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My name is Gemma and I’m originally from Nigeria. I came to the UK in 2010 seeking safety and spent the following eight years in waiting for a decision on my asylum claim. I recently had the chance to be Guest Editor of Refugee Action’s Autumn Newsletter. 

I feel that people seeking asylum lose our voice in this system. We don’t know when or who to speak to, or who is even going to listen to us. We are often treated like we are nothing. 

I became Guest Editor to use my voice and my experience to show others they are not alone. 

Being in the asylum system deeply affected me. I become more anxious everyday.  

I tried and failed to access support through my GP. I was repeatedly turned away. I couldn’t believe it. Healthcare is something I believe everyone should have access to. They told me it was because my ID was not acceptable to them. 

I suffered really badly. The rejection I faced every time I reached out for help started to chip away at my confidence. I didn’t feel like I had a voice anymore. 

Now, I’m using my voice as your Guest Editor because I want people to understand what is happening to people seeking safety. I don’t want others in situations likes me to give up.  

Your support is vital, you give people seeking safety life, light and confidence back. You are the light in our dark times.  

In this edition of Your Action you can read a range of pieces highlighting the harsh reality of being in the asylum system, and pieces that celebrate opportunities for those with lived experience.


When I was in the asylum system I felt voiceless. I wrote this poem to show how together we can use our strength and voices to make a difference. 

Like the mighty lions roar my voice will not be silenced, 

The power in my voice will be heard, 

The strength I carry will flow, 

Our Love United us all, 

Together we will not fall, 

Let’s hold ours hands together and become even stronger, 

Look how far we have come. 

We still got to fight but I know we will win together 

“there is a light at the end of the tunnel”. 

We still got to fight but I know we will win together 

“there is a light at the end of the tunnel”. 

Will you ensure children’s needs aren’t forgotten?

Eli and her three children have spent over a year stuck living in one small hotel room. Her children are forced to do their school work on a bed that is too soft to write on, or cramped on the floor. Eli just wants her children to be able to do the normal things other children do, play, learn and explore freely. Find out how you can support Eli’s family and the many others who are navigating parenthood while trapped in contingency accommodation. 

Creating trainee opportunities for Experts by Experience 

Refugee Action has made a commitment to removing barriers to recruitment for those with lived experience. As Guest Editor I had the opportunity to interview two of Refugee Action’s new trainee programme officers Mona and Maryam. It was amazing to hear more about their roles and the training they are receiving