To offer hospitality, in the form of accommodation, meals, welcome and solidarity to destitute asylum seekers in Swansea. We do this through volunteers who offer a room in their home, or who support the scheme in other ways.
We have nothing to do with the Home Office or any other Government Agencies
WHY MIGHT AN ASYLUM SEEKER BE DESTITUTE?
When people first apply for asylum, if they have no other form of support they are given accommodation and an allowance of just over £5 per day. If they are refused, and if they have no dependent children with them, the Home Office withdraws all support, so they are left with nowhere to stay, no money and are not allowed to work. With proper legal help, they often go on to prove their case. Share Tawe offers security during this challenging time.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT THEY ARE NOT IN DANGER OF PERSECUTION?
No. They often go on to challenge the decision to refuse them, and are able to prove that they are in danger.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
- If you are in the Swansea area, offer a room in your home to a destitute asylum seeker. Hosts choose how long their initial offer might be. Some people host long term for example 6 months, or even longer. Others offer respite or emergency accommodation for example for a night, a weekend, or longer.
- Raise or donate money for bus fares, food, etc. Standing orders are really helpful.
- Tell others about the project
- A group of 2 or 3 households could offer someone in destitution longer term security.
HOW DO WE MAKE THE SCHEME WORK SAFELY AND COMFORTABLY?
We interview and take up references on both guests and hosts. We monitor placements carefully
Careful placements: We accept that we cannot place everyone who needs us. We aim for a good match between guest and household, considering, for example, gender, family composition and general compatibility.
Hosts meet guests before placement.
We sometime ask an experienced host to assess a new guest before placement.
Support for hosts and guests. We help households find a way of hosting that suits how they want to live.
AN UPDATE ON FUNDING
Depending on what support is in place – both from hosts, community projects and friends of the guest – a week’s stay costs anything from £0 to £40. For example:
- £70 will buy a monthly bus ticket for guests living outside the city centre to go to appointments, sign with the authorities, access drop ins, English classes, and simply live an independent life
- £20 per week makes a small contribution to hosting costs – bills, food, etc.
A SNAPSHOT OF OUR ACTIVITIES 2017/2018
We accommodated 20 people from 13 different countries. 11 men and 9 women. 2 of the women were over 50 years of age.
We provided approximately 3026 bed nights.
Average cost per night – Approximately £3.50 per person per night for expenses – bus fares, a contribution to household expenses etc
In April 2017, we appointed a part-time worker to manage the scheme, thanks to a 2- year grant from Lloyd’s Bank Foundation. This has helped us to develop the scheme, and also enables us to work more effectively for our ultimate goal, which is to help people out of destitution. The scheme provides security and support during a challenging time, and our staff member signposts guests systematically to various forms of support. Our first priority is to connect them to the legal help they need to progress their case for asylum. We also focus on opportunities to maintain and build confidence and resilience e.g. counselling, social, recreational and volunteer opportunities.
HOW CAN I DONATE?
All donations are welcome. Standing orders help us plan ahead.
Please make cheques and standing orders to “Swansea Asylum Seekers Support” with a note stating that the money is for “Share Tawe”
HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE?
Contact Hannah, the scheme organiser at [email protected] for more information or to request a talk or workshop. Workshops are a great way to meet other hosts and guests.