HMIP congratulated Tinsley House ‘one of the best centres we have inspected’ and wrote that ‘detainee feedback on staff was exceptional’. ‘The Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group provided very good support to detainees’.
Of interest to visitors,…‘rules in the visits hall should be less restrictive and should be applied more consistently’ (item 4.10). Some concerns reported by detainees to GDWG were addressed including ‘routine handcuffing for external appointments’. The Report noted ‘referrals and assessments in relation to whether detainees’ mental health or physical health could be adversely affected by detention should be consistent and multidisciplinary’ (2.90), and that there are ‘significant shortcomings in mental health provision’.
This was the follow-up inspection of Tinsley House IRC (8 – 11 October 2012) by HMIP published on 27 February 2013. Report is available here.
Following a Christmas card design competition held in association with the art class in Tinsley House, we have two designs of Christmas cards on sale from the office in packs of ten.
The ‘ChristmasTree’ design pictured here contains the words ‘Wishing you a Merry Christmas’ and the second design features the word ‘Peace’ and a dove on a blue background with the words ‘Wishing you Peace at Christmas’ inside the card.
These packs of cards cost just £3.50. Email email@example.com if you would like to reserve some for collection. We send Christmas wishes to all our supporters and volunteers.
Following on from Parliament Week 19-25 November which encouraged young people to take an interest in the parliamentary process, we thank Lord and Lady Dholakia for hosting one of our young supporters. He took a copy of our report ‘A Prison in the Mind’ to share in the House of Lords.
Our young ambassador was able to sit in the Chamber during Questions and enjoyed a tour learning about the history and traditions of the House of Lords. He left a copy of ‘A Prison in the Mind’ with Lord Dholakia and took away fascinating insights to share at his school through the school magazine. Thanks to our Patron for the welcome and interest.
The Mayor and Mayoress of Crawley, Councillor Keith Blake and Councillor Sally Blake, came to ‘The Orchard’ yesterday for lunch with GDWG volunteers and an ex-detainee who described life in Brook House from his own experience. This was followed by their first visit to a detainee in Brook House where they learned first-hand about A’s journey from Eritrea and his forthcoming removal directions to Italy this week. The Mayor and Mayoress expressed interest in the work GDWG is doing and asked us to pass on congratulations to our volunteers on all their visits which we are delighted to do! Thanks to the volunteers who prepared the lunch and hosted our guests.
‘A prison in the mind’ looks at the effects that long-term detention has had on a small sample of detainees held at Brook House IRC. Through interviews with both detainees and GDWG visitors, the study comes to the conclusion that while detention has a negative effect on detainees’ mental state, it may be inappropriate to label these symptoms as mental health problems, and instead could be seen as a normal reaction to the circumstances that long-term detainees find themselves in. The report makes a series of recommendations on the subject, primarily that those with diagnosed mental illnesses should never be detained. You can read the full report here.
GDWG congratulates Crawley Black History Foundation on a successful celebration of Black History at the Hawth Theatre on Saturday 13 October. Thanks to Black History for the invitation to join the celebration. GDWG along with Crawley Campaign Against Racism, Mary’s Meals and the Barbados Tourist Office presented their stall to the Mayor of Crawley in the foyer of the theatre. Artwork by Pound Hill Junior School on the GDWG stall on the theme of ‘Showing the Red Card’ to racism brought us new supporters and thanks to everyone in the audience who came to find out about the work that we do. It was a great show in The Hawth theatre with special mention to Ifield Community College Choir and the Chagossian Drummers. Thank you Marilyn!
Date for Your Diary - Thursday June 21st 2012
GDWG report on a survey of their volunteers
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