Maun Refuge

Security in Citizenship

Maun Refuge are supporting Syrian refugee in Mansfield with their ambition to become UK citizens. Citizenship will allow them security, to contribute fully to society and alleviate fears generated by the Windrush Scandal' and hostile environment.
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Security in Citizenship

Since 2015, Maun Refuge has supported families categorised by United Nations as vulnerable and placed in Mansfield under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. These vulnerabilities are various and relate to physical and mental health as well as disabilities brought about by the Syrian civic war or the adverse conditions they lived under before coming here, e.g. in refugee camps.

In 2021, Maun Refuge staff asked the Syrian families in Mansfield to tell us what future support they hoped for from the charity. The majority said their priority was an urgent request for financial support, notably for the cost of becoming UK citizens. Reasons for seeking citizenship included the wish to become full members of UK society. All the adults, as well as many of the young people and children in the seven families we work with, wish to contribute to this society before enjoying the privileges and responsibilities of living here.

For some, there is a strong element of fear and insecurity generated by hearing what has happened to members of the Windrush generation, of seeing and feeling the impact of the hostile environment, and of becoming aware of some of the treatment, neglect, indifference or hostility felt by other refugees and asylum seekers whom they know or have heard about.

However, the obstacles to citizenship are both practical and financial. Practical obstacles include a series of strenuous tests to pass which assess English language competence and understanding of British culture. The cost of a Home Office application for citizenship (with associated legal procedures) are very high and beyond the reach of people on basic incomes. Even someone on moderately well-paid work would find it difficult to raise the required sums of about £2,000 per person, let alone £10,000 for an average family of 5. With young and sick dependants, not all the adults are able to seek regular work.

Despite recognising how hard it will be to raise funds in the current climate of little work, continuing Covid constraints and of a challenging local economy, it is for the aforementioned reasons that Maun Refuges trustees made the decision to try to raise 75% of the funds the families would need to achieve citizenship.

At the time of writing, our Citizenship Fund stands at £3,700 and initially we aim to raise £24,000 to be able to support the first 12 eligible individuals through the citizenship process.

Accordingly, we are reaching out to our current supporters and the wider community to help us achieve our ambitious target. We would be very grateful for any assistance you can offer to our quest to bring these families a real sense of security and belonging in Mansfield.

Please visit or email for more detail.

Thank you.

About the charity

Maun Refuge

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