How we can stand with and support people seeking asylum in Newcastle

First published on: 18th October 2021

By Hannah Barnes, CEO of The West End Refugee Service

The horrific scenes we have all seen on our screens, of those desperately fleeing Afghanistan to find safety, has led to a heart-warming outpour of support from communities across Newcastle and the wider North East.

There is a huge disconnect between the support and compassion that people are showing and the government’s current and proposed treatment of refugees.

At this moment, a bill is passing through parliament that ultimately takes away the basic right for people to seek asylum in the UK. The Nationality and Borders Bill (dubbed by many as the anti-refugee bill) makes judgments about an individual’s right to live safely based on the journey that individual has to make.

In doing so it will criminalise people fleeing persecution, including Afghans, who may have assisted our armed forces but didn’t make it on those last evacuation flights whilst chaos and terror ensued.

We will see more people lose their human rights, die at sea or become homeless. There is nothing in this new bill that improves the system or the people’s lives it affects.

There are ways people can act and have their voice heard to call for positive change:

Join the #TogetherwithRefugees campaign

We are encouraging people to support the campaign #TogetherwithRefugees which calls for a fairer and compassionate treatment of refugees. We’re having a week of action from 18-24 October, and the campaign will not stop there. Keep an eye on their website, sign up to their newsletter and follow their lead with suggested actions to take.

Donate to provide vital support to refugees in Newcastle

You can also help in more practical ways. WERS is currently seeking donations to its hardship fund which supports people who have no access to public funds/support from the government, with monthly payments, on a pre-payment card, plus phone credit.

This past year, as we all know, has been very tough for many, and right now we are seeing an unprecedented number of people in need of these payments. Any donation that you are able to offer will make a big difference to individual lives. Click here to donate.

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