We know that this must be an extremely challenging time for you, our service users. As most of you are aware, we won’t be running our monthly meetings, support groups or social events during this time and our office is currently closed. However, we continue to offer legal advice, emotional and practical support via phone and email. We are looking into setting up our support groups in virtual form. Please continue to contact us through email, the group chat and the office phone.

In this time it is important you look after yourselves. Please try and:

  • Look after yourself from a practical point. Please try and make wise choices with your money. Dried or canned food, rice, fruit and vegetables would be a wiser way to spend your money than on cigarettes, alcohol or convenience food/takeaways, at the moment. They are often cheaper too. Some people have had success at buying groceries in the smaller shops or early in the morning.
  • Use the group chats to generally support one another and be positive. There have been lovely messages of hope and humour, and these are very important right now. The messages/links about where this virus came from or herbal folk remedies aren’t helpful right now. What is important is that we get through this and you are safe and looked after. There have been lovely messages of encouragement so please keep this up! Share tips, recipes, fun clips, general info and I will continue to do the same in our group chats.
  • For those that are still using saunas and hook-up apps like Grindr, please be mindful that emergency PEP clinics will only be offering a very reduced service, and may well close temporarily. Please look after yourselves and think about possible risky behaviours.
  • Ensure that you have enough of the prescribed medicines that you normally take.
  • Be kind, have patience and know that many others will try and do the same, too. This is a difficult time but what is becoming apparent is the generosity of community and the many people out there trying to help.
  • Be vigilant. There are also those out there looking to use this situation to their benefit.
  • Look at the links below.
  • In the groups we have spoken about parenting yourself. It may be you have to be the one who looks after you – and every one of you has the skillset to do that, you have demonstrated that when sharing and helping others in our groups.
  • Contact us if you need legal or emotional or practical support. We will do what we can. Reach out to us if you are very worried or concerned about your wellbeing – please!
  • Do some positive activities: watch comedy, ring a friend, cook or start a conversation on our group chats.

We are so proud of you all. We have seen you grow as a group and nurture one another, embrace challenges/obstacles and find solutions –  all whilst trying to navigate the asylum process.