Emergency response for refugees during Covid-19

by Mark Dunn in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

Emergency response for refugees during Covid-19
We did it
On 22nd July 2020 we successfully raised £1,137 with 19 supporters in 41 days

Ensuring refugees and asylum seekers have access to food, essential items, social connection and community during the Covid-19 crisis

by Mark Dunn in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

Our story
Borderlands has been supporting refugees, asylum seekers and those with insecure immigration status since 2011. We believe that people should be able to seek sanctuary, safety and justice, where they can make full use of their talents and abilities, feel valued for their contribution to their community, and build worthwhile lives. We want to help refugees, asylum seekers and those with insecure immigration from exclusion to belonging.

How we are responding to the needs of refugees during the Covid-19 crisis
Through the relationships we have built with the community from our drop-in and mentoring projects we are now responding to the needs of our community during the Covid-19 crisis.

We will provide over 100 refugees and asylum seekers a hot meal and food parcel a week by take-away and delivery ensuring that those experiencing poverty and destitution have access to essential food during the crisis. We are the only refugee organisation in Bristol who is offering this during the crisis.

We will provide weekly welfare phone calls to the most vulnerable and isolated refugees and asylum seekers to reduce isolation, provide latest government and NHS advice and ensure access to essential services. This will ensure that they do not become disconnected from their local community and continue to have access to essential information and support organisations. We will ensure refugees and asylum seekers have increased digital inclusion by providing them with phone credit and data. This will enable them to have access to the wider community, reduce isolation and give them control over their own lives. during the crisis.

Why is this needed? 
Refugees and asylum seekers consistently experience food insecurity, struggle to access services and experience social exclusion and loneliness but all of these factors are only being exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis. Those who accessed food, signposting and community at daily drop-ins, run by us and partner organisations around the city, now find themselves unable to access any of these services as the majority have closed. We are the only refugee organisation in Bristol that is offering weekly hot food for collection and delivery. Without the additional food these drop-ins provided many are unable to feed themselves and their families. Without the contact with these organisations and the community spaces they facilitated, and often with only limited English and no local family connections, many find themselves unaware and unable to access support. This isolation is heightened by the fact that many of our members are digitally excluded with no or extremely limited access to the internet meaning they cannot stay connected and informed during this crisis.

How will the money raise help us?
The money raised will help us to purchase food for our weekly meals and food parcels, phone data and credit for our members, cover volunteer expenses for those delivering food,  and cover staff costs who are coordinating this response.

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