Help us support some of the most isolated people in the country.
Scottish Detainee Visitors (SDV) has been supporting people in Dungavel since it opened as a detention centre in 2001. The UK detains around 25,000 people a year for immigration purposes. There is no time limit on detention in the UK, making it a uniquely stressful experience. People in detention experience two contradictory sources of stress and anxiety at the same time. They fear that they will be removed from the UK immediately, but they also fear they will stay in detention for many months and even years. At the same time, detention separates people from their families, friends and other sources of support.
SDV needs donations to continue our vital work at a particularly challenging time.
- A £10 donation would pay for a mobile top up voucher to enable someone in detention to keep in touch with their family and their lawyer.
- A £25 donation would pay for the travel costs for one visit to Dungavel for our staff or volunteers
- A £30 donation would provide an emergency cash grant to someone who is about to be removed from the country
- A £40 donation would provide an hour's interpretation to allow us to speak to someone on the phone who does not have English as a first language.
Dungavel is Scotland’s only detention centre. It's very isolated, six miles from the nearest town. It's not on a bus route and the nearest train station is 15 miles away. Because of this our volunteers and staff usually travel in cars, in groups of up to five, to visit people detained there.
Covid 19 has brought real challenges. People are still detained and still isolated but all visits were stopped for several months. Even now, visiting is only possible in a restricted form and may be stopped if Covid 19 restrictions change. So we are now providing a mix of telephone and in-person support. We try to provide the same level of service to people as before, but just in a different way.
We offer a range of practical support such as our booklet of information for people in detention, mobile phone top ups, small items on request (such as books, magazines and warm clothing) and emergency money for people being removed from the country. But perhaps most important is the emotional support and solidarity we provide. People in detention describe the impact of our service like this:
“It’s unbelievable, thank you very much… without you I’d be on my knees.”
“SDV make it bearable, they make it liveable, yes.”
“They are very nice people, helpful, nice to talk to. It erases detention”
Thank you for any donation you're able to make to help us to carry on making this difference.