NACCOM Covid-19 Advocacy: PM must honour commitment to those who can’t access public funds during Coronavirus pandemic, say leading charities

On March 26th, NACCOM, member charities in our network, and other leading charities from across the migration sector, have once again written to the Prime Minister, urging him to make vital support available to those unable to access public funds  due to their uncertain migration status, during the Covid19 pandemic.

In the letter over 80 charities asked the Prime Minister to act on his commitment made at PMQs that;

“People seeking asylum, those whose asylum claims have been refused and all who have been prohibited from having access to public funds by Home Office rules “will certainly receive the Home Office funding that they need and deserve.”

VIEW THE RESPONSE FROM THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT HERE VIEW THE RESPONSE FROM THE WELSH GOVERNMENT HERE

The full letter reads:

Dear Prime Minister,

RE: PMQ commitment for Home Office funding for those who are seeking asylum, have had their asylum claims refused or who are prohibited from accessing public funds

Following our letter dated 19th March with recommendations signed by over 80 organisations supporting people who are homeless and destitute because of their migration status, we write again to welcome your commitment at PMQs yesterday (25th March 2020) stating that;

People seeking asylum, those whose asylum claims have been refused and all who have been prohibited from having access to public funds by Home Office rules “will certainly receive the Home Office funding that they need and deserve”

It is now imperative that those who are homeless and destitute stemming from insecure immigration status, including those with No Recourse to Public Funds, as well as those seeking to access or who have been refused asylum are able to urgently access publicly funded accommodation and support.

This will not only help vulnerable homeless and destitute individuals to be safe and hence be able to comply with your instructions on safe social distancing and self-isolation, but it will also significantly lessen the risk of their exposure to the virus and therefore its onward transmission.

Many people who are homeless and destitute in the UK have underlying health conditions, such as respiratory issues, which make them particularly vulnerable to Covid-19. Contracting the virus will result in severe illnesses needing intensive care treatment, and for some it will result in death. Therefore, your commitment to act must now be implemented without delay. Acting now will help prevent further pressure on the NHS, and it will also save lives.

NACCOM and our partners appreciate the tone and substance of your statement at PMQs. We stand ready to work together with your Government, the devolved Governments and Local Authority partners, to ensure that all those homeless and destitute with insecure immigration status can be accommodated in the following days and weeks.

In making sure our shared public health fight against Covid-19 encompasses all vulnerable groups, irrespective of immigration status, we can give ourselves the best chance to suppress and ultimately overcome this unprecedented global pandemic, here in the UK.

We look forward to hearing from you. Most of all, however, we want to work with you to urgently deliver on this commitment.

