20 years on from its establishment Refugee Support Devon has grown, adapted and developed in more ways than could have been imagined. In this unprecedented year of pandemic and lockdown, RSD’s services to refugees and asylum seekers in Devon have been needed more than ever. Staff have worked tirelessly to expand to meet demand, a prime example being the provision of Level 2 OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner) advice being provided by our wonderful drop-in team meaning we one of a small handful of organisations providing free Immigration advice in the South West.
We have to date been relatively successful in raising funds to support the work we do, but as ever, the future is uncertain, and the competition of funding is growing. Following on from a successful Refugee Week where volunteers organised a collaborative event on the Exeter quayside raising awareness, celebrating our diverse community and sharing food we are launching a Crowdfunder to help continue the work that we do. We want to ensure that we can continue to grow, provide support and a safe environment for all.
For an idea of where money donated will go to:
£10 – pays for a vital medical prescription for those who are destitute
· £20 – provides mobile phone credit to enable vital communication with solicitors and family
· £50 – purchases a bus ticket to attend an immigration hearing or legal appointment
· £100 - helps to equip someone’s first home with essentials after long periods of destitution or insecure accommodation. It can also pay for a team of volunteers to be trained to help respond to queries from asylum seekers and refugees
· £500 – funds a staff member for a week to coordinate volunteers and respond to queries from the most vulnerable
· £1000 – ensures a staff member is set up with appropriate IT equipment to be able to work from home or our office or when doing outreach work in these uncertain times.
We also have a range of community groups including an education & employability project and Women's group that rely on funds to continue to support individuals in integrating into our community, feeling welcome, making friends and growing in confidence.
As we head towards our 20th birthday celebration event in September please consider supporting the work that we do in the local community so that we can continue to be here for another 20 years. For further information on our charity please visit: https://refugeesupportdevon.org.uk or message us on Facebook or Twitter to find out how you can get involved'
Photo courtesy of Debs Gallacher