Refugees Asylum Seekers in Lancaster (RAIL)

Lived Experience

People with experience of the asylum and immigration system, of being a refugee, making a new life in Lancaster, learning English, finding work, accessing education

Purpose of the Group

1- To access funding for activities for asylum seekers and refugees
2- To plan events, for example, Refugee Week & other Events
3- To engage in consultations on relevant issues
4- To campaign for asylum seeker and refugee human rights
5- To campaign for better access to services, for example, dentists

Membership & Representation

One group felt that ‘if you leave the door open it is better’, so that membership should be open to any asylum seeker or refugee in Lancaster, and that it should be self-selecting, in that those who are interested can join the group, and perhaps dip in and out, depending on the focus of the group at the time. But it was felt that sufficient English should be an essential criteria as there wasn’t time to translate.

The other group emphasised the need for gender balance, and equal representation from different parts of the world. And that the group should work towards a Memorandum of Understanding and role descriptions for members of the group.

It was agreed that the group would come back to this discussion after the digital storytelling workshops and the campaign against the New Plan for Immigration

Membership & Representation

It was agreed that the group would continue to use the whatsapp groups to get feedback on activities, or to choose, for example, activities to apply for funding for, but that all these whatsapp messages should be translated to ensure wider representation.

Individuals can also consult with others in the wider community, and the group might use (translated) questionnaires, where appropriate.

When the Lunch Drop in restarts, it was agreed that would be a good place to ensure wider representation and consultation

Campaigning ideas against the New Plan for Immigration

Arrange meeting with David Morris MP, ideally with someone like Bayan, to illustrate why it is important to stop the new bill
Sharing positive stories / images of asylum seekers and refugees’ contribution to the UK, how ASR ‘give back’ to the local community, and how people ‘start from zero’
Wide sharing of petitions

Meeting Agenda June 15th, 2021

1. Title of Lived Experience group 1 – 1.30 pm
2. How does the Lived Experience group communicate with the wider community? 1.30 – 1.45
3. Next steps in campaigning against the Government’s New Plan for Immigration 1.45 – 2.15
4. Planning the social activities eg Children’s Activities, Beauty Shop, BoB, Refugee Week (the Refugee Week party planned for June 27th will have to be delayed until August because the Government is NOT lifting the restrictions on June 21st).

The name we decided on for the group is in red

The title needs to be short, clear, attractive…unique to Lancaster

Lancaster Asylum Seeker Refugee Group Experiences (LARGE)

Refugees Asylum Seekers in Lancaster (RAIL)

Refugees Asylum Seekers In Survival Experiences (RAISE)
Lancaster Asylum Seeker Refugee Lived Experience (LARLE)
Refugee Asylum Seeker Lived Experience Group (RALEG)
Asylum seeker Refugees from Lancaster (ARFL)
Lancaster Asylum seeker and refugees (Lasar)
Experienced Asylum seeker refugees Lancaster )(EARL)

How do we communicate what RAIL is doing with the wider community and how do we feed in issues from the wider community?

There was a discussion about engaging people from the wider community and an acknowledgement that face to face engagement eg at Lunch Drop ins or Football is the most effective, and that there are limitations with whatsapp and with facebook.
It was agreed that this powerpoint will be a live ongoing ‘record’ of the discussions at the RAIL lived experience group meetings, and that it will be housed on the website. It was agreed that after the meeting GL would share a short summary of the meeting on the LAS whatsapp groups, which would be translated by the translaters, with a link to the powerpoint on the website for more information

Next steps in campaigning against New Plan for Immigration

Gisela updated on her unsuccessful attempts to engage David Morris MP and that she is encouraging his constituents to lobby him. However, he is refusing even to meet his constituents, ‘due to covid’.
Gisela updated that we will try to use the media to encourage people to write to David Morris – and on June 17th in the Lancaster Guardian online there is a story about Bayan and how the New Plan would have prevented her from achieving Leave to Remain

RAIL Meeting June 22nd

RAIL Employment workshop: how do we find work?

Present were Wael, Zia, Gisela, Natalya, Mohamed, Lukas, Ezra, Millie, Alex, Sahar

Introductions – work we have done; work we are doing now; how did we get that work?

What is the key thing you need to find work?

