raised of £30,000 target
RCN 1156709


Our 30th anniversary is a difficult milestone, representing 30 years of continued harm to people detained. This is made even more difficult given the current context of ruthless immigration deterrence, including the dehumanising plans to remove people to Rwanda. Over recent months, hundreds of people were detained and tormented with the prospect of removal to an unknown country. Whilst the majority of people have been released, this brought into stark view the vital need for our work. Both people detained for the purpose of Rwanda and other people in detention were impacted immensely by the fear, uncertainty and emotional strain during this period. This was exacerbated by, and further aggravated, an already dysfunctional detention system which led to difficulties accessing healthcare, in communicating with lawyers and finding accurate information. Sadly, for those of us who have experienced detention over the years - as visitors or as people previously detained - this story is not new.

The harrowing truth is that the UK is the only European country without a statutory time limit on detention. Our 30 year history of working with local communities and people detained has provided us with insurmountable evidence of the senseless, harmful, and discriminatory nature of detention. People with lived experience have described life in detention as “mental torture”, with “prison-like” conditions and all personal liberties removed. A 2023 guardian news report exposed the tragic consequences of this reality, revealing that there has been a self-harm incident or suicide attempt nearly every day in a UK Immigration Removal Centre over the last 6 years (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/nov/27/self-harm-incident-nearly-every-day-in-uk-immigration-detention-data-shows).

In this pivotal moment of increasing uncertainty, hostility and unprecedented planned detention expansion, our help is needed more than ever.

Our network of visitor groups is needed to provide emotional and practical support to people in detention. As a collective, we are working towards a different future for the next 30 years - a future which will see our support no longer needed, with people supported in communities where they belong. Whatever you are able to pledge, your support goes a long way to provide hope and humanity to those suffering the realities of immigration detention in the UK.

The £30,000 raised will be used for us to develop our work and respond to the current moment by:

1. Providing accurate and up to date information on immigration detention:

We are regularly contacted by friends and families, local solidarity groups and people in or who are fearing detention. The context is continuously changing and there is a desperate need for accurate information on detention: how to prepare, what to expect, what rights people have in detention have and who can provide support. Our 30 years of experience means that we have an extensive knowledgebase on detention, and we are working hard to make sure that this information available in a range of forms so that it reaches the right people.

2. Ensuring that people in detention have access to visitor groups and the support of visitors:

Information can only go so far, and we exist to make sure that people in detention have support from visitors who can be with them during their time in detention as a friend, ally and to provide practical advice. This could involve making sure that someone knows their rights in detention or how they can find a lawyer. It could involve getting them practical necessities and comforts to make their time in detention just a little bit easier. Or it could involve acting as a listening ear at a time of isolation from the outside world. We are supporting visitor groups in our network to recruit and train more visitors, facilitating peer support amongst visitor groups and keeping visitor groups up to date of changes to policy and practice.

3. Fighting to STOP Detention Expansion:

There is hope to be garnered from communities who are coming together to demand humanity. We are acting alongside these communities and the wider movement to end harmful and violent migration practices. We have an important role to play and are building evidence through detention monitoring, raising public awareness, engaging with communities and working with people who have first-hand experience of the harsh realities of detention to build the power of our movement.

For smaller charities like ours, navigating the funding landscape can be a considerable challenge. However, contributions from individuals like you will support our continued work on the ground. You will be supporting visitor groups to be more resilient with the framework, knowledge, skills and connections to support people in detention.

By donating to this campaign, you will also become part of the long-term vision to end the practice of immigration detention. You become the eyes and the ears on immigration centres, helping us to build evidence on the realities of detention and advocate for a more humane future.

Please help AVID to raise £30,000 and ensure we are not still here in 30 years’ time.

About the charity

We are the national network for voluntary organisations providing support inside immigration detention. People in detention are cut off from their support networks indefinitely. This has a huge mental health impact. Volunteer visitors, who provide emotional and practical support, can be a lifeline.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £523.75 Gift Aid
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