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Judicial Review – How did it go? #WhereIsTheInterpreter

Today is the day that a Deaf campaigners take Government to court over BSL access to Covid briefings.

Update: Judicial Review at GDA

Judicial Review – Morning update: Reg Cobb interview Hazma Shaikh.

Judicial Review – afternoon update with Reg Cobb.

Apologies for the background light.

End of Judicial Review with Reg Cobb, and other deaf BSL users at GDA.

At GDA

Judicial Review: How did it go?

https://royaldeaf.org.uk/whereistheinterpreterjudicialreview/

What is Judicial Review?

Chris Fry, who has led this legal challenge, explains what a Judicial Review is with Helen Caldwell, a BSL/English Interpreter.

Credit to RAD for editing and subtitles

Statement #WhereIsTheInterpreter from RAD

https://royaldeaf.org.uk/whereistheinterpreterjudicialreview/

Yesterday (Wednesday 16 June 2021) RAD, along with dozens of members of the deaf community, attended the Judicial Review hearing of the #WhereIsTheInterpreter campaign (Katherine Rowley v Minister for the Cabinet Office). It was a historic day for deaf people everywhere, and we are incredibly proud to have supported the campaign, and to have provided written evidence in support of the case.

Whilst a verdict has not yet been reached, we would like to congratulate everyone who has been involved in the campaign, and legal case. We really are stronger together!

Regardless of the outcome, we will continue to work tirelessly and collaboratively with others to defend, and promote, the needs and rights of deaf people.

#WhereIsTheInterpreter: Media briefing note: Thank you to RAD for the translation.

https://royaldeaf.org.uk/whereistheinterpreterjudicialreview/

GDA on the Point West News:

GDA on the news! Reg Cobb is featured alongside Lynn Stewart-Taylor, the Deaf Activist leading the Where is the Interpreter campaign. An important day for Deaf people that we were delighted to be part of. Here’s hoping for a positive outcome.

BBC Point West
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#WTI Judicial Review – Important Update!

Judicial review will be on Wednesday 16th June, all day 10.00am – 5.00pm on MS team,  if you want to watch the court hearing you MUST email me to reserve your link.

EMAIL TO:

lynnstewarttaylor@icloud.com

Deadline to register by this Friday 11th June 2021 – 11am.

When you receive the link to join MS team you will get an email from the clerk of the court

(not from me) . They will send out the link just before the court hearing starts, for example if it starts at 10am they will email you the link a few minutes before 10am. 

Please set up your equipment and instal MS team before 10am.

Judicial Review At GDA

Reserve your place at GDA please contact either by text or email.

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#WTI Judicial Day at GDA

Register and secure your place at GDA.

16th June 2021

I thought I’d let you know that we are planning a special day on the 16th of June, to watch the Where Is The Interpreter Judicial Review.


It will be a special day for us, so I thought why don’t we arrange to watch it together?
The wonderful GDA has kindly agreed for us to use their hall so we can watch the proceedings on a big screen. Of course, we have to make sure that we are COVID-secure which means you will have to pre-register to attend.

GDA


So, if you are interested and live around Bristol, Portishead, Gloucester, South Gloucestershire, Worcester, Swansea or any places nearby, why not join us?! If you are interested, please text or email the GDA.

REGISTER

Text: 07875 610860

Email: admin@gda.org.uk

Address: Gloucester Deaf Association, Colin Road, Gloucester, GL4 3JL

BOOK YOUR PLACE!


If you live further out, why not try setting something up in your area? Perhaps you could meet up with friends to watch it online, or try contacting your local deaf club, or maybe even watch it with your colleagues at work!


On that day, we will also have the brilliant Yvonne serving us tea, food and cakes from Yumma Cafe. So again, if you are interested, and want food too, please text the GDA, so Yvonne knows how much to cook!


It will be a splendid treat for our special day – to watch the Judicial Review, catch up with one another and enjoy delicious food. I’m so excited!


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#WhereIsTheInterpreter Judicial Day

It is finally happening on 16th June, and I have a few more details on how we can watch it online.

BSL and Captions

How can you join in?

