Monday, 17 December 2012

Winter Destitution Appeal

Dear friend,
 
Please support our Winter Destitution Appeal (Positive Action in Housing Ltd SC027577) for destitute asylum seekers and their families in Glasgow.
 
Destitute asylum seekers are not allowed to work or take benefits or homeless accommodation. Many have fallen into long term destitution and are now part of Europe’s growing population of “invisible citizens”.
 
In 2012, Positive Action in Housing (Scottish Registered Charity No SC027577) provided a hardship fund, food, temporary shelter and practical advice and support to 303 destitute asylum seekers. We provided 586 nights of emergency shelter (through our volunteers and hostels). We gave out crisis payments totalling £30,400 from the Hardship Fund. (We currently give out over £2000 every month).
Two thirds of those who needed help were “additionally vulnerable”. These included young women under the age of 25, the elderly, families, pregnant women, those with severe mental or physical health problems ,and  those who have suffered some form of trauma, for example, torture, rape, domestic violence or sexual exploitation.
 
In addition to our regular drop-in surgeries, we are holding a special Winter Surgery on Wednesday 19 December (10 am to 4 pm) to reach as many vulnerable destitute asylum seekers (and their dependents) as possible before Christmas and New Year, to provide continued emergency support and assist people out of destitution through advice and information. We will be giving out food, cash support, warm clothing and organising temporary shelter as well as providing a list of resources and general advice and information. We will be helping the young, old, women, children and those with physical and mental health problems. Hot drinks, soup and bread will be provided on the day. By delivering this Winter Surgery we aim to reach vulnerable destitute people (and their dependents) over Christmas and New Year. We also aim to keep contact with service users afterwards in order to provide continued support until they resolve their destitution crisis.
 
If you or your organisation are aware of someone from a refugee background who is destitute, potentially destitute or without cash support, or in danger of going hungry over Christmas and New Year, please provide their full details and circumstances and refer them to us asap by emailing home@paih.org. We will then advise you of a suitable time to send them to us for support.
 
We also welcome food donations of rice, pasta, oranges, tangerines, tins of soup (non meat), tea, coffee, biscuits, chocolates.
 
Please donate now
 
We are seeking financial donations from individuals and organisations towards our Winter Destitution Appeal, which aims to raise £15,000 by Christmas. ALL money donated will go directly towards providing humanitarian relief to destitute or potentially destitute asylum seekers and their dependents.
 
Individuals and organisations can donate in one of several ways:
 
1.     Give an online donation safely and securely at our Justgiving page .
 
Feel free to leave a message of support, for example, if you’re giving a donation in the name of loved ones instead of buying Christmas presents. Or be anonymous – it’s up to you. It doesn’t matter how small your donation, every little bit helps. If you’re a UK taxpayer, remember to tick the box to ensure your donation is “gift aided”, thus adding an extra 25% to your gift. 
 
2.      Support our work regularly via standing orderDownload the attached form (MS Word), complete it and send it to your bank.
3.     Send a cheque made payable to PAIH Ltd (mark the back of the cheque Xmas Appeal), and post to: Positive Action in Housing Ltd, 98 West George Street, Glasgow G2 1PJ
4.      Give a cash donation at our office Just email home@paih.org and we will arrange a suitable time for you to visit.
5.      Organisations can be invoiced for payment, just email home@paih.org with your contact details and the amount you wish to donate and we will invoice you.
6.     Send a text from your mobile phone: Simply text PAIH99 to 70070, with £2.50, £3, £5 or £10, or any amount you wish to donate. E.g., text PAIH99 £5 to 70070. 
Thank you for all your support in the past and I look forward to hearing from you.
 
Many thanks,
 
Robina Qureshi
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
 
Positive Action in Housing Ltd is a Scottish Registered Charity SC027577
Registered office: 98 West George Street Glasgow G2 1PJ Website: www.paih.org
 
We wish to acknowledge the generous support of various charitable trusts and hundreds of individuals who support the Destitution Service pioneered by Positive Action in housing. 
 
 
 
 
ABOUT THE LIFELINE PROJECT 
 
When you're stripped of your most basic human rights: the right to food, shelter, warmth and paid work, thinking about your future becomes impossible. You are living day to day, hand to mouth, and trying to find your next day's meal or safe shelter.  The cycle of long term destitution, mental health problems and further family breakdown becomes inevitable.
 
The Lifeline project aims to bring stability to the lives of destitute asylum seekers and their families in a safe, confidential environment.  It allows people the necessary breathing space to reconsider their options in a supportive environment. The Lifeline Project provides befrienders, volunteers and advisers whose job it is to meet basic human needs of food, warmth, shelter and social networks in order to bring back stability and hope for a more positive outcome to their status in the UK by providing access to good legal support and the chance of often erroneous asylum decisions being overturned by judical review.
 
The Fund is paid for by private donations. Two thirds of those who we helped were “additionally vulnerable”: the elderly, children, pregnant women, young women under the age of 25, those with mental or physical health problems, survivors of trauma, for example, torture, sex trafficking or domestic violence.
 
Destitute asylum seekers are forbidden to seek work or access public funds or emergency housing. The Hardship Fund is paid for by private donations. Without this project, they would be left street homeless and exposed to exploitation. 
 
