Refugee Action Colchester works with people from 26 countries who have come to Colchester as refugees, asylum seekers or vulnerable migrants.
This year over 350 people have accessed support and encouragement form our Colchester Office at 15 Queen Street. Some of these clients have no recourse to public funding, living in destitution. We make regular payments to these clients and assist them in their situation, be it by accessing free legal support, housing, donations or a combination of all of these. Sami is an Afghan woman whose husband was deported three months ago and now lives alone with three small children, one of whom is a baby. Without our support she would be unable to access legal aid, and her legitimate human rights route to remain in the UK. Part of that support, while she has no recourse to public funds has been to pay her rent and assist with food. The other support is a wonderful befriender and making sure that the school and health visitor understand the stresses under which she must live while the applications needed are made. Her alternative - the children being taken into care and mum being on the street. Its not an option for us and sadly neither are the many similar cases where people have arrived here expecting peace and support and have faced the hostile environment and its influences. Please help us, as you often do in our facebook appeals and know that our unpaid work continues to help those most in need every day.
Every penny also supports our offices where amazing things happen, people are reunited with loved ones, get visas to see family they thought they'd lost, find free nappies on our shelves, clothes and furniture are given, rooms found for temporary support, therapeutic help is accessed, violin, conversation and computer classes are given, forest schools and community events bring smiles and pleasure for clients and volunteers. Expert advocacy accompanies every application and appointment for each client who needs it.