Harmondsworth

“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 I [...]

2019-04-16T12:53:45+01:00 November 28th, 2018|

Three years after Moroccan Jew’s death in detention, why no inquest?

Content warning: suicide, death. Image by @Carcazan This piece comes from Hannah Swirsky, Campaigns Officer at René Cassin. It was originally published on Jewish News. Immigration detention has again reached national news after a recent Guardian investigation into those detained in the UK found that “more than half of the sample were either suicidal, seriously ill or victims of torture”. According to the [...]

2019-04-16T12:57:29+01:00 November 27th, 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 Action [...]

2019-04-16T13:01:00+01:00 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 was [...]

2019-04-16T13:03:07+01:00 November 26th, 2018|

“Immigrants emigrate, hopeful anticipate”

Image by @Carcazan This contribution to #Unlocked18 comes from Ralph, who got in touch via Twitter. Ralph was detained for a total of 14 months in two prisons and a detention centre. Ralph tweets as @RO2tm I was detained on two separate occasions. First was after serving a 10 month custodial sentence. The home office detained me for another 8 months. This [...]

2019-04-18T08:46:50+01:00 November 9th, 2018|

Depicting wisdom: Drawings from detention

Trigger warning: suicide and self-harm Like Red, whose poem we published earlier this week, Mishka is a member of the Freed Voices, a group of experts-by-experience who are committed to speaking out about the realities of immigration detention in the UK. In this blog, Mishka talks about the following images he drew based on his time in immigration detention. Mishka writes [...]

2019-05-28T11:35:46+01:00 October 25th, 2018|

The guide to #Unlocked17 blogs is here!

We have listed all the blogs that were published during #Unlocked17 on this webpage for easy reference. Did you have any particular favourite? If so, let us know!

2019-04-22T11:12:03+01:00 January 9th, 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 [...]

2019-04-22T13:24:23+01:00 December 5th, 2017|

Mapping detention

Images courtesy of Freed Voices 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 [...]

2019-05-28T11:27:52+01:00 December 4th, 2017|

The importance of being with

Image courtesy of @Manchestermisol 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 [...]

2019-05-28T11:34:41+01:00 November 30th, 2017|
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