTs for their UK Visa applications, see this link http:// takeielts.britishcouncil.org/ielts-ukvi 2. In-country applicants for Settlement or British Citizenship need to take the Skills for Life option provided by the secure IELTs test locations link: http://takeielts.britishcouncil. org/locations/united-kingdom Or Through the Trinity College tests: The Home office also accept Trinity College tests and the nearest centre to Norfolk is in Peterborough: http://www.trinitycollege.com/ site/?id=3286

Transitional arrangements: In the meantime, applicants who already have an in-date/valid IETLs qualification can use this to apply for their visa until 5th November 2015. The Home Office realised that there will be some migrants who have taken their tests in advance of their applications and these tests providers may have now been removed; hence a transitional period has been introduced. If a migrant passed their test before 6 April 2015, then they can continue to use the test results for their immigration application up until 5th November 2015.

Who may be exempt from the rules:

There is a list of exempted persons, so please seek proper legal advice. The exemption list includes people aged 65 or over, people with a disability, people from a list of countries recognised by the Home Office as majority English speaking, and a list of other categories such as victims of domestic violence, etc.

What if?

The question is what if a person cannot meet the knowledge and life in UK requirements. Provisions have been made for people who cannot meet the requirements and need more time to prove your knowledge of English, to instead extend their permission to stay in the UK until such time when they can prove their knowledge of English if you’re already in the UK. Seek legal advice.

Understanding the UK Education System

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he education system in the UK is divided into four main parts: primary, secondary, further and higher education. Children in the UK are by law required to attend primary and secondary education which means if you have a child between the ages of 5 to 16 years old they must be in school (this has been extended to 18 years for those born after 1st September 1997). Education may include home schooling. All primary and secondary schools run by the government are free of charge. 1. Primary Education begins in the UK at age 5 and continues until age 11. 2. Secondary Education in England is from age 11 to 16. At the age of 16 all pupils take a series of exams called the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), usually in about

eight to ten subjects, which must include English and Mathematics.

equivalent to the UK’s further education.

3. Further Education-Once a student finishes secondary education they have the option to extend into further education, usually through a college, to take their A-Levels, GNVQ’s, BTEC’s or other such qualifications. At this stage most students take Advanced Level exams (A Level) after a two-year course. UK students planning to go to university must complete further education.

You may come also across some other terminology used within the UK national curriculum such as Key Stage and School Year. The National Curriculum is constructed in five Key Stages with each stage defining the School Year and age group as shown below.

4. Higher Education -Most students enter higher education at the age of 18 to study an undergraduate degree. It usually takes three years for students in the UK to gain their bachelor’s degree (four years in Scotland). Most international students will enter directly into the UK higher education system after completing their home country’s

• Key Stage 2 - School Years 3 to 6 - for pupils aged 8 to 11 years old

• Key Stage 1 - Foundation School Years 1 to 2 - for pupils aged between 5 and 7 years old

• Key Stage 3 - School Years 7 to 9 - for pupils aged 12 to 14 years old • Key Stage 4 - School Years 10 to 11 - for pupils aged 15 to 16 years old • Key Stage 5 - School Years 12 to 13 - for pupils aged 17 to 18 years old.

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Musician Marlon Cherry Voices Out I came over to the UK in 1995 on a journey of pure discovery. By then my interest in music had taken a back seat. I am a family man with two children born in Norfolk. Norfolk is my new home, but I am not a fan of the cold. When I first arrived, things were very different. It took me long time to understand life around here, coming from apartheid South Africa. I think for all the years I have lived in Norfolk from 1995 to 2015, I preferred it in 2015. Norfolk has become a fairly tolerant society.

I got involved in music through an Irish catholic back in South Africa, Mr. Barry Ward. He was the only white person I can remember who was allowed in the black neighbourhoods. I am talking about apartheid time in the mid 1980s. He was a good catholic guy who wanted to involve young people into something meaningful. There was so much violence going on then.

I was also a one time lead singer for a big Norwich band called the Casino Groove which plays uplifting positive songs. We played all over Norwich you can find us on line. We did shows with BBC and Look East. Music is the way to talk to people. It is an international kind of thing. Did you know that Blues, soul and jazz, the South American cumbia and samba all came from Africa? They are all related to the African drum beat. They all go by the beat of the drum.

Mr Ward later took me on and taught me more music. I eventually joined a band as its leader. We did tours around South Africa.

I am mix race. My mom is from Mauritius with links to France, and my father is a Zulu. Growing up in South Africa during apartheid time was not an easy thing.

While playing for Mr. Ward, I was recruited by the Drakensburg Boys Choir, which is the biggest choir in the whole of South Africa. Years later I restarted my music career right here in Norwich as a backup singer for Paul Cullen. He introduced me to a genre of new jazz chill out. From there I went on to record my own song which was played on a radio station in Germany. As a 40 year old born in Durban, music is what I do from when I wake up to when I go to bed. I am a born singer song writer. I have been doing this for over 30 years. I didn’t choose it, it choose me. The love of music has overcome me. I started music at age six and by seven, I was being paid for my work.

At best, the end of apartheid brought in freedom to vote, to express yourself, to go anywhere you want to go, to attend university. We never had those kinds of freedom.

Right now the UK is the biggest player of the Ganesh Band music. Three years ago it was the USA. It was in 2003 that I had my first proper release when I was the lead singer of an Italian based band called Ganesh. Our music was played in Italy and we toured with MTv Italia. This took me to places I never believe I would go to, mingling and mixing with stars and models. The group still exists and I sometime do some solo records with their backing. After the collapse of the apartheid regime, I found a job working as a custom and excise officer at the port of Durban in South Africa. I was one of its first non-white employees, but being supervised by white people who still had the mentality of a segregated society meant serious business. Just when you think apartheid was over, in reality, discrimination was still going on at work. We couldn’t do much because the black government was still in transition.

Presently, I am collaborating on a song with Henriques Pirai a Brazilian to release an extended version of a new jazz mix, which we are calling “When Brazil met Italia via Africa”. I will be writing and singing and he will be producing. This should be out sometime this year. I am also doing a side project with Enzo Ponzon, an Italian producer and Carmelo Di Grande, a keyboard player. Then I am hoping to record with a couple of tropical artists in South America.

Links to some of Marion Cherry’s work: • Contact ganeshmilano@gmail.com • A songs by Marlon https://soundcloud.com/marloncherry • I sing and write for an Italian Band here https://soundcloud.com/ganeshmusik • Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ganesh/197760770241960 • My recording from Brazil https://soundcloud.com/henrique-pira/rio-de-janeiro-blues-feat-marlon-cherry-soundcloud-vocal-mix • U.S.A interviews here too https://soundcloud.com/ganeshmusik/sets/u-s-a-and-italia-intervista and here in Maryland, U.S.A https://soundcloud.com/ganesh-intervista/wdgp-radio-washington-d-c • Our Music from Sicily is Nujazz and we have performed for Bruce Willis, Colonel Gadaffi and Flavio Briatorri and a few others in Sardinia for Mtv Europe!!! 34

B-Me VOICES

I am from a family of musicians. My sister, Kerry Lee-Cherry is a big name in the South African music industry, where she was once at the top of the charts. She is all over the internet if you check her out.


The Ethnic Minority Association of Norfolk in Great Yarmouth annual diversity event celebrated 13th September 2014. There was a display of several musical and dance groups including masquerade dancers from West Africa.

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B-Me voices issue4 spring 2015  
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