Gatehouse Books - Literacy & ESOL specialist. Need help? Email or call us on 01925 267778

Support for Asylum Seekers and Refugees


Jennie Cole, Ana, Kisanet, Ousmane and Sadjo deliver their book donation to David from Leeds Asylum Seeker’s Support Network.

Gatehouse Books author, Jennie Cole showed her support for asylum seekers and refugees by donating copies of her new books to Leeds Asylum Seeker Support Network (LASSN).  Jennie, and the stars of the books, visited the LASSN office to make their donation and find out more about the charity.

LASSN’s English at Home project offers one to one English tuition at home for refugees and asylum seekers who can’t go to English classes. Many learners have young children, while others are disabled, are carers, or have mental health difficulties. Volunteers come from all walks of life; some have learned English themselves and want to pass on their skills whilst others are native speakers who want to show their support for asylum seekers and refugees. Jennie Cole said “I volunteered on the English at Home programme more than 20 years ago, before becoming a full time ESOL [English for Speakers of Other Languages] tutor. Learning English has a transformative effect and can unlock asylum seekers and refugees’ skills and talents.”

The What’s Your Story? Series comprises four books written by Jennie Cole with Ana, Kisanet, Ousmane and Sadjo, all former ESOL students of Jennie, each sharing a story of their own. The books are all set in Leeds, and feature Kirkgate Market, a tour of Leeds city centre, a shopping trip, and Leeds’ Light Night. Ousmane, who features in one of the books said “Light Night is a special night. It is free so everyone can share the experience. I want other people to be able to practise English and learn more about the place we live.”

Riley Coles, Volunteers Manager for LASSN’s English at Home project said “Adult asylum seekers and refugees who are learning English need books which reflect their maturity and diverse experiences. Our volunteers and learners will be delighted to have books which use simple English to tell rich and varied stories.”

Editors’ Notes:

  • LASSN – Leeds Asylum Seekers’ Support Network is a charity established in 1999 to respond to needs of refugees and asylum seekers living in Leeds.
  • LASSN is funded by charitable grants and donations and has approximately 300 volunteers who support around 600 refugees and asylum seekers in Leeds each year.
  • The What’s Your Story? Series is published by Gatehouse Books. See for more information.

For more information about LASSN please visit our website: