Yarl’s Wood

Reflecting on visiting immigration detention centres

How has visiting people in immigration detention changed over the last 10 years? Ali McGinley, Director of the Association of Visitors to Immigration Detention (AVID), looks back at the lasting significance of face-to-face support detention visitors offer and considers what the future might hold for detention visiting. Ali tweets at @McGinleyAM. One of the many distressing aspects of detention is having [...]

2019-11-26T13:07:49+00:00 November 26th, 2019|

Yarl’s Wood and the anti-detention movement: challenging perceptions at the grassroots

When we think of immigration detention, we tend to focus on immigration detention centres, what happens inside them and groups working directly and exclusively on immigration detention. But perhaps, this is changing. More people are waking up to the connection between immigration detention and the shadow of the Hostile Environment they see in their communities. Catherine Hurley (@hurleycat38) reports on a [...]

2019-11-15T13:03:27+00:00 November 25th, 2019|

My detention clothes

Safiyyah (not her real name) has lived in the UK with her family over ten years. She explains how she was suddenly detained with her sister at a reporting centre, then taken to Sahara Unit in Harmondsworth detention centre and later to Yarls Wood detention centre. My orange dress with a black cardigan are my detention clothes – I was wearing [...]

2019-11-11T13:14:10+00:00 November 13th, 2019|

Your guide to #Unlocked18

#Unlocked18 marked the 5th year of Unlocking Detention, our virtual 'tour' of the UK's immigration detention estate. Whether you followed the tour from the beginning or you're just joining us now, we hope you find something to whet your appetite for learning more about detention and how to challenge it. Here's a guide to the contributions featured in #Unlocked18, with highlights [...]

2019-04-16T10:15:06+01:00 January 7th, 2019|

Week 4: #Unlocked18 visits Yarl’s Wood

From the 12th - 18th November, #Unlocked18 visited Yarl's Wood IRC in Bedford. It was a packed week, with new content every day alongside new graphics and illustrations. Also this week, Sanctuary in Parliament took place, JRS and the Detention Forum presented Dame Caroline Spelman MP with a Detention Forum Champion Award, the #TheseWallsMustFall campaign launched in Bristol, and we released another segment of [...]

2019-04-16T13:11:54+01:00 November 22nd, 2018|

Eight times in detention: Why?

This contribution is a collaboration between women detained in Yarl’s Wood detention centre and the Yarl’s Wood Befrienders. These words and images were produced at one of the weekly 'drop in' sessions held by Yarl's Wood Befrienders. Drop in is a space where women detained at Yarl's Wood can come and hang out with befrienders. We have tea, coffee and biscuits [...]

2019-04-16T13:26:27+01:00 November 17th, 2018|

“Every day, they used to walk in and pick somebody”: Living with the uncertainty of detention and removal

Content warning: suicide and self-harm. Image by @Carcazan This contribution comes from Bristol Free Voice, a citizen journalism project facilitating a safe platform for media for refugees and asylum seekers, to challenge the dehumanising narrative often seen in the mainstream media. In one of our recordings, a woman speaks of her experience of detention. We follow her from reporting at the police [...]

2019-04-16T13:28:15+01:00 November 16th, 2018|

Snow: Visiting in Yarl’s Wood

Image by Vee Travers, a volunteer with the Yarl's Wood Befrienders This piece is written by Ali Brumfitt about their experience visiting as a volunteer befriender for Yarl’s Wood Befrienders (YWB). Ali now works part time as volunteer coordinator for YWB. In February I woke up one morning to find it had snowed heavily overnight. The wind had blown the snow [...]

2019-04-16T13:29:31+01:00 November 15th, 2018|

“For me, Yarl’s Wood was another torture”

Image by @Carcazan. Content warning: rape, self-harm, suicide This piece comes from Gabby (not her real name), an activist campaigning against immigration detention in the UK. She was detained in Yarl’s Wood twice in 2017 before being released to continue her asylum claim within the community. She is now an active member of Women for Refugee Women’s network, regularly performing her [...]

2019-04-16T13:30:59+01:00 November 14th, 2018|

Resisting state violence: The Yarl’s Wood hunger strike

Image by @Carcazan This blog comes from Fidelis Chebe, Project Director at Migrant Action. Migrant Action is a small organisation based in Leeds providing information, guidance, advocacy support and direct practical assistance to migrants who do not fit into ‘neat’ categories of migration, including those who have been detained or are at risk of detention. In February 2018, 120 people detained at [...]

2019-04-18T08:44:48+01:00 November 13th, 2018|
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