Yorkshire is back in the frame to have a dedicated worker to assist victims of torture. The announcement was made by Keith Best, Chief Executive of the national torture care organisation the Medical Foundation (pictured here with Jim Steinke and David Price, chair and vice-chair of SYMAAG), speaking at the AGM of the South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG).

Keith Best was in Sheffield to meet local supporters of the Medical Foundation, which is in the process of changing its name to Freedom from Torture. He also had meetings with health professionals at the Mulberry Clinic, as well as addressing the AGM. He made both announcements to a gathering of about 70 people, saying the new post would be possible following a successful application for European funding.

“We are committed to having a representative to cover Yorkshire and Humberside,” said Mr Best. “This funding will allow us to appoint a worker who can help in a therapeutic sense, and in building our capacity in the region.” The charity, which provides care and support to people who have experienced torture, already has offices in Birmingham, Glasgow, London, Manchester and Newcastle. Funding constraints previously forced it to shelve plans to open a new base in Yorkshire and Humber.

The move was welcomed by Jim Steinke, who chairs SYMAAG as well as being chief executive of the Northern Refugee Centre. He said he would look forward to receiving further details about the new post.

In the rest of his speech, Keith Best addressed the question ““Can we achieve Freedom from
Torture in a troubled world?” to which his response was that yes we can but that it is going to take a lot of time and effort.

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