Did you know that there are significant numbers of people in Britain who have neither the right to earn a living, nor any entitlement to welfare benefits – nor even to a roof over their heads?
They are truly destitute: ‘failed’ asylum seekers. The great majority have left their own countries, having experienced severe persecution as a result of their political opinions or faith, suffered further trauma and financial abuse on the hazardous journey that brought them to Britain, and then fallen through gaping holes in a legal process that appears to assume guilt rather than innocence from the outset.
A whole host of amazing people…
BEACON’s Hosting Project recruits, trains and supports volunteer hosts to provide a home to destitute refused asylum seekers. Hosting provides guests with a secure, supportive environment in which they have the opportunity to research and gather the fresh evidence they need in order to submit a fresh asylum claim.
The good news. At least a third of the 62 people hosted since October 2008 had been granted leave to remain (we have lost contact with several). Others have submitted fresh asylum claims and are waiting for decisions. These are people who fled extreme trauma in their homelands but who, without a safe place to stay whilst they gathered fresh evidence to resubmit their asylum claims, may well have been forced to return to the very situations they fled.
The not-so-good news. Whilst our wonderful small group of hosts come back again and again to offer a home and friendship to new people, the project regularly has to turn away destitute asylum seekers in need of our support. The demand significantly outstrips supply. Both guests and hosts speak of the mutuality of hosting and the friendships that develop. We need more people willing to open up their homes – and their hearts – and be a part of a life-changing experience. We particularly need households able to help men. Initial training and ongoing support is provided.
Many ‘FAQ’s’ are answered in the attached document:
Guidance for Hosts
For more details call or email Will Sutcliffe: 07505 053149; firstname.lastname@example.org
“I look back at the time I spent being hosted by BEACON and am inspired to be a host one day when I have a place of my own. This was a life changing experience for me because I was offered help when I really needed it the most by a most selfless and loving individual. The work that BEACON does has bridged the bureaucratic gap between destitution and receiving statutory support. I support the work that BEACON does because many destitute asylum seekers really have no one else to turn to.”
S.S from Zimbabwe. Jan. 2011, now granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK