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Transport for education in Swansea update

Transport for Education

This helpful report gives details of how the money we sent was spent to help some children. In doing this we have exposed considerable unmet need.


























Jane Dodds our Regional MS and supporter wrote to Jane Hutt about this issue on 6/3/23

Jane Dodds MS to MSJ_free public transport for refugees & asylum seekers_06032023

reply from Lee Waters



From: Hay, Brecon & Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees <[email protected]> Sent: Monday, May 1, 2023  James, Julie (Aelod o’r Senedd | Member of the Senedd)  Hedges, Mike (Aelod o’r Senedd | Member of the Senedd)  Subject: Fwd: Support for asylum seekers/refugee children

Dear Senedd members for Swansea,

I hope that you are well and that you may be able to help with the issue of transport to school for asylum seeking pupils living at a distance of over 2 miles from school. .please see the email below and you can see more details of the Schools transport scheme that we have helped to fund in the links  below

As you’ll see we have identified a problem and tried to address it but we know that we cannot afford to do this for many months. It didn’t seem to us that asking children as young as 5 to walk more than 2 miles to school was acceptable especially in bad weather or over very hilly terrain. We were hopeful that Asylum seeking people would be included in the ‘Welcome Ticket ‘ scheme that was introduced  last year to help people arriving from Ukraine and then extended to all people with Refugee status. However this scheme excluded people seeking asylum and I know has been hard to administer in practice.  We have heard that this scheme may be revised to include people seeking asylum by the summer and if so this would give these very financially strapped pupils the opportunity to travel on public transport. Best wishes, Ailsa Dunn       secretary for Hay, Brecon & Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees [ 1173570]

Forwarded message ———From: Tim Butler date: Tue, 25 Apr 2023 at 12:49Subject: Support for asylum seekers/refugee children

To: cllr.robert.smith Dear Councillor Smith

I understand that you hold the portfolio for education in Swansea and am writing on behalf of Hay Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees of which I am the chair of the Trustees – we are a registered charity whose role is to support refugee and asylum seekers. We do this mainly by raising funds and using them in two main ways. Firstly, to run monthly ‘welcome days’ in our area of mid Wales to which we invite refugee and asylum seekers living mainly in Swansea and Newport to a day out in a venue where we offer food, entertainment and general support for them and their families – our most recent one was at Penpont near Sennybridge this last Sunday. In the last year we have also included the significant number of refugees from Ukraine living in the area. The second way is to help fund the support organizations operating in the two cities – notably Unity in Diversity , Swasea Asylum Seeekers support and Ethnic Minority and Support Team Wales (EYST). For example, we have been able to fund the purchase of a new pair of trainers for all those arriving without suitable footwear which has been much appreciated and worked wonders for the recipients’ sense of self-esteem – grateful as they are for good second hand clothing there is something about being able to have your own pair of shoes that haven’t been worn before!Specifically, and this is my reason for this email is that we have been working with EYST to help fund young people who live less than three miles from school but have difficulty in walking there (lots of roads, anxiety etc). As you will appreciate, if you are living on around £35 a week funding a week’s bus tickets is not possible. This has been much appreciated and ensured that the young people keep attending school whatever the weather or other conditions and we have recently agreed to extend the support until the end of the summer term. However, we are unable to do this next year as our funds are limited and we cannot make this a permanent arrangement. We understand that other authorities in Wales (eg Caerphilly) have instituted a similar scheme and, whilst we realise that your resources must be really stretched, we would urge you to consider doing something similar in Swansea next year. We believe we have demonstrated a need and it would be wonderful if you could pick up the baton on this.I do hope that you will be able to give this some consideration and please don’t hesitate to get back to me or my colleague Dr Ailsa Dunn who is our secretary if you would like further information – I have cc’d her into this as you will see.Yours sincerely,

Tim Professor Tim Butler


Mike Hedges 2/5/23

Have you contacted your local representatives.

It is protocol to only deal with your own constituents


Thanks for your reply. I have been discussing with Jane Dodds but of course the children affected are not in her area so that’s why we wrote. We were letting you know about the issue in the hope that a local solution can be found.

Mike Hedges 2/5 replied with details of our MS representation

HBTSR replied 2/5

Thanks for this information BUT the issue is about children in Swansea walking up to 3 miles to school and not anything to do with our area or region apart from that we are trying to help.
. Sophie at EYST can give  all the details- we have just been trying to help by providing money.
Mike Hedges replied 2/.5
Ask Sophie to contact me.
From  Julie James senior caseworker H

Good afternoon Ailsa

Further to your email to Julie James MS of 1st May, she has received a response from the deputy minister, Lee Waters MS on your behalf.  I attach a copy for your information.

Kind regards.  H

Ministerial resp JUL 23 03 Ministerial resp MAY 23 31


Good afternoon, Julie James MS has received a response from the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters to the email you sent her on 1st May.  I attach a copy for your information.

Kind regards.  H

Ministerial resp JUL 23 03