Hundreds of people turned up to the “Refugees are Welcome Here” rally in Castle Square, Swansea on Saturday 12th September. There were lots of home-made banners and a wonderful feeling in the crowd. Clearly people feel that we should be ready to respond to the desperate need of people seeking safety – both those in Europe and those in the refugee camps and there were lots of stirring speeches.
We were delighted to be offered the chance to collect money for destitute asylum seekers and refugees in Swansea. Marilyn Thomas from SBASSG spoke in particular about our work with Share Tawe, one of our partner groups.
Marilyn made an appeal for money and volunteers for the volunteer hosting scheme run by Share Tawe, and explained how many refused asylum seekers find themselves without money or a bed to sleep in – and are not allowed to work. Share Tawe helps people in this situation by matching people in need of a bed with people who have a spare room. We were overwhelmed by the support of the crowd and we collected more than £900! This will help Share Tawe to support hosts and guests with small amounts of money for food and bus fare. (This year we have provided 1080 bednights through Share TAWE, and each night costs £4 in voluntary donations. We think this is great value for keeping people off the streets).
Marilyn also warned people of the government’s current proposals for even making families with children destitute if they are refused. She asked people to join campaigns to stop this.
Share Tawe also has a useful information booklet available online to find out more.