Jon Beech

Leeds

In December 2013, I became the Director of Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network - an amazing charity whose volunteers help people seeking refuge in Leeds to be supported, empowered and integrated by making friends, finding somewhere to stay, learning English,and finding work.

We also maintain a directory of local asylum and refugee services and produce a newsletter/website for local volunteers/activists.

Here's a summary of what 2020/21 has been like at LASSN.

I also Chair the Leeds Migration Partnership, which brings together statutory and voluntary orgs to think and act strategically about migration, and Solidaritech - a not-for-profit that recycles portable tech that we give away to refugees and other migrants.

Before moving to LASSN, I managed some community, advocacy and therapeutic services for Touchstone in Leeds and helped to get Healthwatch Leeds up and running. And before that, I worked alongside people who were homeless and had difficulties with their mental health for Shelter, Crisis, Mind and a Local Authority.

I'm happiest (and at my best) when I'm helping people work out how to sort things out for themselves, and how to increase their resources by sharing them.

I've a particular interest in the way people understand and negotiate their relationships with services and the state - in particular people with mental health problems and people from migrant communities.