Over the past two years in the Diocese, Together Liverpool, Hope + Foodbank and other agencies in Liverpool have run a congress on the situation for Third Sector and Statutory organisatons. See https://www.cuf.org.uk/together-liverpool/asylum
for details of that along with detailed analysis of the issues in our asylum update and newsletters in Recent Activity.
Since that time, this region has taken the lion’s share of asylum seekers for the country along with other largely northern towns and cities. This had already reached the point where other local authorities have been asked to take in some asylum seekers who aren’t just from Syria but Eritrea, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Somalia and other trouble-spots. Families under threat have left to find security and hope elsewhere and may have come to Europe after long and very dangerous journeys.
This leads many good people to ask what should we do to help? Here are some good ideas based on good Christian principles of help at home and away:
1. Support by donating to large aid agencies who work in this field – Christian Aid, The Red Cross and others are well involved and provide a wide range of services both at home and overseas. Lorry loads of goods from well-intentioned people may help a few but well organised and targeted resources organised by the agencies can and do help a lot!
2. If you have local organisations helping with this work (e.g. Hope + Foodbank, Asylum Link in Liverpool, CVS in West Lancs, SWAP in Wigan) volunteer help and/or give resources according to people’s needs. Get your church involved and donate resources and time. We think most other boroughs are likely to be setting up projects in the near future. Contact your local Council and CVS to ask how you can help.
3. If you do feel called to use your spare room to take someone in then firstly think about the possible implications see http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/07/british-families-open-homes-asylum-seekers-refugees?CMP=share_btn_fb
for some insight. Agencies facilitating this process are Citizens UK http://www.citizensuk.org/
, Positive Action in Housing http://www.paih.org/
. If you would be willing to offer home support/ night shelters for failed asylum seekers(who have no resources) then look at the Boaz Trust model and talk to them. http://boaztrust.org.uk/
4. Get knowledgeable and active about the real issues like the Government cutting allowances to the children of asylum seekers recently – visit the Together Liverpool website and look at the issues in latest activity and asylum and refugee links. https://www.cuf.org.uk/together-liverpool
also get information from http://regionalasylumactivism.org/
. Get your church to set up an action group to write to MPs and campaign for better resources and services.