We have a long history of making small emergency grants to clients in crisis.
During the pandemic, we knew that our most vulnerable clients – asylum seekers with no legal right to work, scant support networks and no income – would struggle to get food and basic supplies. We knew we had to act, and act quickly.
Thanks to funding from Cloudesley, the National Lottery, CRISIS, the City Bridge Trust and the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation we developed a new system of ‘Support Packages’. These packages went to 90 people every fortnight and were for food, phone top-ups, essentials and travel. The packages supported asylum seekers, most of whom are banned from working and are classed as having No Recourse to Public Funds.
During the 18 months from March 2020 to September 2021 we sent 3240 Support Packages accounting for nearly a quarter of our total budget. This was a huge undertaking for us as a small organisation and we are so proud to have achieved it.
From September 2021 onwards, as restrictions end and other support becomes open to our clients, we are adapting this service and offering a new system. Under the new system, destitute asylum seekers will continue to be supported to buy food and essentials. Meanwhile, all asylum seekers, including those who are not classed as destitute, can apply for reimbursements of data top-ups and travel expenses to help them access our services.