We are already planning ahead to Spring 2021 when we hope to resume face to face contact with members for one to one advice, mentoring and group work activities. Promoting health and well-being after the winter months and a second lock-down will be one of our main priorities. Any extra funding raised will be used to ensure that we provide a Covid secure environment for our members, staff and volunteers including equipment and provision of safe meeting spaces, both inside and out.
Ruth, one of our members (pictured below) knows first hand the hostile environment refugees and migrants experience and describes how Migrants Organise is best placed to offer support:
“We left our countries to seek a better life for ourselves and our families. Some of us made perilous journeys, risking our lives to seek safety and protection. What we all want is a dignified life. Instead we are not allowed to work or claim benefits. We are scared to go to the hospital or to visit the GP if we are sick or showing any symptoms of Coronavirus as we might get reported to the Home Office and be forced to go back. Thankfully I have Migrants Organise who listen and support. I have had opportunities to join activities like the women's group where I can share my problems and give support to others in a similar situation. I understand that a lot of charities are struggling right now, but Migrants Organise go that extra mile.”
During the first lock-down we were able to support 380 refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in London to provide immediate hardship, keep people safe and connected. But with a challenging Winter ahead and a further lock-down we need continue to reach out to:
Alleviate hardship through shopping vouchers for essential food, toiletries and winter clothing;
Address loneliness and isolation through volunteer buddies who make weekly phone calls to our members to support their safety and ensure they are connected to local services;
Improve mental health through online group-work including English classes and therapeutic support that enables members to connect, learn and stay strong together;
Support families through Christmas packs and a mobile library of toys and books for those in asylum accommodation who are not allowed TVs;
Provide legal and case work support for members to regularise their status and access public services;
Ensure migrant voices are heard in campaigning to challenge the devastating effects of the hostile environment.
Please show solidarity to help migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers cope in such difficult and challenging circumstances and live with dignity and justice.