So, it’s happening on the 16th of June, online only, not in court. This means we have to use their software – Microsoft Teams (MS Teams). You will need to register by email (see the poster).

Please don’t contact Fry Law yourselves, you will have to register with me first to be added to the list.

Email lynnstewarttaylor@icloud.com

This helps to keep everything simple so that we know that everyone who wants to attend, is all on one list and not in different places such as social media, so please email only.

I am aware that some people might not have access to the internet or are not sure how to use it, or simply want to watch with others in support.

Perhaps your local deaf club or organisation has a hall that could be used to organise a special screening?

Contact your local deaf club

This is an update about the judicial review court day.This day will be special for us, it is the result of all our efforts. It’s been OVER a year of campaigning and trying to negotiate with the Government.

With the amazing organisations – and yourselves – throughout. We’ve come together as one. That’s one thing I am so proud of- we all came together and supported one another.

#WTI

By the 16th June, the lockdown rules will have lifted, so we are allowed to meet indoors- of course, still being careful about social distancing.

Perhaps you could ask your deaf clubs, or local organisations, to arrange this and we could have mini-screenings spread throughout the UK! I’m hoping to arrange one with my local organisation to watch in their hall.

If there are any organisations or deaf clubs who would like to arrange this – in a public space or privately – again, please email me, as you will be the first on the list.We want to make sure those deaf organisations can access the link, then those of you who want to watch at home or work, by yourself will be added to a separate list.

So, organisations on one list, individuals on another – and this will be based on a first come first served. At the moment, we are not sure how many links will be allowed to join in online We are still in talks, that’s why we are prioritising deaf clubs and organisations first as this will allow more people to watch it together It will be like a special gathering, after a long year of barely any contact.

When I have received all the names for the lists, this will be passed on to the clerk office. They will then send you the link, just before the time it starts. It will not be given to you 1 or 2 weeks in advance, but on the day itself, just before it starts. So be warned that there may be a bit of a rush to sign in.
We expect the link to open around 10 o’clock, then at 10:30am the judge will officially start the proceedings. We expect all the deliberations to last 3 hours, until 12 o’clock. We don’t know when the decision will be – it might be on the day, or they may decide to announce it later on.

Thank you for all your support, see if you can set up a local screening so we can be live all over the UK! Showing that we are still here and supporting this special day.

Lynn Stewart-Taylor

Register

Now

Email to: lynnstewarttaylor@icloud.com

Photo by William Fortunato on Pexels.com

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The Government failed us again! 

#WTI – Transcript below

If Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can all provide a BSL interpreter at their side during Coronavirus briefings, why can’t the UK Government?

#WTI

Despite the £2.6 million upgrades to a bigger, bespoke media studio – the UK Government has, yet again, shown their lack of regard towards the Deaf community and our pleas for equal access.

It’s clearly not a budget issue. Nor a question of space to comply with social distancing rules. (In which case why don’t the experts appear via video link, like MPs do during Prime Ministers Questions?)

What is the actual issue here? 

Since the announcement of the millions spent on the new US-style press room, and Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raabs that this was a case of “making sure we communicate directly with the public … in an effective, coherent way”, my hopes were raised.Have the Government finally listened to our requests and made space for a BSL interpreter to be visible on the platform?

29.03.2021 – message on social media

On Monday I anxiously sat down to watch the first ‘new’ briefings – there is no BSL interpreter in the room.

“I am disappointed, dismayed and exhausted. Sadly, it seems that legal action is the only way to finally get some answers”.

Lynn Stewart-Taylor


It has been a full year of the coronavirus pandemic, and despite the efforts of our #WhereIsTheInterpreter campaign, the support from deaf organisations and members of our community, the UK Government are still refusing to address our access request.

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#WhereIsTheInterpreter have raised a whopping £20,000.

With our #WhereIsTheInterpreter fundraising campaign now over we are excited to tell you that through our JustGiving page we have raised a whopping £20,000 toward our target.

This is an incredible sum of money that we have raised together and we want to thank everybody that has supported this campaign. We did it TOGETHER!

#WTI Click Captions

What fantastic news to end Sign Language Week!  After an incredible and daunting year of fundraising, we’ve hit our target raising £20,000 for the #WhereIsTheInterpreter campaign.
I’ve been so impressed by the levels of creativity and commitment of everyone who has helped us reach our target.