Post-Brexit post-lockdown opportunities

Things to bear in mind (benefits and work; minimum wage; illegal working)

Social Care

Work in care homes
Supporting people in their homes


Need a Heavy Goods Driver’s Licence and a CPC qualification (one week’s training in the classroom).

Lancaster Training


Need a CSCS Certificate

Hospitality (hotels, restaurants, pubs, cafes)

A Level 2 Food & Hygiene certificate

Delivery (food e.g. Deliveroo Rider, Uber Eats Driver, Just Eat Courier)

Anyone can apply to work as a Delivery Partner (self-employed) using Bicycle, Scooter, Car, Electric Bicycle. Work hours and area can be decided by the driver. But if they do not receive any orders they will not be paid. Deliveroo offer incentives sometimes.

Bicycle and Electric Bicycle do not require delivery insurance.
Car will require a Full Driving license and Hire and Reward Insurance (food and parcel delivery) – expensive
Scooter can be driven with L plate which means it will require Provisional License and Hire and Reward Insurance – Expensive
Most food delivery companies will provide personal insurance for bicycle riders on the road and car and scooter driver only when they are on foot (picking up food from restaurant or delivering to customer home).
Deliveroo favours Scooter rider over Car and Bicycle, meaning they will send delivery request to them first. If there are no scooter riders they will send the requests to car drivers first. Bicycle riders are last to receive delivery requests.
Just Eat require prior delivery block reservation. Meaning delivery drivers will not be able to deliver whenever they feel like it. They have to schedule their blocks one week in advance. Though sometimes they will open Free Runs, which are delivery blocks open for first come first serve when they have only few drivers working and they need more. A block can be 2 hours or more.
All companies require insulated bags to be used when delivering food. Drivers can choose to buy branded bags at a discount price or none branded. Only Just Eat will require either Just Eat bag or none branded bag prior to working for them (photo of the bag is required). Deliveroo and Uber Eats do not require none branded bags so you can inform them that you have a bag and they won’t ask anymore questions.
Signing up as a Delivery Partner can be long and tedious process. The main point is choosing a delivery area when signing up. If you sign up and choose an area with too many drivers you will be put in a long waiting list without hope for moving forward. Best option is open multiple accounts with multiple emails and apply for delivering in different cities.
Deliveroo allow drivers to work anywhere in the UK
Uber Eats allow drivers to work anywhere in the region they signed up for (North West, North East, etc.)
Just Eat will restrict the driver to the city they applied to work in. Therefore if one cannot apply to work nearby, it is better to not apply at all.
Process start with filling up a form. Successful candidates will be contacted by a private company to run basic DBS check (will not be paid by the driver) then they might require an onboarding meeting.
Delivering Alcohol and Cigarettes require the checking of customer ID. And contrary to popular belief, delivery drivers are required to deliver to door, meaning taking the stairs or lifts to deliver to flats not just to the door of the building, unless the customer said they will be coming out.
Fees and payment: When an order is sent to the driver using Deliveroo or Just Eat, the Pickup and Customer locations + Delivery Fees will be shown to the driver prior to accepting the order. Uber Eats will only show Pickup location and Fee Boost if there is any. Customer address will only be shown after picking up the food, which make delivering for Uber Eats on a bicycle a headache (Pick up can be from Lancaster and delivery can be in Morecambe or Halton). Payments are made weekly with a bank transfer to the driver’s bank account, usually between Monday – Wednesday.
When delivering for privately for restaurants, the driver approaches multiple restaurants asking for delivery job. They will be paid an hourly fee plus a small fee for each delivery completed. The driver will have to apply for Hire and Reward insurance. Bags are the property of the restaurant. Depending on how busy the restaurant is, it might provide a better option than the food delivery companies, but this is not always the case. Payment can be agreed to be bank transfer, cash or both, daily, weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly.

Parcel Delivery (Amazon and Hermes)

Both have pros and cons.
Hisham advises against Amazon because the nearest pickup depot is in Leyland and delivery locations can be in Manchester. Going to the Amazon Depot and returning home from the last drop will not be compensated for. Going to the depot can take between ~40 – 60 minutes. Returning can take anything from 20 minutes to 2 hours.
Nothing known yet about Hermes.

Minimum Wage