Liverpool charities come together to prevent destitution in the city

An exciting new project to support asylum seekers facing destitution launches today in Liverpool.

From new arrivals to failed asylum seekers, thousands each year in the UK find themselves cut off from welfare benefits and with no where else to turn.

In such cases, the Refugee Action in Liverpool can provide support and expert advice on accessing whatever limited resources are available to them.

But now the new Liverpool asylum outreach and support project, which involves the Refugee Action, British Red Crossand Asylum Link Merseyside, aims to help even more – through group information sessions, courses, one-to-one complex casework support and by practical help with vouchers, clothing and food.

It is hoped the new scheme, which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund, will help over 300 people a year in Liverpool to boost their own well-being, reduce stress, enhance their skills and employment opportunities and support them with information on their rights and entitlements.

Julie Kashirahamwe, Liverpool Area Manager for Refugee Action, said:

“At Refugee Action, we believe that no one seeking protection in the UK should be left destitute. Yet, all too often people come to our advice services and are homeless and unable to access support. These are some of the most vulnerable people in our community and the daily struggle to survive makes it almost impossible for them to think about resolving their situation.

“Through this innovative new partnership, we will proactively reach out to people seeking asylum. Through briefing sessions and information resources we will empower them to make decisions about their own future and help them be prepared for the possibility of destitution.

“We also hope that with three partners coming together we can make the issue of destitution in Liverpool  more visible, so that it can’t be ignored any longer.”

Antonia Dunn, British Red Cross senior services manager for refugee support in Merseyside, said:

“Liverpool has a long tradition of being a city which welcomes newcomers, and we’re keen to help prevent the extreme poverty and destitution which some in the community could face.

“We’re very excited about this new Liverpool partnership between the British Red Cross, Refugee Action and Asylum Link Merseyside. We know that it will meet a real need, and will help people both at risk of destitution and those already suffering extreme poverty.”

Ewan Roberts, centre manager at Asylum Link Merseyside, said:

“In coming together to tackle the issues of destitution, we’re making a statement, that treating people in this way is not acceptable.”

Find out more about Refugee Action in Liverpool.