A big thank you to Sign Solutions, RAD, the DM Raffle, the Give Us The Sign Choir, and every one of you who have donated, spread the word and supported this campaign.

“I can’t believe it – I’m simply lost for words! An incredible moment that I will never forget”. 

Lynn Stewart-Taylor

Thank you, everyone, for all your hard work, and I look forward to updating you on our upcoming court cases, and how the money will be spent in our fight to ensure we have equal access to information in British Sign Language.
THANK YOU.

“This has been hard and heroic effort from some hugely dedicated campaigners and thanks to this money we can ensure that the legal action can proceed on a cost protected basis which gives us the best opportunity ever to see permanent lasting change and that and BSL/English Interpreter is as part of mainstream broadcasting”.

Chris Fry

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Today marks 18 years since British Sign Language was recognised by the UK government.

In March every year as this represents a special date for Sign Language, deaf community: March 18th 2003 was the date that sign language was officially recognised as a language in the UK. But…..recognised didn’t give British Sign Language (BSL) and new legal rights. Since 18 years BSL was so called ‘recognised’ the lack of equality remains a vast problem . There are many barriers that prevent Sign Language, deaf citizens from the society.

Click for captions

“There is still much more work to be done”

#WTI

We need your support

#WTI Click captions
17.03.2021

We need you SUPPORT, every little penny helps. This is not only for our Sign Language generation but for future deaf Sign Language generations, to protect and promote equality and parity to information.

The Government only provide BSL interpreting on one channel in-vision, which isn’t good enough.

In December 2020 in the face of our Judicial Review, the Government said it would provide BSL Interpreter on all its social media feed….

…..but so far ‘ issues’ have meant that hasn’t happened.

In January 2021, the Government asked the High Court to reject a Judicial Review over #WhereIsTheInterpreter campaign. However, in February 2021, a High Court judge granted permission for the Judicial Review to go ahead.

No date has been set yet for the review, but we will be sure to follow up in a future blog post! Watch this space!

#WTI
15.03.2021

SIGN LANGUAGE SAVE LIVES

#WTI
18.03.2021
24.04.2020

“We feel undervalued not respected. We want to feel human. All we are asking for is Respect, Equality the same as you!”

#WTI
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One Year on, What has changed ?

#WTI 09.03.2021

It’s officially one year since we started asking the Government: What has changed?

09.03.2021

#WhereIsTheInterpreter. What has changed?

The first video message on Twitter exactly one year ago on the 9th March 2020.

First Statement via Twitter 09.03.2020

#WTI Tweeted everyday …

18.04.2020
27.04.2020
06.05.2020

5 months since walking to Downing Street (October 2020), what’s changed?

When we started this campaign, there was no Interpreter AT ALL. Nothing. On BBC 1.

The outrage from this has brough the Deaf Community together in the largest class action on behalf of Deaf Rights that there’s ever been in the UK. Nearly 300 people brought claims against the Prime Minister.

06.05.2020 via Twitter

The Government then provided BSL Interpreting on only one channel in-vision only, which isn’t good enough

BBC Channel News

Finally in December 2020 in the face of our Judicial Review, the Government said it would provide BSL Interpreters on all its social media feed…

….but so far ‘technical issues’ have meant that hasn’t happened.

Social Media Technical Issues

We’ve also won over social media, and the Chair of the Women & Equality Select Committee (Conservative MP, Caroline Nokes) recently said that the Government’s failure to provide Interpreters was ‘Shameful’.

So, the Government is taking better and better steps to make its information accessible to Deaf people, but we’re committed to a total solution.

In terms of What’s Next for #WhereIsTheInterpreter?:

We, Sign Language community, want to see the Government provide BSL versions of all information on-line, not just with BSL Interpreters for television broadcasters.

In January 2021, the Government asked the High Court to reject a judicial review over #WhereIsTheInterpreter campaign, claiming that it is “unarguable” under the Equality Act and “serves no practical purpose”.

