Deprived of the right to work and precluded from accessing any benefits, those struggling to gain refugee status in the UK have no means to afford to pay for their basic needs. Han, one of our refugee friends, has been coming to the JRS Day Centre for about a year. Han explains:
The Home Office has identified me as a person with no purpose in life. I have been denied housing, healthcare, legal aid and I dont have any money to support myself.
Our weekly Day Centre is a welcoming space where everyone is known, cared for and greeted by name. Offering hospitality to around 240 refugees each month, the Day Centre provides for essentials like a freshly cooked hot meal, packs of toiletries and a weekly £10 travel grant. Not only do these travel grants allow our refugee friends, like Han, to get from A to B but it enables them to access justice, to visit friends, and to participate in community.
When I came to JRS I found each volunteer trying to put in their best effort to welcome me with my name, which in itself is a source of comfort. Each time, each encounter gives me strength to fight for my life.
Our incredible team of runners are running the 2019 London Marathon to raise funds so that JRS can continue to provide hospitality, accompaniment, and welcome to refugees like Han.
Thank you so much for your support and generosity!
About JRS UK
JRS UK shares the global mission of JRS to accompany, serve as companions, and advocate on behalf of refugees, people seeking asylum, and other forcibly displaced people.
In the UK we have a special ministry to those held in immigration detention at Heathrow and those left in limbo (no status, no permission to work and no right to benefits) and completely destitute by the UK asylum process; who are some of the most marginalised in our society today.
We run to accompany: to be with an individual, befriending them and also in some way enhancing their dignity and personal growth. It is our experience that through accompaniment we affirm that God is present, even in most tragic episodes.
We run to serve as companions: offering practical assistance while being with them, for example the JRS Day Centre provides cash travel grants for over 240 refugees each month. Alongside travel grants, the JRS team spend time with refugees sharing meal, a hot drink and catching up on one anothers news.
We run to advocate for the rights of refugees: working towards changing qualitatively the persons life for the better by influencing public opinion, lobbying and raising awareness about the real hardships that asylum seekers and refugees face in the UK today.