Best bit

  • “Quality of information, atmosphere, food, breadth of info, fact that it was free.”
  • “Having comprehensive notes covering the basics plus the references to websites and further reading – a great resource !  I really enjoyed the day and the spread of subjects and expertise.”
  • “Wonderful meeting all the Befrienders and the Medical Justice folk.  Great pamphlet, thank you so much, Emma !”
  • “Mental health and children’s health.”
  • “Use of humour by Marcus – laughing helps to make these “desperate” subjects less daunting.”
  • “The best bit of the training was the explanation about children in detention and also about HIV.”
  • “Deteriorating Health, Pregnancy, HIV, also Mental Health.”
  • “Excellent presentations all round but I particularly like Alex for his clarity and the nurse for his presentations.  Meeting people who had previously just been emails !”
  • Difficult to pick one. Legal process, Access to hospitals and Conditions in hospital, Hunger-strikes, Children in detention.”
  • “”Putting faces” to so many people with whom I have worked by telephone, etc.  This is, in itself, supportive and inspiring.  Clarifications on Rule 35, about which I was confused.”
  • “All extremely interesting, informative and helpful.  Very much appreciated, too, the wonderful hospitality, giving chance for personal interactions and chats.”
  • “Information on practical support, assault and legal info.”
  • “Every bit was the best”
  • “Medical Justice parts.”
  • “Speakers – all of them. General welcome and friendliness.  Food was excellent.  Meeting people from different aspects of asylum work.”
  • “Hungerstrikes, Healthcare, Torture.  Having access to so many people with such expertise !”
  • “Enjoyed all sections.  Excellent delivery and use of humour when appropriate.  Quality of the speakers – very professional.”
  • “Mental Health – Prof. Katona.”
  • “Sections on “what befrienders can do to help” – useful, practical info.  Handbook for later referral. Other befrienders experiences”.
  • “All parts were helpful and inevitably have to be part of any training … it is always very helpful to go into more depth about issues such as pregnancy, HIV, unaccompanied minors, etc.  In the handbook – Children in detention + Mental Health.  Handbook in general is excellent, many resources in there.”

Worst bit

  • “A lot of info – I reached my personal limit but that’s not a criticism of the day – it gave a taster of the broad range of knowledge and expertise needed to work with this people group.”
  • “N/A”
  • “Not enough time for questions.”
  • “It was all pretty good.”
  • I felt it was a bit rushed in places.  Perhaps don’t try to fit so much in one day ?”
  • “There were no bad bits.”
  • “No bad bits.”
  • “All interesting.”
  • “The chairs at the back !  Sometimes slightly difficult to hear questions, not the speakers.”
  •  “Gender based persecution needs more detail and country-specific information ; it is probably a fairly academic area of research but it is crucial to train people on the issues involved, especially when visiting Yarl’s Wood ; there are many guidelines as well that need to be taken into consideration for the legal situation, e.g.”
  • “Children – but only because our group does not work with children.”
  • “I find the legal aspect difficult (that’s me, not the speaker).  Rather packed.”
  • “Rape as not enough time to adequately discuss.”
  • “None (sorry can’t think of any !)”

Questions you would like to have been covered

  • “More on legal issues.”
  • More detail, e.g. European Returns Directive and up to date policies, cases, etc.”
  • “Shame for missed out bit on trafficking as several of “my” detainees were probably trafficked in and I didn’t know how this might affect their asylum situation.”
  • “Do detainees enjoy healthy balanced diets ?”
  • “”Victim individuals”.  Much more time on the cultural / religious (?) and psychological reasons for oppression”
  • “To my knowledge there are many Chinese asylum seekers in Yarl’s Wood.  They were never visited.  How are their needs catered for ?”
  • “To hear about any Yarl’s Wood detainees after they leave detention.”

Suggestions for our next training day

  • “Perhaps advice about using political pressure.”
    “Need to keep on time.  I had to leave well before the actual end because of over-run.”
    “Post- release relationships with former detainees.  Doing the right thing by new detainees.”
    “How to find the blockages in the system and tackle these (e.g. in the home office refusal to implement NHS standards for children’s immunisation).”
    Fewer topics – more time spent on each.”
    “Thank You !”
    “I would like updates on the legal issues.”
    “It is always hard to strike a balance between the general introduction and having specific information and the balance today was a good one ; maybe some more detail and “burning issues” and changes for people who have been involved previously would be good.” 

Further info on the training day