Colnbrook

Hidden in plain sight: Working with trafficked people in detention

Content warning: torture This blog comes from Beatrice Grasso, Detention Outreach Manager with JRS UK, who recently published a report on the indefinite detention of trafficking survivors. While JRS’s research draws on case studies from Harmondsworth and Colnbrook immigration removal centres (IRCs), this issue affects people detained across the UK. The campaign #DucMakesGlasgow highlighted the plight of Duc, a trafficking survivor [...]

2018-12-09T17:09:07+00:00 December 13th, 2018|

Week 6: #Unlocked18 visits Harmondsworth and Colnbrook

From the 26 November - 2 December, Unlocking Detention visited Colnbrook and Harmondsworth, the two detention centres next to Heathrow Airport. Here, a few hundred metres from the runway, well over 1,000 people can be detained indefinitely. As well as six new blogs, this week we had a double Q&A with two people in Harmondsworth, DAK and Seed (not their real names), [...]

2018-12-06T18:37:43+00:00 December 6th, 2018|

“We are not outsiders, we are one of your own”: Hearing Voices peer support groups in detention

Content warning: hearing voices, mental distress. Image by @Carcazan. On 21 November, the Freed Voices group invited Akiko Hart, the project manager of the Hearing Voices project at Mind in Camden, to their November monthly meeting. Akiko and Freed Voices members Mishka and Red have contributed some thoughts about this meeting. I am Akiko Hart. I work as the Hearing Voices [...]

2018-11-27T14:36:51+00:00 November 30th, 2018|

“Allowing people to see what might be possible”: Volunteering in detention

Content warning: torture, rape. Image by @Carcazan. This two-part blog features reflections from two volunteers with JRS UK, who support people detained in Harmondsworth and Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs), The first comes from Cashel Riordan, a counsellor and volunteer. Recently, I started reflecting on my counselling work, and was particularly struck by the difference between my private clients and those [...]

2018-11-26T10:26:17+00:00 November 28th, 2018|

“I regularly speak to people who are in absolute despair”

Content warning: torture, trafficking. Image by @Carcazan In the second of a two-part series from Detention Action, volunteer Mary-Ann talks about what she’s learnt from supporting people detained in Harmondsworth and Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs).  Volunteering for Detention Action has very much opened my eyes to the UK’s hostile immigration environment and its immigration detention centres. I came to Detention [...]

2018-11-22T09:25:12+00:00 November 26th, 2018|

“We both hoped there wouldn’t be a next visit”: The paradox of visiting detention

Image by @Carcazan In the first of a two-part series from Detention Action, volunteer Anthony talks about his time visiting people detained in Harmondsworth and Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs), near Heathrow airport.  I remember feeling particularly nervous about making my first call. I had no idea what to expect from the person on the other end of the line. I [...]

2018-11-22T08:59:12+00:00 November 26th, 2018|

‘When I become untamed’: Reflections on life in detention

Trigger warning: references to death This poem was written and recorded by Red*, a member of the Freed Voices. The Freed Voices are a group of experts-by-experience, people with lived experience of immigration detention who are committed to speaking out about the realities of immigration detention in the UK. Between them, they have lost over 20 years to detention. Here, Red [...]

2018-10-25T12:45:34+00:00 October 23rd, 2018|

Week 7: #Unlocked17 visits Harmondsworth and Colnbrook

The seventh week of #Unlocked17 focused on Harmondsworth and Colnbrook: two detention centres alongside one another, a stone's throw from the runway at Heathrow airport. Around 1,000 migrants are detained across these two sites. Harmondsworth alone has space for up to 661 men - making it the largest detention centre in Europe (yet another shameful record the UK holds, alongside being [...]

2018-10-23T14:15:56+00:00 December 5th, 2017|

Mapping detention

At Unlocking Detention, we occasionally receive emails from people, including those who say they are journalists, asking us to let them join the “tour”. These requests stem from misunderstanding: some assume we are organizing physical, guided tours of the inside of these immigration detention centres, while we are actually running a “virtual” tour unearthing facts and voices from these centres. While [...]

2018-10-23T14:38:57+00:00 December 4th, 2017|

The Importance of Being With

Beatrice Grasso is Detention Outreach Manager at Jesuit Refugee Service UK where, with volunteers, she supports many detained in Harmondsworth and Colnbrook detention centres. In this blog, she explains how their mission “Accompany, Serve and Advocate” informs and shapes their work in these detention centres, ‘places most people don’t even realise exist’. Imagine being taken away from home in the middle [...]

2018-10-23T14:44:23+00:00 November 30th, 2017|
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