Yours sincerely,

Hazel Williams, NACCOM
Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive, Crisis
Polly Neate, Chief Executive, Shelter
Sabir Zazai, CEO, Scottish Refugee Council
Sarah Teather, Director, JRS
Holly Taylor, Executive Director of Policy and Communications, Welsh Refugee Council
Natasha Walter & Marchu Girma, Directors, Women for Refugee Women
Stephen Hale, CEO, Refugee Action
Fizza Qureshi, CEO, Migrants’ Rights Network
Maurice Wren, CEO, Refugee Council
Sonya Sceats, CEO, Freedom from Torture
Alice Webb, Director, Asylum Support Appeals Project
Leila Zadeh, Executive Director, UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group
Andrea Vukovic, Project Director, Asylum Matters
Kerry Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Helen Bamber Foundation
Nazek Ramadan, Director, Migrant Voice
Zrinka Bralo, CEO, Migrant Organise
Bella Sankey, Director, Detention Action
Abi Brunswick, Director, Project 17
Ali McGinley, Director, AVID (Association of Visitors to Immigration Detainees)
Denise McDowell, Chief Executive, Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit
Sara Nathan OBE, Trustee, Refugees At Home
Beth Wilson, Director, Bristol Refugee Rights
Sally Daghlian OBE, CEO, Praxis Community Projects
Lizzie Briggs, Director, Bristol Hospitality Network
Alison Moore, CEO, Refugee Women Connect
James Clayton, Chair of Trustees, Hope Housing Bradford
Sally Smith, Managing Director, Sanctus St Marks
Ewan Roberts, Centre Manager, Asylum Link Merseyside
Salma Ravat, Manager, One Roof Leicester
Phil Davis, Coordinator, Hope Projects Birmingham
Julian Prior, CEO, Action Foundation
Ros Holland, Chief Executive, The Boaz Trust
Neli Montes de Oca, Caseworker and Immigration Advisor, Refugee Support Devon
Lisa Norcross, Development Coordinator, Sanctuary Homes & Together Lancashire
Nicola Wood, Executive Officer, Swindon City of Sanctuary
Nick Harborne, CEO, Reading Refugee Support Group
Beth Ash, Coordinator, The Night Shelter at Coventry Peace House
The Leadership Team , Assist Sheffield
Jacob Berkson, Trustee, Thousand 4 1000
Anna Yassin, Migrant Project Manager, Glass Door Homeless Charity
Jill Hay, Tenancy Support Officer, The Race Equality Centre Leicester
Mel Steel, Director, Voices in Exile
Thomas Martin, Director, City of Sanctuary Sheffield
Pete Hobson, Chair of Trustees, Leicester City of Sanctuary
Katrina Burton, Project Manager, West Yorkshire Destitute Asylum Network
David Hirst, Refugee and Migrant Practitioner, Birmingham Community Hosting Network
Roopa Tanna, Solicitor, Islington Law Centre
Anna Skehan, Migrant and Refugee Children’s Legal Unit
Ceri Hutton, Chair, MigrationWork CIC
Becky Macfarlane, Glasgow Asylum Destitution Action Network
Anna Lewis, CEO, Open Doors North East
The Unity Project
Caron Boulghassoul, CEO, Nottingham Arimathea Trust
Ruth Cooke, Chair of Directors, Abigail Housing
Anthony Gard, Movement for Justice
Aleasha Chaunte , Co-Director , One September Art LLP
Washington Ali, Trustee, Communities and Asylum Seekers Together
Katy Armitstead, Team Leader, Bradford Ecumencial Asylum Concern (BEACON)
Chris Wooff, Joint-leader, Ashton Churches Asylum Project
Martin Newell cp, Austin Smith House
Elizabeth Mora, Cornerstone Day Centre
David Jackson, Development Worker, Cranhill Development Trust
Philip D Wray, Glasgow City Mission
Traci Kirkland, Charity Service Manager, Govan Community Project
Akbar Babukarhail, Service Manager, Metropolitan Housing Trust
RAPAR
Sarah Wahby, Service Manager, Sanctuary Hosting
Suzy McGarrity, Development Coordinator, Sharedydd
Abigail Creak, Outreach Worker, Simon on the Streets
Saida Soge, Project Manager,ARC Project Blackburn
Dr Janet Gilbert, Manager, The Cotton Tree Trust
Angela O’Brien, Staff member, London Catholic Worker
Sarah Taal, Trustee, Coventry Migrant Women’s Houses
Karen Pearse, Director, PAFRAS
Siân Summers-Rees, Chief Officer, City of Sanctuary UK
Joshua Hallam, Community Campaigns and Networks Manager, Help Refugees/Choose Love
The Unity Project
Loa Pour Mirza, Operations Officer, Ubuntu Women Shelter

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD YOUR NAME TO THE LETTER, CLICK HERE TO GET IN TOUCH READ THE SNP’S LETTER TO THE HOME SECRETARY ECHOING OUR CALL FOR URGENT ASYLUM SUPPORT MEASURES VIEW THE RESPONSE FROM THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT HERE VIEW THE RESPONSE FROM THE WELSH GOVERNMENT HERE

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