May 2018 Newsletter
Newcastle PCN Report
We were very privileged at our April meeting to hear the story of Ali, originally a Rwandan refugee, who is now a support worker and British citizen. He came to tell us about the work of the West End Refugee Service (WERS) based in Newcastle. The Service works with the asylum seekers and refugees who are sent to Newcastle once they arrive in the UK. As a PCN group we have been considering social issues in the N.E. and this meeting should have informed us about the work of WERS. Instead we heard the story of one man and his family and what had happened to make him arrive at the UK border. We speak a lot about narratives and we heard a narrative that moved us all to consider what it must be like to be caught up in a time of genocide. We heard of flight into nearby countries, and the butchery of many of Ali’s family, of long journeys, of arriving here with nothing. Ali is educated as a lawyer and his family had lands and houses. He is articulate and told us his story in graphic detail. We didn’t hear about the work of WERS but I think we were privy to an amazing and eye-opening tale.
In the last edition I reported that we were setting up a group bank account. We have now done this through Lloyd’s bank and have a Treasurers Account, suitable for small groups. All you need is three people to sign the cheques. Of course now we have to be a ‘proper’ group with an AGM. I hate administration, but now we have a great treasurer and running a group with a tin for the petty cash is over!
Pat Fuller, May 8th 2018