About Us

LOSRAS – Who are we?

The organisation was founded in 2002 to raise awareness of issues faced by people seeking asylum here, to link up with key national campaigns promoting refugee rights, and to respond to local issues as they arise.

These aims continue to shape what we do.

LOSRAS is a charity run by a committee of trustees drawn from the wider membership of the organisation.  Most of our members live in the Lewes District of East Sussex. The membership extends to those individuals and affiliated organisations who support our aims. Members help in the development of our policy, support our campaigning work, and many volunteer in local work with the refugee and migrant communities.

We welcome new members.

What we do

LOSRAS aims to promote the welfare of refugees and asylum seekers in and beyond the Lewes District by raising awareness, campaigning, responding to local issues and providing support locally.

Raising Awareness

LOSRAS tries to counter some of the misinformation about refugees. We publicise accurate, factual information, give a platform to national and other local organisations, and to people with lived experience.

We provide information about the refugee experience and the impact of the hostile environment.

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CAMPAIGNING

LOSRAS links up with key national campaigns supporting refugee rights, and works with local organisations promoting similar aims.

Currently we are actively engaged in supporting the right for asylum seekers to work; the campaign for a safe passage to the UK, especially for unaccompanied children to be admitted to join family members; and the campaign to end the use of indefinite detention of migrants. We campaign against the policy of banishing asylum seekers to Rwanda and are part of a broad-based alliance of organisations opposed to the criminalisation of asylum seekers.

Providing Local Support

LOSRAS actively supports the Homes for Ukraine initiative locally as well as other resettlement programmes. We provide ESOL and other support to refugees and asylum seekers in the district, including subject-based tutoring for school children. Through our links with other relevant local statutory and non-statutory bodies, we are able to signpost people to help with negotiating housing, benefits, health care, etc. We also run a visitors project to support foreign national prisoners detained at HMP Lewes.

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our Wider network

We collaborate with:
Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group

Refugee Tales

The Launchpad Collective

East Sussex College

Lewes for Ukraine

Seaford for Ukraine

Hummingbird

Voices in Exile

Refugee Radio

Migrant English Project

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Sussex Community Development Association

Eastbourne Networx

Hastings Buddy Project

Association of Visitors to Immigration Detainees

Sussex University Migration Law Clinic

We are supported by:

Many local organisations have generously supported our work: Lewes Castle Learning Team; Lewes Society of Friends; Christ Church; Depot Cinema; Linklater Pavilion (Lewes Railway Land Wildlife Trust); Michael Bell Website Design; Lewes Fund; Chalk Hill Trust; and statutory bodies – Lewes Town Council, Lewes District Council and East Sussex County Council.

LOSRAS Timeline

LOSRAS celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2022. This timeline chronicles the political events affecting refugees and people seeking asylum during the last 20 years. It illustrates some of our campaign responses, local support work, key meetings, events and collaborations. Click to enlarge the image.