Helping refugees to pay their Home Office fees

In Britain, we don’t make it easy to claim asylum

It costs a lot of money to apply and there are many additional costs, including a hefty payment in advance for NHS treatment. And once you’re in the system you can’t work or claim benefits until you’ve been granted ‘leave to remain’, which can take years.

I volunteer with a charity called Watford Refugees. We provide practical and emotional support for asylum-seekers and refugees and one of the most important things we do is make a contribution of £325 towards the Home Office fee for an asylum application. Asylum-seekers are very often destitute and homeless when we meet them and these fees are a real challenge.

In March I rode my bike to work and back to raise some money. I set myself a target of £200 and, in the end, I raised over a thousand! That will allow us to help three individual asylum-seekers with their fees.

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I wrote another Medium post about Watford Refugees in March.

I’m a trustee at the amazing Poppy Academy Trust, a social media editor in radio, a poet and a volunteer at Watford Refugees.

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