RST during the Covid-19 crisis


Coronavirus presents unique challenges for us all. For people seeking asylum who are destitute or homeless, your support is more important now than ever.

Refugee Survival Trust has provided a safety net to refugees and people seeking asylum for over 20 years and during this time we’ve developed varied responses to the many issues faced by people who are fleeing from war, torture and famine. The Covid-19 crisis, however, is completely new and offers unique challenges; we have had to act quickly to change how we work to best help everyone and, in particular, to provide the right forms of temporary accommodation.

Our team is focused on delivering vital services for people who are destitute, homeless or vulnerable by providing temporary accommodation and support, and through grants for emergency living expenses. However, we face significant challenges and expect more ahead in the coming weeks, as we strive to keep people safe.

These are our key service objectives and how we’re approaching them:

  • caring for the people living in our temporary accommodation, making sure they know how to keep themselves and others safe and reinforcing our messages with strong pictorial representation and translated materials, when we can get them;
  • keeping all our clients, staff, and volunteers safe by ensuring that everyone has access to public health messages in an appropriate and usable form;
  • supporting people who can no longer join in our usual activities. We had to suspend our programmes like Wee Welcome and our Internships but we’re setting up telephone and online support groups where possible;
  • ensuring that people are connected both locally and with their families around the world. We are conscious, too, that those refugees and people seeking asylum here are also willing and keen to be part of our local and national efforts to pull together and get through this difficult time as best we can.

Like everyone else, we’re trying to find new ways to get emergency support to those most in need. Please consider making a donation to RST’s Covid-19 Unity Fund, the proceeds of which will go towards the running costs of safe isolation spaces for destitute asylum seekers.

We are working from home and quickly adapting to finding new, workable solutions. If you need to contact us and you don’t already have a mobile number for an individual member of our team then please email us on info@rst.org.uk. We will continue to update our website and social media channels as things evolve.

Stay well.
Margaret Gibb
Interim CEO
23.03.2020

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