The Refugee Survival Trust has raised concerns about record-breaking numbers of asylum seekers being left in the cold this winter after another record-breaking month in January. The small Scottish charity, which supports destitute asylum seekers and refugees, distributed 171 ‘last resort’ emergency grants to a total value of £14,655 in January, the most that it has ever distributed in one month.
The grants supported 266 people, including 60 children, with essential living and travel expenses. 106 of these people were homeless at the time of application. All were living in the Glasgow area
The Refugee Survival Trust has seen levels of applications for its emergency grants soar in 2017-18, with more than £52,000 distributed in the four month period from September 2017 to January 2018.
Coordinator Zoe Holliday said “In the past 10 months we have distributed £96,990 in the form of 1123 grants to 1898 people, of which 778 were homeless at the time of application. Asylum seekers and refugees are only eligible to apply for this funding if they have no other financial support and have run out of other options.
“The bureaucratic asylum process in the UK is leading to record-breaking numbers of people turning to small charitable organisations like RST in order to meet their most basic daily needs.
“The Government is quite rightly proud of its Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme, through which 2000 Syrian refugees have been successfully settled in Scotland. But at the same time there are thousands of other asylum seekers and refugees that the asylum system is literally and figuratively leaving out in the cold.”