Despite not conducting an Equality Impact Assessment for its daily coronavirus briefings, the Government still insists

‘the briefings are fair and accessible to everyone’.

Their bid to stop the court case failed however, when earlier this month February 2020, a High Court judge granted permission for the judicial review to go ahead.

#WTI

No date has been set yet for the review, but we will be sure to follow up in a future blog post! Watch this space!

Watch this space!
Featured

Boris, Will It Include Space For A BSL Interpreter?

Downing Street has spent more than £2.6m on fitting out a new media briefing room, it has emerged.

The Cabinet Office said the spending “is in the public interest” as it will “increase public accountability and transparency.” http://Downing Street: Millions spent on new media briefing room

#WhereIsTheInterpreter is asking …

“Will it include space for a BSL interpreter?”

#WTI
#WTI

@BorisJohnson @10DowningStreet Will there be space for a #bsl interpreter in this media room? Considering the #wherestheinterpreter campaign during the Covid pandemic, which has been ignored, accommodating an interpreter would help equality for the UK’s incredible #Deaf community

Steve via Twitter

Do we reckon this was all to facilitate sign language interpretation?

York Disability week via Twitter

Now I’m expecting to see real life #BSL interpreters in this new media briefing room at @10DowningStreet #WhereIsTheInterpreter @jerseysnail 💪🙌

Isobel via Twitter
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Breaking News: A huge win for Sign Language campaigners as a judge gives the go-ahead for the #WhereIsTheInterpreter


#WTI

“This is absolutely fantastic news for our sign language community. We are now finally have been heard”

Lynn Stewart-Taylor
Thank you to Ahmed have offered his time, skills and devotion to our #WTI by translating from English to BSL.
Lynn Stewart-Taylor

I’m grateful to Mr Justice Johnson for granting permission for this important challenge, which we hope to get to a Hearing as quickly as possible. The Deaf Community is entitled to expect accessible information in BSL in real-time, rather than as a token gesture and I’m pleased that we will now that the opportunity to hold the Cabinet Office to account for what I consider to be shameful breaches of the Equality Act. As proceedings will be open, I hope that supporters of Katie and the #WhereIsTheInterpreter? Campaign will be able to attend to demonstrate to the Court, and Government how important this issue is to the Deaf Community.

Chris Fry – fry law

I’m happy to see that finally action is been taken on a situation that shouldn’t have required a fight

The deaf community deserve to have equal treatment and have access to information just as much as anyone else especially in the times we live in and technology available there’s no excuses for inequality

I hope this will be one of many changes that will happen to ensure that the deaf community are not at a disadvantage for something beyond their control

Jenny Powell

Huge well done to you for your determination to get this far and to the many supporters who have backed this. 🤞This is another step towards equality.

Ann

Katie Rowley said she was “Well impressed” that the court has accepted the judicial review.

kATIE ROWLEY

THIS IS FANTASTIC NEWS – well done Lynn Stewart-Taylor and all the campaign team👏🏽👏🏽

Standing up for Deaf Rights 🙌🏽

Jennie Webber

“All of us at SignHealth are very pleased to see the news about the Judicial Review going ahead. This is such an important issue and we are so proud of Lynn’s campaign. Deaf people deserve access to information in our first language, including vital health information from our own government.”

Sign Health

Fantastic news

Bolton Advice Centre

Katie Rowley

Fantastic news. Can’t wait to see the real BSL interpreter next to the press conference or emergency announcement speaker soon!

Chanda Munir

Some good news for #2021 #Equality #accessibility well done to all involved #WhereIsTheInterpreter 🙌💪

Vanessa

Proud to be supporting this campaign. The work by Lynn and her team to get to this point has been amazing.

ASLI

So excited to know it’s first step, it will get better access for deaf community.

ADAM BASSETT

‘Sign Language Save Lives’

Boris Johnson challenged on lack of sign language at press conferences.

Vicky Foxcroft, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people, made history at PMQs with a question in sign language.

#WTI
MP Vicky Foxcroft


The shadow minister for disabled people first asked her question (“Why no interpreter in-room briefings, why is this not sorted?”) in Sign Language, leaving the Prime Minister unable to understand her.

