Positive Action in Housing opens Christmas appeal for refugees in Glasgow

18 December 2020

Refugee and migrant homelessness charity Positive Action in Housing has launched an appeal to raise a further £5,000 by Christmas Day to complete its fundraising appeal.

In the run up to Christmas, the charity says it is providing crisis grants, PPE, winter care packs, food, travel support and essential digital technology to 287 families and individuals, comprising 319 adults and 182 child dependents from refugee and asylum-seeking communities.

The Winter Surgery is in aid of homeless  refugee and asylum-seeking families and lone individuals, and unaccompanied child refugees who have fled war and persecution from Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria and many other refugee-producing countries.  

The charity will provide emergency support, bus passes, food items, sleeping bags, hygiene packs, essential winter survival packs, also selection boxes, books and craft packs for children aged 3 to 16 years old.

Destitution caseworkers will be working to ensure that people get specialist advice, advocacy, signposting and practical support to resolve their legal, housing or financial crisis. Positive Action in Housing will also be working to provide safe shelter, with the essential needs of food, warmth, sanitation and cleanliness met through its community hosting programme Room for Refugees and Emergency Relief Fund.

Robina Qureshi, Director of Positive Action in Housing said:

“Operationally, Covid 19 means we can’t have our usual busy winter surgery helping 300 people over 3 days. Instead, we have a limited number of staff in the office, our offices are colder than usual, and we are delivering “outside surgeries”, meeting clients outside our offices, and sending volunteers to deliver emergency relief support directly to people in need all over the city. And it’s running well.

“The aim of this Winter Surgery is to make sure people get physical support and feel mentally supported too. Covid 19 has caused a lot of suffering and isolation, but the Christmas and New Year holiday period is especially hard when you don’t have family nearby or a proper, clean home where you feel safe and warm.

“Many people have no money at all to buy the most basic of things, they are barred from working and have no state benefits either. Many people living  in hotels for months on end have no money, there are high levels of mental trauma, depression and self harming.

“Our staff and volunteers are witnessing upsetting cases under the current Home Office accommodation contract in Glasgow. We are aware of people being moved suddenly with little notice. For example, a refugee family with young children settled at school in Easterhouse, were uprooted without notice and suddenly moved elsewhere in the city to a new accommodation and having to start all over again at a different school. 

“We are also seeing people not being told where they are being moved, they aren’t given an address. Yet others have been forced to live in dirty uninhabitable conditions and share a home with someone who has severe mental health problems, causing people to be frightened. 

“So it’s especially important that we keep people’s spirits up so they do not lose hope in the often drab and dirty living conditions they are forced to endure . So we are providing winter care packs, warm clothes, help with digital technology, food, cleaning products, PPE, hygiene packs, help for travel, even volunteers donating Christmas trees with lights. People are desperate to get their papers and work for a living but they are amongst thousands of refugees of working age in Glasgow suffering high levels of stress for months or years over an uncertain future yet forbidden to help themselves.”

To provide this appeal, Positive Action in Housing must raise a further £5000 by Xmas Day. All funds go directly towards assisting those in greatest need. Gift Aid from this Appeal will go towards our Lifeline Service. In 2019/20, the Lifeline Service assisted 1,440 refugees and asylum seekers towards long term resolution of their housing and/or legal crisis.

This appeal is supported by Scottish trade unions, Registered Social Landlords, trade unions, educational bodies, companies, faith groups, charitable trusts and members of the public.

Please give generously at CAF, JustGiving or PayPal Giving, or post a cheque to Positive Action in Housing, 98 West George St Glasgow G2 1PJ.Donate Today

Your donation will support those who have fled war and persecution in their own countries, risking their lives on dangerous journeys, to find sanctuary here, leaving loved ones, friends and all that they know.  

Whatever you give, no matter how modest, is greatly appreciated. Regular monthly donations are especially welcome as we can plan the support we give.

Finally, please share this post with your friends, family or coworkers, and encourage them to give generously.

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