In August 2021 we decided to focus on short term, essential aid because that is where we can have the biggest impact. we are currently working in Cyprus and the UK.
An essential lifeline in Cyprus
Since 2019, our Nicosia Dignity Centre has offered cornerstone help to poorly supported asylum seekers and refugees.
It offers a range of support. At its heart is the Dignity Market – a highly innovative way of distributing food to an ever-changing group of 250 asylum seekers in greatest need. It’s dignified, offers choice and allows for a little normality. The food is critical and it helps but what we are really doing is feeding spirits. People are happier and also chat more to volunteers. They’re not there just to pick up some supplies. They appreciate the efforts to make the shop look like the best shop it can be. It’s community.
It’s a world away from just giving people a bag of food. You can read how it works here.
We allow up to 250 people to select up to €7 of food each week. It also makes it very clear where your money goes – €31 (£27) provides an individual with an essential basket of goods for one month.
People stuck in UK hotels
Asylum seekers in the UK have to survive on very little support and their accommodation is often terrible. We have created a monthly visit to a hotel for asylum seekers in Birmingham where we provide food, clothing and signposting to other services
A return to Greece
We are making plans to return to Greece to support the many thousands who are still struggling to rebuild their lives in Europe and unable to return to their own countries.
We helped in Greece for over 3 years and are really looking forward to helping again from November 2021.
We can build community
We’re all about creating networks of support. We are very proud of the 1,000+ volunteers from over 40 nations who have come for weeks at a time to stand shoulder to shoulder with refugees at difficult times in their journey. Many have created great friendships and continued to help.
We also look outside our organisation. For example, everything is bought new from local businesses:
- It is important to invest in the local economy and use that to challenge objections from local people about having refugees and asylum seekers in their community
- It reduces waste, enables us to provide consistency and we think that people should not have to accept donated goods that others do not want
Your donation enables us to move quickly. Needs are always changing and we have respond to them often as a matter of urgency.
We set ourselves up so that we could take quick decisions and make big changes. This way of working has enabled us to launch innovative services, move to new refugee camps, respond immediately to crises, set up bases in new countries, do something completely different and create whole new enterprises.
Whatever you can donate will help us create a world where all refugees can love a life with dignity. Just click on the DONATE box to make an easy, secure donation.
Or you can send a cheque to 14 Hollingbury Park Avenue, Brighton, BN1 7JF, UK
Refugee Support Europe is a registered charity (number 1174070).