Josh is running the half marathon for ASSIST on 12 May. Read more about why below.
His target is £700. Can you help him reach it? Donate here:
Thank you Josh and good luck!
Message from Josh:
I’ve been living in Sheffield for near 8 years, and through my own voluntary work with various organisations, I have seen how many asylum seekers give an invaluable contribution to the workings of our voluntary sector. Without the right to work and make their own living extended to them, many instead use their time to support others around them who are in need.
I try and do something at least once a year to raise awareness and support those who are working night and day to support people who have claimed asylum but are homeless and destitute.
A couple years ago I focused my attention on working on activities that built skills and social networks for asylum seeking children who had arrived to the UK without parents. Accompanying this I undertook a research project. I found that, due to the trauma of the experience back home that cause them to leave, and to the journey, there is a high rate of mental health issues amongst asylum seekers.
This is often compounded by an untrusting and unwelcoming border approach, in which people are expected to have a complete statement on entering the country, and any alterations are treated as a sign of unreliability.
There are real life cases where women have fled a warzone where they have been raped as an act of war for their ethnicity or politics, but because they don’t feel comfortable telling this a male border patrol officer on entry, their story becomes seen as disreputable.
In a year when Sheffield Councillors have voted unanimously write to the home secretary and express their concern a system that condemns people who’ve claimed asylum to destitution, there is still a long way to go.
ASSIST in Sheffield works to raise awareness of these issues, but also, and vitally, they provide basic support for people who are on the streets and without money or food. These people are asylum seekers whose claims have been refused and have no other form of support. They have no right to work or claim benefits which means they can be left homeless and destitute. ASSIST offers these people shelter and small welfare payments until they are in a position to progress their cases again. Many of those who are helped by ASSIST volunteer their time and skills to the community in Sheffield.
This year I, and others, will be running the Sheffield Half Marathon in support of ASSIST, and I would love this to be an opportunity to raise as much money for them as possible.
ASSIST work in an unfashionable area and rely largely on donations from the public. So supporting those running at the marathon can really help.
You can find out more about ASSIST at their website, http://www.assistsheffield.org.uk/
or contact efa [at] assistsheffield.org.uk.
And you can support them directly through my fundraising page, https://www.justgiving.com/joshchristie/