On Saturday 19 May, Councillor Ruth Pickersgill – one of Easton’s local Labour councillors – was awarded the Bristol Community FM (BCfm) diverse politician of the year award for her work supporting refugees and migrants in our city.

Councillor Pickersgill worked in the field of equality, diversity and inclusion throughout her professional career, for which she was awarded an MBE in 2013, and has continued to champion these issues in her councillor role – both in her ward and for the Labour Group and also through her voluntary work in the sector. She has been able to highlight issues facing refugees and asylum seekers both through her local casework, but also in her role chairing the Inclusive Cities Taskforce and representing the party on the City of Sanctuary Committee.

Councillor Pickersgill led efforts to see Labour’s councillors become the first political party in the city to sign up to Bristol City of Sanctuary’s Dignity Not Destitution pledge earlier this year.

Ruth said:

“I was honoured to be given this award by BCfm as they do such great work in the community, and was sorry I was unable to attend the celebration event which gives so much coverage for so many fantastic nominees.

As the Government’s determination to create a hostile environment is gradually being exposed, I will continue to do all I can to prevent our community members being forced into detention or destitution due to the bureaucratic and unjust immigration system. I will continue working hard for refugees and migrants in Easton and across Bristol, with the support of fellow nominees such as Bristol’s Deputy Mayor Asher Craig and local MP Thangam Debbonaire, who is championing these issues in the House of Commons .”

 

Notes to Editor

At the time of the City of Sanctuary pledge signing, Forward Maisokwadzo (Media and Communications Officer, City of Sanctuary) said:

“We welcome the support of the Labour group of Councillors for signing up to our Dignity Not Destitution campaign. We hope others will follow suit, as we build a movement across the city calling for an end to the inhumane policy of forced destitution. The campaign also serves to remind the public about Bristol’s proud history of providing welcome and safety to those fleeing persecution, war and violence.”

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