Newly recognised refugees have between 7 and 28 days to find new accommodation or they face homelessness. The Home Office will make decisions on hundreds of cases in Nottinghamshire by the end of 2023. Whether they receive a positive or negative decision, people receive a short notice to quit their accommodation. Our advisers work to provide advice and apply for housing and support, but hundreds of asylum seekers are at risk of becoming homeless and many of them will be sleeping rough.
Nottingham Refugee Forum is launching a fundraising campaign to secure 100 Care Packages for refugees in the region, with a target of £4,000. The care packages include a rucksack, a sleeping bag, pack of socks, hat, gloves, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and deodorant. Each kit costs £40 to build.
Being recognised as refugee is a moment of celebration. David* has been street homeless for over a month and is currently sleeping in Hockley. He received a sleeping bag from the Refugee Forum, from his caseworker.
He says: “It’s cold. It’s hard ‘Not sleeping is a problem. With a sleeping bag is a little better, with no sleeping bag it’s too cold.”
Distributing ready-made kits for new refugees who sleep rough is a way to provide some relief during stressful times. Sleeping bags offer some degree of comfort and protection against the elements and can be lifesavers during harsh winters. Essential toiletries, such as soap, toothbrushes, and sanitary products, help rough sleepers maintain a sense of dignity and basic hygiene. This is crucial to preserve people’s self-esteem and mental wellbeing.
The rise in house prices and rents in East Midlands and the cost of living crisis make it increasingly difficult to find social housing or private rented accommodation in Nottinghamshire. Within England, the East Midlands saw the highest annual percentage change in private rental prices in the 12 months to January 2023 (5.0%), according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), with an increase of 12.3% over the year for average house price in the region. The East Midlands was also the region where private rental prices were rising at the fastest annual rate throughout 2022. The waiting list for social housing keeps increasing.
People granted refugee status have 28 days to find new accommodation. As a result, many of them are sleeping rough in Nottingham while looking for alternative housing. Nottingham Refugee Forum aims to secure 100 care packages for refugees. We are calling on people in Nottingham to donate and help us have 100 kits ready for the winter.
To make a donation please visit out Justgiving page – Rough Sleeper’s Kits Appeal – JustGiving
* Name has been changed.
Nottingham Refugee Forum is one of the signatories of the Letter to the Home Office urging to make changes to the move-on period for newly recognised refugees.
UPDATE: We’re pleased to see this important issue covered by The Guardian, who spoke to a local refugee who has been sleeping rough in Nottingham.