On the 19th June 2013, as part of the Refugee Week celebrations in Bradford, around 60 BEACON staff, volunteers, supporters and friends gathered in Centenary Square to begin our fourth annual Walk for Justice.
We were joined by the Lord Mayor, who came down to speak about the plight of those seeking asylum in Bradford and to wish us well as we set off on our way to Waterside Court Home Office Reporting Centre. Waterside Court is the final point of our walk and a destination familiar to many asylum seekers who have to report their on a regular basis; those who have had their claims refused have no access to funds and are forced to make the 10mile journey on foot. The Walk for Justice aims to highlight the reality of refused asylum seekers who are ultimately forced into destitution.
We left a very sunny Centenary Square, giving out information postcards as we walked, and headed towards Thornbury Methodist Church. At Thornbury we were greeted by the renowned hospitality of our CHAT Volunteers who provided well-earned coffee, tea and toast to our walkers. Making our way through the woods and along the canal we enjoyed a picnic lunch before walking the second half of the route and finally reaching Waterside about 4.30pm. By chance, a staff member from Waterside Court was outside and we managed to give him a postcard explaining what we were doing and it was very encouraging that he remembered us from previous years!
It was a great day for friends, for conversation and for raising awareness of the realities of those fleeing persecution in their country and looking for safety in the UK.
Thank-you to all those who joined us to walk in solidarity with those seeking asylum in Bradford and for all your continued support.