News / bristol refugee rights

Pride Without Borders launches fundraiser

By lowie trevena, Thursday Aug 27, 2020

Many asylum seekers and refugees face homelessness, destitution, isolation and exclusion.

LGBTQ+ asylum seekers face the additional barriers of marginalisation and not being believed.

Pride Without Borders supports queer refugees and asylum seekers, providing a weekly support group, wellbeing phone calls and support to evidence asylum claims.

The project is part of Bristol Refugee Rights, which also provides asylum seekers, no matter their gender or sexuality, shelter, food, safety, medication and digital devices. There is also an advice team who help asylum seekers apply for legal protection, housing, a weekly allowance and access to medical care.

Pride Without Borders has launched a fundraiser to continue its work, which has become increasingly vital during the coronavirus pandemic.

Pride Without Borders are beginning to meet LGBTQ+ asylum seekers in outdoor spaces following the coronavirus lockdown. Photo: Diego Maeso

“Covid-19 has aggravated these issues causing the physical and mental health of many individuals to deteriorate further,” the organisation says.

“Bristol Refugee Rights is providing an advice service hotline three days a week for asylum seekers and refugees during Covid-19 Lockdown. We provide food, housing application, devices, data, medical emergency support and hardship funds.

“In addition, the Pride Without Borders team reach up to 30 individuals each week to provide wellbeing services and combat isolation and respond to mental health emergencies.

“Our Pride group have multiple online platforms for daily communication as well as weekly support meetings.”

Funds raised will directly support LGBTQ+ people seeking asylum in Bristol, all of whom are black, Asian or are from an ethnic minority background.

“Right now, donating to our crowdfunder and sharing it is of paramount importance,” says Asli Tatliadim, impact and communications coordinator at Bristol Refugee Rights. “Our work means life or death for many and it all depends on us having enough funds.

“It is a lifeline for individuals who have escaped persecution in their country because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Every single person we have supported in their asylum claim has had a positive response so far. We change lives, quite literally.”

Asylum seekers do not have the right to work, and face homelessness and destitution. Living on £37.75 a week, LGBTQ+ refugees are often forced to live in cramped houses with potentially homophobic and transphobic people.

A team of 120 volunteers support asylum seekers at Bristol Refugee Rights. Photo: Bristol Refugee Rights

In addition, three out of four LGBTQ+ asylum seekers are refused asylum by the Home Office due to “a culture of disbelief”.

So far, Pride Without Borders have helped 23 LGBTQ+ refugees secure asylum in the UK.

Funds donated will go towards phone calls, transport costs, language interpreters, food and more.

“We help LGBTQ+ asylum seekers access food, housing, community and asylum application support,” say Bristol Refugee Rights.

“We are LOUD & PROUD of this extremely successful project, but we need your help to continue this crucial work.”

Donate at www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/brrpride

Main photo: Micro Rainbow

Read more: Supporting LGBTQ+ refugees through the coronavirus

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