Foxcroft added: “If the Prime Minister doesn’t understand, imagine how those who rely on British Sign Language feel at his press briefings: £2.6m spent on the new press room, yet still no interpreter. What message does he think this sends to disabled people?”

“I really just want to see this sorted out now,” the shadow minister added.

Vicky Foxcroft
PMQ

Mr Johnson, who appeared not to understand the question, spluttered: “I’m grateful to the honourable lady and grateful for the way she has set out her question.

“I will revert to her as soon as I can.”

Give Us A Sign

My name is Joanne Woodhouse-Roberts. I am Profoundly deaf and a BSL user. I live with my teenage son and my deaf husband.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-2.jpg

I grew up in London and I played the violin from the age of 7 to 16. I also played the drums and dabbled in the piano now and again during my teenage years. Music has always been something that I have enjoyed, of course being profoundly Deaf, I can’t hear everything but I enjoy it in my own way. I loved watching ‘Top of the Pops’ with the subtitles, the lyrics fascinated me and loved reading the Smash Hit magazines and read the lyrics as a teenager.

Joanne Woodhouse-Roberts

During lockdown in the summer months of 2020, I had been following Lynn Stewart- Taylor with the #WTI campaign and I supported Lynn and the campaign 100% and I donated money to the campaign.

I think I gave something like £20 but somehow this didn’t feel enough for me, I felt I could/should do more. At the time I was part of a BSL choir, which reminded me of how much I enjoyed signing along to songs.

“With my love of music and Lynn’s inspiration of trying to raise funds for #WTI I wrote a song called “Give Us The Sign’, the song is primarily about having access to Boris Johnson’s briefings on BBC1”

Some of the lyrics will appeal to hearing people simply because of the confusion of lockdown rules! I felt if I could write a song and create a choir and get as many deaf people, hearing people, BSL interpreters and children involved – our voices/signing would be heard and be seen. I felt it would raise awareness of the need for an interpreter at these important briefings and equally raise money along the way for the campaign.

When I wrote the song, I tried to think of how my song would translate into BSL, as I feel not every song can be translated in BSL/SSE. Sometimes, the meaning of a song can be lost in a BSL/SSE translation.
I was careful with my lyrics, and made sure that they were meaningful and could be translated into signs that would be creative and make an impact and related to Covid 19, to the lockdown and the deaf community.

For example one line in the song is, “put our friend in the same room and let them sign 2 meters from you”.

Our ‘friend’ is the ‘BSL interpreter’ and that interpreter needs to be in the same room as Boris and another line, 
”Let us follow you in real time just like our neighbours and hearing friends do”.
Our ‘neighbours’ means everyone, those who live next door to us but also those that live in Wales, Scotland and Ireland as they have access to a BSL interpreter during their Covid briefings, and of course ‘real time’ means we receive the same information in parallel with hearing viewers, in the same way our neighbours in Wales, Scotland and Ireland do.
I completed my song on the 15th October 2020.  I decided to be brave bold and go for it.
I decided I would ‘self fund’ the choir, and project – manage it.

I contacted Liv Austen who is a talented artist/musician to see whether she would be willing to be part of the project and sing the lyrics.

Liv was very supportive and she willingly accepted my invitation. Liv recorded the lyrics and she created the music to accompany the song, and of course it is absolutely beautiful. 

Liv did a fantastic job and she also joined the choir along with everyone else and she learned the BSL signs too, if you look carefully you will spot her signing!  I am so grateful for all Liv’s support, without her none of this would have been possible.

Although I can sign and have been signing for many years and been part of signing choirs and also been a BSL tutor for 12 years. I felt that it should be someone impartial and a professional who should lead the choir and teach the choir the signs for the song. I was very pleased when Fletch@ came on board.

Fletch@ taught the choir via Zoom on 3 occasions. It took some thinking as to how it would work, as we wanted to be sure that we could deliver to 90 people via Zoom. Fletch@ did an amazing job as I don’t think she had ever taught 90 people at once on zoom before!  It was also a learning curve for me, to get my head around Zoom!

When I started the choir, I was hopeful of getting around 20 people to join.  

