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Sue Conlan raised £7,711 from 251 supporters

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Closed 14/08/2020

118%
£7,711
raised of £6,500 target by 251 supporters

    Weʼve raised £7,711 to Pay for the burial and hold a funeral service for Taofik Sekoni, a 30 year old man from Togo who died in England on 1 July 2020.

    Birmingham
    Funded on Friday, 14th August 2020

    What is crowdfunding?

    Crowdfunding is a new type of fundraising where you can raise funds for your own personal cause, even if you're not a registered nonprofit.

    The page owner is responsible for the distribution of funds raised.

    Story

    Taofik Sekoni came to the UK in 2015 after his life was threatened in his home country of Togo. He was forced to leave behind his wife and child who later moved to Ghana. He did not see them again before he died on 1 July 2020.

    Finding himself homeless in the UK, Taofik ended up in Dublin, not knowing it was a different country to the UK. After a week in prison there, he was transferred back to the UK where he was treated as claiming asylum. An unsubstantiated allegation was made against him by a member of An Garda Síochána (the police service of the Republic of Ireland) that he had broken the shoulder of a Garda (police officer). This led the UK Home Office treating him as a violent person and was the reason behind his detention in the UK until a Home Office doctor reported that he was a potential victim of torture.

    Taofik’s asylum claim was refused and dismissed on appeal at which point he lost access to housing and financial support. Several years later, he was eventually able to make a new application after lockdown and he again claimed asylum support. The Home Office had planned to arrest him when he made a new application but they could not do so during lockdown. Instead, without any warning, SERCO (a company with a government contract to provide accommodation to asylum seekers) moved him mid-May 2020 from emergency accommodation in Wolverhampton, where he had friends, to a hotel in Chester. Taofik said that the Home Office had a ‘deportation service’ in the hotel and feared he would be sent to Togo. A request to transfer him back to Wolverhampton was refused.

    Taofik did not get any money from the Home Office to provide for himself and the food he received was not suitable for him. On 22 June he was transferred to hospital in Chester due to severe abdominal pain. He died on 1 July 2020. The cause of death is unknown but COVID-19 has been ruled out. The Coroner’s office in Chester is carrying out an investigation into the cause of death. An interim death certificate has been issued to allow for Taofik to be buried.

    Taofik has no family in the UK so his friends at Wolverhampton City of Sanctuary (registered charity no. 1176101) wish to arrange a funeral in a Catholic Church in accordance with Taofik’s faith. The charity will also be responsible for administering any funds for the cremation or burial and funeral. If the funds raised are not enough for a burial, a cremation or memorial service will be considered. Any funds received in excess of those needed for a burial will be transferred to his family. His family do not have any funds to pay for a burial and funeral.

    Taofik’s friends remember him as a very friendly man who was good company and always willing to help. “Due to his past trauma, he had deep fears of going back to Togo, and he would have loved to create a life here in the UK,” said one friend, who added, “in the four years that I knew him, I never heard him say an unkind word.”

    Updates

    6

    • Sue Conlan2 months ago
      Sue Conlan

      Sue Conlan

      2 months ago
      Update from the Page owner

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    • Sue Conlan2 months ago
      Sue Conlan

      Sue Conlan

      2 months ago

      The Trustees of Wolverhampton City of Sanctuary agreed that, whilst our funds are primarily used for the relief of poverty and the prevention of social exclusion, it is right to make a donation to Taofik's funeral at the current time. The decision is based on the wishes of those who knew Taofik from the weekly drop-in and in the charity's current financial circumstances. We have lost a dear friend but we will not forget him. Rest in peace Taofik

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    • Sue Conlan2 months ago
      Sue Conlan

      Sue Conlan

      2 months ago

      Thank you so much to all those who have not only helped Taofik's friends meet the target to lay him to rest in peace but have also ensured that his family will receive some money. It will stay open for that reason until his funeral on 7 August. This is not the end of Taofik's story. His burial will simply mark the end of a chapter.

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    3 months ago

    Sue Conlan started crowdfunding

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    Page last updated on: 8/10/2020 12.34

    Supporters

    251

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      Aug 10, 2020

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      Aug 7, 2020

      £40.00

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      Aug 7, 2020

    • Wolverhampton City of Sanctuary

      Wolverhampton City of Sanctuary

      Aug 6, 2020

      £750.00

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      Jul 31, 2020

      All people deserve respect and I donate in that context. It's a good thing to be honouring one of our asylum seeker friends in this way.

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      Jul 28, 2020

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      Jul 24, 2020

      May he rest in peace

      £10.00

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    About Crowdfunding
    About the fundraiser
    Sue Conlan

    Sue Conlan

    Birmingham

    Sue Conlan is an immigration lawyer in the UK who assisted Taofik to submit a new application for refugee status in the UK. She was in regular communicaton with him before his transfer to intensive care at a hospital in Chester and his death on 1 July 2020.

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