ASSIST Sheffield

Challenging asylum destitution

Walk for refugees: completed!

Sponsored Walk: Sunday, June 14th, 2015

MAGNA CARTA, 1215-2015 – Celebrate 800 years of progress on Human Rights, Oppose government plans to curtail those rights

What’s this about?

800 years ago, on June 15th 1215 at Runnymede, King John agreed, under pressure from an alliance of feudal barons, to sign the “Great Charter of the Liberties”. It was the first step towards acceptance of human rights and civil liberties as crucial elements of a free society.

Today the government is planning to curtail drastically many of the rights won in the course of the last eight centuries. And nowhere more cruelly than in respect of the rights and access to justice of refugees and asylum seekers.

We walked 12 miles on Sunday June 14th on a circular and beautiful route around Bradfield for two purposes: to mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta, and to raise funds for South Yorkshire Refugee Law and Justice (SYRLJ), based in Sheffield working on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers denied justice by the courts and the Home Office. SYRLJ helps support asylum seekers to progress fresh claims for protection, and to find and communicate with lawyers. They do great work with very committed volunteers.

We completed our walk narrowly escaping a collapsing dry stone wall, not escaping a bog or three … and seeing beautiful views when the rain cleared. You can see some photos below.

Thank you to the lovely walkers who came from Yorkshire, Shrewsbury, Essex and London – showing a kindness and dedication to raising awareness of the need of asylum seekers for legal assistance that has meant so much to SYRLJ. Thank you also to our wonderful support team who turned up with treats when we felt soggy, keeping spirits high.

What does the money go towards?

£10 would pay the cost of obtaining a copy of one asylum seeker’s file, £40 pays for the expenses of the organisation’s volunteers for one week. £3500 pays for the rent of their office space for a year. A little really goes a long way.

Read more about SYRLJ here:

Can I still donate?

Yes! We would be so grateful for any donations to add to the overall fund which is now at least £670. We would love to hit the £1000 mark! You can still sponsor us here:

Thank you to the donors who have already given so generously. Your money will be made to work hard by this tiny charity.

Contact us

Please contact Michael McColgan for further details by e-mail (michaelmccolgan [at] or by telephone (0114 2685721).