Walk of Sanctuary to raise funds for destitute asylum seekers
On January 26th 2019, parishes from South Bristol organised a walk across the city to highlight the issues faced by those seeking sanctuary in the city who find themselves destitute thanks to unfair and inhumane policies.
They walked 6 miles in solidarity with the many who have to regularly walk this distance to sign on and also to raise money for the Bristol City of Sanctuary Transport Fund.
Around 55 people joined along the walk, raising a staggering £5008 that will all go towards the Transport Fund, ensuring that sanctuary seekers across Bristol can access much-needed services.
We cannot stress enough the necessity of this fund and the huge difference it makes to refugees and asylum seekers in the city so thank you!
"It is a wonderful amount and will enable us to provide transport to our scattered asylum community for some time. It is not only the money however that we value, but as much the encouragement and support for this marginalised community and those of us who stand along side them that this donation expresses"
- Rev Richard McKay, Chair of Bristol City of Sanctuary
Destitute asylum seekers have lost all their housing and financial support.
In the UK, currently, destitute asylum seekers are not permitted to work, and they cannot return to the country they fled because the Home Office regards some of these countries eg. Somalia to be unsafe.
Destitute asylum seekers have lost all their housing and financial support and are forced to make extensive journeys to sign in weekly or bi-weekly at immigration reporting centres.
There are approximately 100 people in this situation in Bristol, who make their way to Patch-Way Police Centre (which is where Bristol immigration reporting centre is placed).
The six-mile walk intends to not only promote awareness of this journey that many destitute asylum seekers make but aims to raise much-needed funds for the Bristol City of Sanctuary Transport Fund; a community initiative which provides bus tickets for sanctuary seekers facing destitution and vulnerable refugees.
The Transport Fund will help cover travel costs for asylum seekers and vulnerable refugees who need to attend crucial appointments with doctors and solicitors or go to drop- in centres for meals or reach places where they volunteer. They also need social and moral support to survive the trauma of destitution, loss of home and identity and the pain of being disbelieved.
Supporting the Fund
All of us have an opportunity to change the day-to-day lives of those seeking sanctuary in Bristol in a practical way.
You can donate through the JustGiving page here