The Anti-destitution project focuses on helping refused asylum seekers with their immediate needs such as food and disposable cash, but also provides help and support around their immigration cases via referrals. As well as this it also works with the Into the Mainstream project in helping with any health issues that they may have. The idea is to take a holistic approach as there is very rarely only one area of concern when dealing with this vulnerable group.
The Saturday Food Group
‘For me the Saturday Group is an oasis in the middle of a desert. I have found love and companionship and provision that have been a nourishment to my heart, body and mind.’ – Mirriam
The Saturday Food Group provides a hot meal and two bags of grocery shopping for each person. The aim is to allow everyone to enjoy a decent hot meal in a sociable and safe environment and also to help manage food poverty throughout the week. The shopping is basic groceries and toiletries, but there is a certain degree of choice within that.
Every week the hot lunch is provided by hardworking volunteer cooks and assistants who give up their Saturday mornings to prepare food for everyone. A team of volunteers also fulfill various roles from shopping, manning a stall to running reception, preparing the Main Hall and clearing it up at the end. No two Saturdays are ever the same and we are overwhelmed by the utter dedication and thoughtfulness of every volunteer.
Every month Himmah, a Muslim organisation which offers support for the destitute irrespective of faith, provides a delicious lunch for us and it is always very welcome as it gives the cooks a rest and is of a very high standard. We all look forward to the Saturdays when Himmah provides food.
The Cash Group
The Cash Group try to alleviate the destitution of refused asylum seekers by distributing small cash allowances. Unfortunately, we are only able to give each person a minimal amount every four weeks but this is in addition to food supplied by the Saturday Food Group (funded from the same pot), and allows some choice and dignity. Many recipients tell us how crucial this support is to them; as it enables them to catch a bus to appointments or top up their mobiles to keep in touch with their solicitors. It grants a level of empowerment, and gives recipients a semblance of membership within the wider community.
We rely on donations to be able to continue this work. We are so very grateful to everyone who has donated.