Wharfedale Refugee Response is appealing to the public to donate clothing, toiletries, stationery and other items to provide practical support for the more than 400 adult male asylum seekers living in temporary accommodation in the Bradford area.
BIASAN (Bradford Immigration and Asylum Support and Advice Network) currently supports the men, some of whom are as young as 18, who have had to flee from their home countries.
Single male asylum seekers often have to survive for long periods of time whilst their claims are processed with just £8 per week to cover their transport, clothing, toiletries, phone credit and other expenses.
Working closely with BIASAN, Wharfedale Refugee Response is setting up a drop-off point at Burley Library between Saturday 5th and Wednesday 9th March. They are asking Wharfedale residents to donate new items such as socks and boxer briefs, toothpaste, soap, body spray and shower gel, as well as notebooks and biros.
In addition, there is also a request for washed pre-loved garments in good condition, such as jeans, joggers, t-shirts, hoodies and coats in small and medium sizes. In addition, they are looking for trainers in sizes 8 to 10, rucksacks, suitcases and recreational items such as chess sets, footballs, dominoes and playing cards.
Sarah O'Mahony of Wharfedale Refugee Response said: “These are men who have been forced to leave their lives and faced arduous journeys to seek safety here, but are waiting in limbo for often lengthy periods of time, feeling forgotten and isolated. They are a group often overlooked and vilified by the media, so we want to make sure we show them our support and let them know that they are welcome here in Yorkshire.
We want to show these men that they matter, that they are welcome, and to give a little practical help. If you can give anything, it would be truly appreciated.”
Those donating are also being encouraged to send messages of support and welcome to the asylum seekers in a booklet when they bring their items to the library.
Based in Burley-in-Wharfedale, Wharfedale Refugee Response is a grass-roots community group of like-minded individuals working individually and together to respond to the needs of asylum seekers and refugees in West Yorkshire and fundraising for those further afield. You can keep up to date with their work at https://www.facebook.com/wharfedalerefugeeresponse and by emailing email@example.com