ASIRT (Asylum Support and Immigration Resource Team) Charity Appeal

As is the case all too often these days, I’m doing the Great Birmingham Run on behalf of a local charity, namely ASIRT – Asylum Support and Immigration Resource Team. This charity does a great job in helping people who really need it. My friend Dave Stamp works here and is also doing the Great Birmingham Run 2012 to raise some funds for ASIRT.

[box title=”HELP ASIRT” color=”#444729″]If you want to help out ANY donation at all will be gratefully recieved here’s  the link to the donation page [/box]

It was because of Dave’s suggestion that I decided to take part in the first place, so all the running posts on here, prior to the event are his fault. Anyway, the ASIRT organisation are needed because

Central Government’s dispersal policy has meant that a large number of asylum-seekers have moved into the West Midlands, yet statutory services have been provided with little in the way of resources…

Accessible, competent and efficient legal assistance is of crucial importance and access to such assistance can frequently make the difference between life and death for asylum-seekers fleeing persecution. Similarly, in the light of increasing racist attacks against asylum-seekers and the general climate of hostility towards the asylum seeking community, there is an urgent need to help integrate asylum-seekers into the community and ASIRT’s role is to help with that process.

Dumped Asylum seekers…

ASIRT client in UK Border Agency housing

So in simple terms the Government is placing a lot of asylum-seekers in the West Midlands and the word dumping springs to mind. ASIRT is here to help asylum-seekers fleeing persecution settle in and have a reasonable chance of survival in the UK. With so much anti sentiment in the tabloids and from right wing politicians it can be very much out of the frying pan and into the fire for these poor people that have had to leave their country of origin.

[box title=”HELP ASIRT” color=”#444729″]ASIRT are helping, feel free to give what you can afford, anything is worthwhile. Click this link to do so, thanks.[/box]

Read the Official ASIRT site and listen to the boo!

You can read more about ASIRT and what they do and why they are needed on the official ASIRT website. If you want to see what the life of an asylum-seeker is like watch this short film about a bloke fleeing Palestine or play the game that indicates what life is like for an asylum-seeker, this is a little different to what the Daily Mail would have you believe…

Press play and listen to Dave Stamp talking about why ASIRT are needed more so than ever. Jill Ely of the NSPCC says of ASIRT

small scale, voluntary sector and just get on with it. Really bloody needed because with the withdrawal of legal aid and as all advice centres have been cut it’s so hard to access guidance


If you are unsure whether there is any need for the services ASIRT provide I urge you to read their blog there are stories on there that will convince you. These are not made up stories but are real life examples of how people forced to leave their homes struggle to get a fair hearing in this country and can be exploited in the process of trying to do so.

Capita gets contract to find illegal immigrants

Just to reiterate the difficulties Asylum seekers face the UK Border Agency have awarded a contract to Capita to ‘find and remove’ 150,000 migrants who have overstayed their visa. Sadly, Capita are not reliable (the link on their crap service in the blog post provides a  list of ridiculous error strewn ineptitude) and the UKBA are not very good at keeping their records straight. With the contract being ‘piece rate’, the get paid per person, there is significant scope for mistakes. Dave Stamp explains just how much in this ASIRT blog post on the subject.

Iraqi Christians & financially exploited while seeking advice

A Christian woman from Iraqi was forced to flee after masked gunmen told her to go because of her religion. Her mother fled to Syria and she to the UK. In another incident, a lady attempting to “regularise her immigration status” paid out £1200 over four years to a firm of solicitors. They did nothing more than send a useless 2 page letter on her behalf, ASIRT managed to get a £600 ‘goodwill’ payment for her and help her get back on track.

Daily Mail highlight UK Border Agency incompetence

There’s some very basic errors in this case that indicates just how poor the asylum application process is being run by the UKBA. In an article on October 2nd, they report that an Afghan interpreter blown up on duty with the British Army in Afghanistan had his application refused on ridiculous grounds. Ridiculous because they were so far removed from the truth. Help from MPs meant the case was reconsidered. This help is something the vast majority of applicants will never recieve. Clearly, the work of ASIRT is essential to give these people a fair crack of the whip. To sponsor me click this link NOW!

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