Appeal for funds!
Despite the loyal and generous support of all our supporters our finances are really tight at the moment. Our money comes from three sources –
1) supporters who subscribe (usually monthly) and provide a regular income,
2) one-off events such as sales and special collections
3) super-boosts such as legacies.
Our problem at the moment is that though are regular supporters are loyal and wonderful, and other wonderful people continue to run one-off events, we have only received one “super-boost” this year – a donation of £,5000. That was specifically for accommodation for our rough sleepers and sadly has now all been spent. Our rough sleepers are out in the streets sleeping rough again – and just at the wrong time of year.
One ray of hope is that a grant-making trust has invited an application which we are certainly going to make and which may bring us funds by the end of the year. If we do succeed it will be a great relief as not only do we have a big need for housing but our client base is growing steadily.
How is the money spent?
A careful analysis of our spending shows that the number of clients we have seen in the first nine months of the year has grown steadily month on month and the amount we have spent on supporting them has risen in proportion. We had 34 clients in January and 59 in September.
Interestingly the amount spent per client remained remarkably similar – it’s not that we’re letting things slip it’s just that there is more demand.
We have found another house to rent and now wait to see if the grant-making trust will fund it. The caravan taught us a few things about running a hostel:
1) We need to make initial contracts with the residents (for, say, six months).
2) We need to appoint a mentor for each resident to make sure they are doing all they can to move their asylum cases forward and help them plan what they will do when the time comes to move on.
3) A house “manager” is advisable to liaise with the trustees and make sure things run smoothly.
We recently had a meeting with some Councillors and housing people from the City and they were enthusiastic about these ideas.
Family in need update
In the last Occasional News we mentioned a family with special needs which was waiting for Government support – and which we had been accommodating for over a week. In the end it took four weeks for the Home Office to take on the support of the four adults and this cost us £1,800 –we only managed to keep it so low because we managed to find them some unoccupied student accommodation and a sympathetic ex-client as a landlord. They were a special case in various ways but it was a lot of money for us to find.
Government breaks one promise
Mr Johnson’s Government has just broken a promise made by Mrs May not to rescind £2.6m of EU funding promised to support refugees in the UK. They have just sent a letter to the Refugee Council telling them that in the event of a no-deal Brexit this funding will be immediately stopped leaving 3,565 vulnerable people without support.
Sign the Refugee Council’s open letter to the Home Office today, demanding they keep their promise.
State run English tuition for asylum seekers has been steadily cut in recent years but Chancellor Sajid Javid said recently he would “put rockets under” a programme to increase spending on English language classes. Sadly though the Government did not allocate a penny to this in the September Spending Review. It’s a good job we have such a strong team of volunteers stepping up to fill the gap! Our English classes are thriving.
ONE WORLD WEEK /JOURNEY’S FESTIVAL
Lots of good things to raise the spirits in these two programmes – get out your diaries and have a look One World Week is church based and runs from 20th to 27th October - it is focused on climate change this year. Journey’s Festival is a professionally run Refugee Arts Festival that runs from 18th to 27th October. Click on the links to see
the programmes. I recommend “Pizza Shop Heroes”, New Theatre Royal, this Sunday, 20th.
All the best, I’m sorry to go on so about money,