I never imagined that this would attract 90 people in the choir!  It has been a busy few months, it’s been a learning curve.   Having 90 people made the project a huge task. I often joked the emails were coming in faster than I could get them out! 

Yes, there is no doubt I have made mistakes along the way and yes I have had to apologise for those mistakes but the next day, I didn’t repeat them and I carried on learning!

We did our sessions over Zoom in October and they were good fun. We had Sam Calder-Bray from Drummer TV join us on one occasion to do a short recording for Drummer TV. And Fletch@ did a fabulous job being the choir leader. 

Lynn Stewart- Taylor and Liv joined us on Zoom also, you will see the result of their excellent work on the video. We also had Ann as co host on Zoom from Kakou who helped hugely with dealing with the technical side of Zoom, and I … Well I did the presenting!

I had a few members of my family who also joined us on Zoom. They’ve never signed before, so it was a real joy to see everyone come together over Zoom in lockdown!

Once we’d completed our 3 sessions with Fletch@ the choir had a couple of weeks to practice for their videos at home before they sent the finished clip.

Ann from Kakou was involved in creating the final edited version. She was responsible for the huge task of bringing the choir together. I didn’t think we would get very many videos, as experience tells us that not everyone enjoys filming themselves.

“To everyone’s credit, they went above and beyond and we received 67 videos!”

The videos were mainly sent either via ‘WeTransfer’, ‘WhatsApp’. I had to forward these on to Ann and again the sheer number of videos took us by surprise.

I salute Ann who has created an amazing video and who has so much patience! I shall be forever thankful to her. For Ann and I it was a learning curve and we had to take each day as it came! And now it gives me great pleasure to release the final video of all the choir signing ” Give Us a Sign”.

I hope this video will be shared as much as possible, amongst family, friends, social media and more. It is my wish for each and everyone of you to share this video, this is what I have worked hard for!

“I also wish for every new viewer who watches and likes this video and wishes to support the cause, to make a small donation to #WTi .

The more we share, the more we donate, the more powerful we will become.”

Give Us The Sign

Finally, I also hope this inspires the younger Deaf generation to be brave, bold and create something beautiful. I have had the most wonderful journey and I want to thank each and everyone of you who accompanied me on this amazing journey, without you nothing would have been possible!

Joanne.

Make a Donation Today

30 December 2020

“We did it. You’ve raised a staggering £19,835.08. Thanks to the money raised by wonderful people like you”!

Lynn Stewart-Taylor

Thank you everyone for your great generosity! We, at #WTI, greatly appreciate your donations, and your sacrifice. Your support helps to challenge the UK government. This is not only for our generation but for future deaf sign language generations, to protect and promote equality and parity to information.


Weʼre raising £20,000 to challenge the UK government. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought discrimination to Deaf people. This needs to be addressed urgently.

Lack of British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters during the COVID pandemic has led to legal cases being brought against the government. We are not giving up. On social media platforms, the campaign has been gaining some real momentum over the past couple of months, we have been posting regular reminders and posters onto social media platforms to ensure we don’t get forgotten about!

Bristol 2020

Lynn Stewart-Taylor, the founder of #WhereIsTheInterpreter campaign and its supporters are raising awareness and understanding of the importance of British Sign Language for the deaf community. These should be on platform, live briefings, at any time for any announcement, but especially throughout the pandemic.

And there’s still time to donate click on the link #justgiving page

Let’s reach to our target of £20,000!

Together we are making a difference!

Your support is invaluable to us, thank you again!

MPs call for inquest into treatment of disabled people during pandemic

ONS data shows disabled people made up around 60 per cent of deaths in first wave

Poor communication was cited as a barrier for disabled people, including the lack of sign language at televised government briefings

The report highlights inaccessible communications during government briefings, health and social care funding and the lack of support provided to deaf people when dealing with the barrier of face masks.

Speaking to The Independent, Lynn Stewart-Taylor, the founder of the #WhereIsTheInterpreter campaign to get the government to implement BSL interpretation, said: “Due to the lack of provision, sign language users are missing out the critical information. Sign language save lives.

“This is critical action that needs to be done. Nothing has changed since we brought our request to the government. They are not listening to us. We are being treated unfairly.”

28th December 2020