I was delighted to be invited back for a return visit to Bridge Plus +. This volunteer organisation supports asylum seekers and Black/Asian and ethnic minorities (BME) by providing specialised advice and social gatherings.
It was heartwarming to see so many volunteers quietly chatting with all those seeking information and enjoying an excellent lunch. Sadly it was heart-wrenching to hear the tribulations that many of these people had endured before arriving in Norwich and to a safe environment.
A Congolese woman told us how she had been viciously treated but has now been here for 10 years with the support of David Walker, a former sheriff of Norwich. Another pair from Iran told me the personal story of their flight from Iran, through Turkey, to Italy by boat, which traumatically was with dying and dead people. Eventually, they managed to get to Calais and another boat. They are safe here but the story does not end there; they still need support and good accommodation.
I also met the Humarau family from Turkey. I was delighted to be reminded that my team had successfully helped them gain permanent residence in the UK.
There is still so much work to be done to help people seeking asylum in Norwich. I keep making a case for that nationally. My constituency team in Norwich continues to give assistance wherever we can.