An update and appeal
23 December 2022
As 2022 comes to a close, Robina Qureshi, shares her thoughts on the past year's work and what we will be up to next year.
As the curtains come down on this year, my thoughts remain on the new friends made amongst those who fled their home countries to find safety somewhere in this world.
I'm reflecting on the tense but heartfelt messages - interlaced with life-saving humour - that I shared with Vlad, Denis, Nataliya, Anastasia, Halina, and the youngest, Arina, each of whom was trying to leave increasingly dangerous war zones in Ukraine. Imagine a 14-year-old girl - the same age as your own - asking if you can find a safe family for her to stay with so she doesn't have to turn to social media, as proposed by Michale Gove, so-called Levelling Up Minister.
The bonds of humanity formed under such intense pressure remain. Thanks to Andrew M, ex-military personnel, who risked his life to help us bring people out. It's not easy to be away from home.
Our Emergency Relief Fund and the Room for Refugee Programme have brought people to safety. This work will continue in 2023 - with your help. So far, volunteers have provided shelter to over 405 Ukrainian families and children and sheltered over 4,000 refugees since Room for Refugees began. In 2023, we are also working with the Scottish Government to provide hosting opportunities to Ukrainians in Scotland. To offer shelter in your home or property, visit www.roomforrefugees.com.
Tragically, we cannot say the same about black and brown refugees fleeing wars and persecution in Iran, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and elsewhere. They have no safe route here - unlike the Ukrainians. The UK Government has effectively blocked off safe routes and, as a consequence, turbo-charged human smuggling networks. Of course, this is nothing short of open racism. The global refugee crisis is set to grow by tens of millions in 2023. It's a universal truth that when you block safe routes, people smugglers step into the void. We need safe routes now.
Thanks to our supporters, our annual winter surgery is successfully delivering direct humanitarian support to hundreds of refugee men, women and children who have fled war and persecution, including those from Iran, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, as well as Ukraine - despite the freezing weather, postal and rail strikes. We provided vouchers for essential food, warm clothes, and small crisis payments for phone top-ups and bus travel. We also offered essential digital tech to help people stay connected. People are incredibly grateful for the support. We delivered support to 328 adults and 202 dependent children in Aberdeen, Perth, Falkirk, Edinburgh and Glasgow. We also provided support in London and Brighton via our referral partners: Helen Bamber Foundation, Hestia, Hope For The Young, Housing Justice Hosting Project, Jesuit Refugee Service UK, Praxis Community Projects, Refugee Action, South London Refugee Association, The Hummingbird Refugee Project, The Manna Society, The Passage and Young Roots. We also support a small number of refugees transferred from Manston Asylum Centre.
In 2023, Positive Action in Housing intends to stay true to its mission - to help refugees and asylum seekers rebuild their lives after a crisis. Our casework will be proactive, information giving more concerted, and our campaigns will be stronger and collaborative. We will be building support network through our Humans model. And we will also come out strong against the Rwanda policy and the sick "dreams" of the Home Secretary. The ongoing cost of living situation is having an adverse impact as more people reduce charitable donations. We know times are tough for everyone, and we appreciate your contributions to this renewed fight in the new year.
How to give
Regular donations significantly help us to plan life-saving interventions. To make a regular or one-off donation, see below.
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Please send a cheque payable to Positive Action in Housing (Winter Appeal) and post it to Positive Action in Housing Ltd 98 West George Street, Glasgow G2 1PJ
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For other ways to give, visit www.positiveactionh.org/donate