An INFORMAL WORKSHOP.
TUESDAY 10TH NOVEMBER at 7pm in COMMITTEE ROOM 2, 2nd FLOOR, CIVIC CENTRE(COUNTY HALL) SWANSEA.
This a workshop for people who are concerned about the fact that many
refused asylum seekers are destitute and homeless. We are hoping that
you will come to help us with the design of a project that could help.
The voluntary hosting project is modeled on a number of successful
schemes elsewhere in the UK. Through these schemes local people support
destitute asylum seekers by:
. Offering temporary accommodation in their homes – e.g. for few
weeks or a few months, or even just a weekend.
. Offering support to “hosts” and “guests” by offering money
for the bus fares, food or offering meals to “guests”
. Helping to run the scheme itself
I am working part-time to pilot a Hosting Project in Swansea. We
hope to get this up and running by January and the first stage is to
meet sympathetic people, and discuss the rewards and challenges of
being involved. There is absolutely no obligation to become involved in
the eventual project if you come to the workshop.
HOW WILL THE WORKSHOP BE RUN?
It will NOT be ‘we are the experts, you are the audience’ but more of
an exchange of information and ideas, with some necessary information
thrown in. It will be a good chance to find out more about the project,
to meet people who have hosted informally and, we hope, to meet one or
two people who have experienced destitution first hand. I’ve put some
more information about destitution at the end of this email.
It will really help us to have your views and reactions. It is as
important to us at this stage to talk with people who feel “this is not
for me” as it is people who might be really keen. The workshop will
help us to design the Swansea project and to write information and
induction materials for potential hosts. We hope that people will feel
inspired to tell others.
WHO IS THE SCHEME IN SWANSEA RUN BY?
The scheme is run by Cards, (CO-ORDINATED ACTION for the RELIEF of
DESTITUTION in SWANSEA), a Working-Group of the SWANSEA CITY OF SANCTUARY.
It is funded by a Relief Grant from Quaker Peace and Social Witness.
I do hope that you will come to the workshop – and tell others about
it. If you are unable to come but might be interested in the scheme, do
let me know, so that I can keep in touch.
If you want to know more about the Workshop before you decide whether to come or not, you can contact me on e-mail
I look forward to seeing you there.
Coordinator, City of Sanctuary/CARDS Pilot Hosting Scheme
ENFORCED DESTITUTION A FEW FACTS
When people are refused asylum they are often left completely destitute
through government asylum policy. They have no housing, no benefits and
are not allowed to work. They often spend one night here and one night
there sleeping on friends sofas or floors, and in the worst case are on
the streets. In order to live they are often forced into exploitative
and unregulated employment and are in constant fear of being found out.
People who have been refused are often in real danger if they go
back to their own countries. Their cases may have failed because it is
difficult to get professional legal advice, have found it impossible to
provide evidence of what has happened to them, or simply don’t fall into
the right “category” to be accepted as an asylum seeker. The government
is not in a position to deport everyone who has been refused – and in
some cases recognizes that it is too dangerous to send people back –
e.g. to Iran and Zimbabwe.