We could not be more proud to share that today, Michael Woolley was presented the Portsmouth City Council Civic Award:
"in recognition of all you have done for immigration detainees, refugees and asylum seekers over the last twenty years and in recognition of your selfless, steadfast and outstanding commitment and dedication to helping those in need of legal, social and financial assistance.
For bringing warmth, friendship and justice to those who find themselves in hardship and adversity, making a real and true difference to people's lives."
The award was presented to Michael by the Right Worshipful, the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr Rob Wood and signed by the Lord Mayor and the Chief Executive of the Council in the form of a certificate and a medal.
We think it is justly deserved to recognise Michael’s contribution, over two decades of support for asylum seekers and refugees in Portsmouth. Friends Without Borders has been entirely volunteer run since 2015 and Michael has built a strong community of volunteers, all working together to support those seeking asylum in Portsmouth.
Well done Michael, you're truly amazing!
The full citation read: "Michael Woolley has been involved with Friends Without Borders and its predecessor organisation The Haslar Visitors' Group since 1998. He served as Co-ordinator 2001-09, then became a Trustee while serving as Mayor of Chichester. He became Chairman and Co-ordinator when the organisation became exclusively Volunteer in 2015 - he has spearheaded the recruitment and training of several dozen volunteers who run [in normal times] Drop Ins twice a week for Asylum Seekers in Portsmouth. Donation income has risen to £50,000 a year under his leadership and locally based Refugees are provided with legal and other needed advice, weekly payments for subsistence until they are granted state benefits, and many other means of support. Michael and the organisation that he has headed up continue to make a significant difference to refugees until their residency be settled - his contribution has been outstanding."