We are proud that Pauline Hawkes has been honoured with the Champion Award for the work she has persevered and achieved with Phoenix Community Care. The award was presented at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the Southbank at the Women on the Move Awards 2015. This an annual event recognises and celebrates inspirational leadership and contribution from migrant and refugee women to UK society. These awards often go strictly to migrant and refugee women but Women on the Move wanted to champion the work of Pauline Hawkes and the work she does with many asylum seekers and refugees.
Pauline, a few of the PCC staff and ex-clients really enjoyed the event and the pride of people acknowledging the work of PCC. This was not only a proud moment but a humbling experience to see how other women like Sonia Khoury (Woman of the Year), Chrisaan Jarret (Young woman of the year) and Asthma Mohammed Ali (Special Jury Award) all have faced their issues and predicaments with creating a better life for the people in their communities.
The moving personal stories kept on coming, as well as many of the headlines highlighting the injustices refugees face. We also heard how many migrant women standing up for the people in these situations and how they have tackled the injustices they face. The tears flowed and amongst the audience many raised their fists in solidarity.
The last story we were left with is the dated, sometimes privately owned, injustice of detention centres. As Kate Mounce pronounced on Facebook after the evening
” I was also reminded of the fact that the UK still detains asylum seekers in places like Yarl’s Wood. 30,000 people are being detained at the moment and many are suffering the kind of abuse and violence that they left their country for in the first place. A government report has concluded that our current detention centres are inhumane and ineffective. So far the leaders of our 3 major political parties have agreed with this conclusion. We can help whichever government we have next to act on these findings. If you’ve never written to your MP before – I haven’t – write them a letter in biro or pencil to complain about our treatment of those seeking asylum and the detention centres. #letsgetpolitical “
Here is a quick clip recently on this issue from channel 4.
Plenty of food for thought but to leave you here is the award speech from Pauline Hawkes at the event.