The Hardship fund gives crisis payments to people all over Scotland throughout the year who are at risk of being destitute. We currently give out a total of £2000 every month in crisis payments to vulnerable people, including pregnant women, young people, families, elderly people and those suffering from severe mental health problems, HIV or diabetes.
We desperately need donations to allow us to continue this much needed humanitarian work.
 
Positive Action in Housing Ltd acknowledges the generous support of the various charitable trusts, trade unions, and hundreds of individuals who donate to and support this vital, humanitarian work. all donations are formally acknowledged in our annual report.
 
Positive Action in Housing is a Scottish Registered Charity No: SC027577 and a Company Limited by Guarantee Company Reg No: 158867. Registered Office: 98 West George Street, Glasgow G2 1PJ. Tel: 0141 353 2220 Fax: 0141 353 3882 e: home@paih.org w:www.paih.org
 

Positive Action in Housing uses Your Mailing List Provider  to communicate with our members, supporters, customers and others.
 
Positive Action in Housing is a not-for-profit, advocacy, campaigns and training charity based in Scotland. We work in partnership with communities and organisations to enable everyone to have an equal chance to live in good quality, affordable and safe homes, free from discrimination and the fear of racial harassment and violence.
We offer advice, information and support to people from new migrant, refugee and minority ethnic communities. We run a free, confidential and impartial casework service for those facing poverty, homelessness, racism or poor housing. We provide a Hardship Fund, emergency shelter and practical resources for destitute asylum seekers and their families.We run a volunteering programme, support antiracist campaigns and inform wider policies from a user-led perspective. We provide training and best practice guidance for tenants, advice workers, housing practitioners and others.
We rely on our members, supporters and public donations to carry out this work. To support our work email home@paih.org .
Registered Scottish Charity Number: SCO27577. Visit www.paih.org to find out more about us, information on membership or to make a donation to our humanitarian work.

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Our Vision and Services

Our vision is of a society where no one should experience discrimination on the grounds of their mental health.

Mental health problems are extremely common across society, with one in four of us experiencing them in any year. Despite being so common, people from all communities will still experience discriminatory attitudes and behaviours that can prevent people from speaking out, seeking support and playing full and active roles in our communities. The impact of mental health stigma and discrimination will vary between communities as mental health has a cultural context that affects the way communities talk about the subject and engage with people who have mental health problems. In some cultures depression, for example, doesn't exist and in others an experience of a mental health problem can be attached to a sense of shame.

For the African and Caribbean communities a key issue is the overrepresentation of young African and Caribbean men in mental health services. Misconceptions and stereotypes have led to a perception that this group is more likely to pose a risk of violent behaviour and, as a result, they are more likely to be treated as inpatients and sectioned when compared to other groups. It is well documented that this has led to a fear of talking about mental health issues more openly and a fear of using mental health services. Research by the Race Equality Foundation (2011) also highlighted fears that discrimination against Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) communities and migrant service users will increase in the austerity climate and whilst commissioning arrangements change.

Our Services

· Provide information, advice, advocacy

· Represent diversity communities in Health Care services, policies and strategies

· Organise training in health and social care in collaboration with local colleges

· Provide human resources ( including interpreters) who are suitable to the diversity communities especially to break language and cultural barriers

· Provides domiciliary care and support

· Provide services such specialised support for people with mental health needs, including people who suffer from short-term memory problems, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

· Provide visits to elderly people and help them with outings and home services

· Participate in local authority and NHS consultations , research events and programmes to voice the needs of diversity communities.

· Increase access to services and rights for disadvantaged people and the most vulnerable of our society

· Help and support unemployed people to look for work, including training and job preparation

· Provide legal advice in a range of issues from on Immigration and Asylum , welfare benefits, housing, health, education, community care, and training, employment, etc.

· Provide advice and guidance, information and practical help so that our service users can access opportunities they are entitled to

· Organise training and other community learning opportunities that provide new skills, increase confidence and motivation

· Support our service users to overcome barriers to learning, employment and training

· Provide support for young people with their education, training, confidence building, employment and social needs.

Objectives of our Diversity Living Programme:

· To promote the inclusion and participation of diversity communities* in integrated care.

· To inform policy, locally and nationally, and assisting in the formulation of effective policies, strategies and good practices in integrated care in order to contribute to improved health outcomes for the people from the diversity communities (e.g. Black and minority ethnic communities) and to ensure health services are able to meet their specific needs.

· To improve the quality of life for diversity people with disability, mental health problems and their families and carers through integrated care by providing inclusive advocacy and information.

· To provide service that enable diversity groups and individuals with disability /elderly and their carers to make the right choice for themselves and have an influence on decisions made about their future.

· To promote the rights of diversity people with disability, their families and carers and make sure their rights are safe and protected.

· To promoting access to information regarding healthcare issues and to raise awareness of the needs of diversity disabled children, young people, older people and their families.

· To promote the rights of older and disabled diversity people, helping them overcome and enable them to participate in decisions about their future

· To provide support and information to those suffering the isolation and loneliness that can be associated with disability and old age

· To fight against mental health stigma in refugee, black and minority ethnic communities and ensure no one should experience discrimination on the grounds of their mental health or disability.

*Diversity communities are older people, disabled people, Black, Asian, refugees, migrants, asylum seekers and other ethnic minorities.