The Destitute Migrants’ Relief Fund
This much needed fund provides a crisis grant of up to £80 per month to destitute non-EEA migrants who have no recourse to public funds. This Fund is operated by the Migration & Destitution Action Group who formed under Manchester Homelessness Partnership. The Action Group includes members with experience of the asylum system and destitution and representatives from Asylum Matters, Boaz Trust, City of Sanctuary and Street Support.
- The aim of the Relief Fund is to support people experiencing destitution practically to enable them to live more fulfilled lives, as well as meet their basic needs. It ensures vital cash support reaches those with very limited options to support themselves.
The Destitute Migrants’ Relief Fund has been operating as a pilot project since Jan 2018. We are really pleased to have been able to give 23 grants of up to £80 out so far. Applications are made on behalf of individuals through referring organisations such as Mustard Tree, British Red Cross, City of Sanctuary and Refugee Action.
Based on experiences shared by members of the Action Group with experience of destitution, an important aspect of the fund is to promote dignity and fulfillment among recipients and for this reason we do not stipulate how the grant should be spent. From details we have been given in some applications, this money has been used for: travel (locally to see friends & attend activities as well as longer distance travel to enable individuals to attend appointments vital to their asylum case & submit papers), food, toiletries, clothing, shoes, mobile phone top up and dental treatment charges.
“It is a good feeling to be able to manage my money on my own again, even if just for a while. Using it freely on what I need and want. I was able to budget with this instead of having deadlines to spend it. We are people with human needs. Having access to this money helps improve our way of life and get the things we need most to feel human again.”
“My second application of £80 came at the perfect time because I could submit my application for appeal just in time. I couldn’t have submitted it without this. The [fund] stops people having to put themselves in unsafe situations to get money.”
Where We’re Up To
We are very grateful to all those who have supported the Relief Fund during its infancy. We are pleased the fund is growing and is now in a position where we can widen our network of referrers and encourage applications to continue. We hope to work with more organisations to make sure this money reaches those who need it most and for it to offer some relief during difficult periods of destitution.
The full list of people who have registered to refer is:
Manchester City of Sanctuary
Growing Together Levenshulme
Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit
British Red Cross
The Destitution Project (Bolton)
TO ACCESS THE FUND: please connect with Bolton Destitution Project, British Red Cross, City of Sanctuary, Growing Together Project, Rainbow Haven, Refugee Action, Revive, WAST
TO REQUEST YOUR ORGANISATION TO BE A REFERRER: contact Ros Holland at Boaz Trust firstname.lastname@example.org
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE ACTION GROUP: contact Vicky Shenton at email@example.com
TO DONATE TO THIS VITAL FUND: https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/boaztrust
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