10GM Statement & Bolton CVS Response
In light of the disturbing humanitarian and political crisis unfolding in Afghanistan, 10GM extends our solidarity and support to all, and those living in conflict or with threats to their rights and safety.
With people from Afghanistan already arriving in Greater Manchester, voluntary organisations, community groups and faith organisations in Greater Manchester are delivering vital help and support for people who have been caught up in the crisis and are fleeing persecution. We are particularly mindful of the impact on women and girls and want to ensure there is safety and support for them in our city region.
As a joint venture to support the local VCSE sector in Greater Manchester, 10GM is working with our member organisations Action Together, Bolton CVS, Macc and Salford CVS and the wider VCSE sector who are providing direct support to those arriving from Afghanistan and those with no recourse to public funds. Over the coming days, we will be working with colleagues across the VCSE sector to build a collaborative, supportive response for people arriving in the region. We will share updates as this develops.
Greater Manchester has a proud history of providing sanctuary to those in need and the response from communities has already been overwhelming with donations of clothes, phones and other essentials being organised for newly arrived people.
In the meantime, there are a number of practical ways you can help and support those fleeing the crisis, as well as refugees and asylum seekers from other countries.
Below is a list of ways you can help. We will continue to add to this list as we become aware of local initiatives and support- if you are a VCSE organisation or group who is organising support in Greater Manchester and would like the details to be added to this page, please contact email@example.com with the information.
1. Donate essential items
There has been an overwhelmingly positive response so far from the public towards the donation of essential items, so we would like to extend a huge thank you in the first instance.
Urban Outreach Bolton continues to welcome and accommodate the essential items (only) listed below, and will store them for the longer term, until people are settled in our region.
- 200ml bottles Aptamil baby milk
- Sanitary towels
Their drop off point for these items is the Food Hub which is located at the former Staples / Office Outlet unit on Trinity Retail Park, off Bradford Street, Bolton BL2 1HY. For more information on where they're located and when they're open, click here.
Care4Calais Drop off points are now reopening at a limited number of locations across Greater Manchester which you can find on this interative map: https://care4calais.org/thedropoffmap
They have a specific list of donations that are currently needed - but this can change quickly so we also recommend keeping an eye on Care4Calais Twitter updates. (A reminder that these items do not apply to Urban Outreach who are only accepting the above items.)
2. Make a financial donation
The Migrant Destitution Fund supports migrant people in Greater Manchester who have "no recourse to public funds" - a policy that leaves people unable to meet their basic needs, not supported by the state and not allowed to do paid work to support themselves. People supported by the Fund are mostly asylum seekers and people whose right to remain isn't recognised by the Home Office (e.g. because a relationship breaks down). Many migrants eventually win the right to remain, to work and to access public funds, but it is a long process and in the meantime, it traps people in destitution. Others are granted leave to remain but are still denied access to public funds, leaving them without any safety net. The Fund aims to restore dignity and empower people forced into these degrading situations by Home Office policy.
Click here to donate.
Care4Calais Manchester is aiming to raise £100,000.00 to fund Afghan Welcome Packs of essential items. The charity’s Manchester teams will work to provide refugees from Afghanistan with new arrival packs so they have clean clothes to change into, proper shoes and basic toiletries.
Click here for more information.
3. Volunteer at the Care4Calais Stockport distribution site
Care4Calais are now appealing for volunteers to help sort through donations and support distribution efforts, including anyone who has the availability of a van to support transport. If you could lend some time, please contact Care4Calais through their Care4Calais Manchester Volunteers Facebook group.