We provide one day bus passes to destitute asylum seekers who need to travel over two miles.
The people we support have no access to any Government or other support, apart from charity food parcels and the help that friends could provide. They are people whose asylum claims have been refused but who are unable to return home for a wide variety of reasons. These include asylum seekers who are appealing a negative decision and those whom the Government cannot return home because there is no safe route to do so.
Bus passes are provided to people who have no access to any other form of support and who needed to travel over two miles to attend, for example, legal or medical appointments, English classes, or other important meetings, or who needed to report to the UK Home Office.
As we cannot provide for everyone who needs passes, priority is given to those with additional vulnerabilities such as mental or physical health problems.
We support people like:
Maiba* from Zimbabwe who has lived for 16 months in Glasgow with no cash. She suffers from severe back pain. The successful outcome of her asylum case depends on her attending solicitor’s appointments and regularly reporting to the UK Border Agency. This requires her to walk a 10 mile round trips, leaving her flat at 9am for an appointment at 1pm and getting home at 6pm. She does this in all weathers, in serious pain and often on an empty stomach.
Yusuf from Somalia who has been living for five months with no access to cash support, while he waits for his appeal to be considered. He needs to travel to report to the UKBA, to visit his solicitor and to get to college to study English. He has to walk everywhere. His college has been unable to help him with travel costs, so he has had to abandon his classes. Since then he has found himself increasingly isolated, depressed and frustrated.
Ahmad from Kuwait, who came to the UK in 2000 and is still waiting for his claim to be resolved. He has severe mental health problems and urgently needs to attend weekly hospital checkups and pharmacy visits to collect his medication. He has suffered racist assaults in the past and this, in addition to his extremely fragile mental health, makes him terrified of walking even short distances. Ahmad lives five miles from the hospital and pharmacy, but he has no way of paying for travel, and relies on friends to help him.
* Name has been changed.
The Refugee Survival Trust’s bus pass scheme is a lifeline for destitute refugees and asylum seekers who cannot afford to buy their own tickets. Something as simple as access to public transport can be the reason that an individual is able to attend important meetings, go to the food bank, or even meet friends. Being mobile is crucial to the asylum application process and to integration into life in Scotland.
Every pound that is raised will go directly towards the cost of daily bus ticket vouchers for Glasgow and Clyde and Edinburgh and the Lothians, which cost us £6 each. Refugees and asylum seekers are eligible to receive the tickets if they have no resource to other funds; due to limited funds we give them a maximum of one daily bus ticket per week.
Donate to our ongoing Bus Pass fund here.
How do I apply?
If you think that you are eligible to receive a bus pass, please contact one of our partners who can arrange for you to receive a one day bus pass for the Greater Glasgow area, or for the Lothians.
Edinburgh and Lothians