Leicester City of Sanctuary held its AGM on Saturday 9th May, 2015 at St Martins House.
Coordinator Pam Inder gave a summary of the generally successful year, when the charity had continued all its projects and responded well to growing numbers at the weekly drop-in. Numbers of asylum seekers in Leicester had nearly doubled and were now around 1,000 and we had outgrown the accommodation in St Martins House. New premises have been found, so we expect to continue meeting over 100 asylum seekers each week and sharing a hot meal and social activities as well as continued advocacy and support. The IT , sewing and craft activities would continue on Thursday afternoons at St Martins House.
We were also informed of the new LGBT project, Pride without Borders, which had already supported three gay asylum seekers to refugee status. Pam thanked all the volunteers who had ensured the successful continuation of all the projects, which could not be sustained without the hard work and commitment of dozens of people. She also spoke eloquently of the bravery and courage of asylum seekers who had stood up for what they believed in, suffered unduly because of it and still had the resilience to contribute to the benefit of others.
The Treasurer Sabina Agayev provided the accounts which are sound and she was thanked for her hard work. Pam then stood down after 4 years hard work coordinating City of Sanctuary and Mick Walker was elected new Coordinator unopposed.
We also elected a new Board of Trustees, which includes two refugees and agreed to change our status from charity to an incorporated association. Outgoing chair of Trustees, Bushra Ali provided an interesting and impassioned keynote speech providing examples of how the asylum process lets down people fleeing their homelands for safety and how many barriers have been erected to justice, by changes in regulations.