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Welcome to the Sustainable Frome discussion forum, aiming to discuss a wide range of issues to enable Frome (Somerset, UK) to become a more sustainable town.

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 migration / support to asylum seekers, DONATIONS / SUPERMARKET VOUCHER EXCHANGE
Posted: Jun 26 2008, 03:44 PM


Group: Members
Posts: 28
Member No.: 100
Joined: 5-October 07

There is an ongoing collection for asylum seekers in Bristol. See long chain of posts titled 'are we about self protection'

Donations can be brought to Sustainable Frome meetings or contact me and we can arrange fetching at convenient time.

The latest requests from Bristol asylum seekers (attending a day centre run by Bristol Refugee Rights) are for:

Mens shoes (sizes 42.43 44 approx)

Mens fleeces and waterproof jackets

Washing powder to hand wash clothes

Safety razors

Backpacks or bags (mens)

international non-perishable easy to cook food - eg rice, tinned pulses, sugar, tea, coffee,

small photo frames


Also if you are willing to buy supermarket vouchers off asylum seekers that would be great. Please get in touch with me Rebecca and let me know which supermarket you use and how much you could use per month - or for the first month then you could change if needed. See below for email from Dammy who works at the day centre:

I have been asked whether you would be able to help us on a slightly
different front - this is quite a big favour so do please say if you don't
think it possible.

Asylum seekers are provided with a small weekly sum for food etc - it is 70%
of income support levels so not very generous. This is paid to them in the
form of gift vouchers for one of the main supermarkets. This they find
problematical for the following reasons: often they are housed a bus ride
away from the supermarket and have no cash to get there or back; sometimes
the supermarket does not have what they need - particularly true of the mums
with small children; they see other, smaller, more local shops selling
goods cheaper than the supermarket but cannot take advantage of this.
Changing vouchers for cash is one of the most important things we can do to
support our asylum seekers.

As individuals, we try to exchange these vouchers for cash when we can.
This is entirely legal but we don't always have the cash on us or don't,
ourselves, go to the supermarket in question. Nearly all our people get
Tescos vouchers.

We are hoping to work out a scheme whereby a wider group of people are
prepared to exchange cash for vouchers and thinking of ways in which this
might work. If any of you would be willing to join such a scheme - or
indeed if you all join the scheme it would probably solve the problem - that
would be terrific. I imagine it would involve changing 20-50 a month
depending on how many people join. If you regularly go to Tescos it should
be a relatively pain free exercise - I go and usually pay entirely in Gift
Vouchers although they do not accept them for petrol.

As I said, this is a bit of a request, so we would entirely understand if
you just didn't want to do it.

Again, thanks so much for your support

Best wishes

Dammy le grand

Posted: Sep 17 2008, 11:39 AM


Group: Members
Posts: 28
Member No.: 100
Joined: 5-October 07

There has been some interest in doing more in Frome to show solidarity with refugees and asylum seekers. One idea is to work towards becoming a town of sanctuary - See http://www.cityofsanctuary.com/. If you are interested in being involved please let me know and we can talk about it and arrange meetings when its a good time for everyone.

Supermarket vouchers
Anyone willing to buy supermarket vouchers from asylum seekers - so that they have cash for bus fares, telephone and to buy things more cheaply in markets and charity shops. Bristol asylum seekers get Tesco vouchers which arent useful to most people in Frome, but if you can use these then let me know. Otherwise we are linking with asylum seekers in different parts of the country to get vouchers for other supermarkets, I can give you a form if you are interested. It doesnt have to be for a regular amount it can be one off if that is easier.


Posted: Nov 25 2008, 02:30 PM


Group: Members
Posts: 28
Member No.: 100
Joined: 5-October 07

Dear All,

Next town of sanctuary meeting will be Friday 9th January 3.30 (please let me know if you can come - rebeccay@blueyonder.co.uk) and then make it always 2nd Friday of the month at this time.

In the meantime:

- I am going to go to the meeting in Bristol on 2nd December run by young people who have been held in detention. Anyone want to come?

- International picnic 13th December St Catherine's church hall, Park road, 1-4 - bring food to share. Please come, and please let me know if you could help distribute some fliers and please tell anyone you think might be interested.

- we are working on organising a meeting for schools, with young people from Bristol who have been held in detention and older people who were evacuees or hosted evacuees in the second world war. If you can help with this, that would be great.

- ongoing calls from Bristol asylum seekers for warm clothes, scarves, hats, gloves, non-perishable international food, photo frames - please email (rebeccay@blueyonder.co.uk) to arrange to drop off or i could fetch donations.

- also more calls for exchange of supermarket vouchers for cash - see below for flier and contact Bristol Refugee Rights dropin@hotmail.co.uk

any issues, comments for agenda for meeting in January please let me know

Many thanks,


Voucher Scheme Denies Dignity to Refugees

Forced to live entirely on Tesco or Asda or Sainsburys gift cards.

3 out of 4 people who flee danger and conflict in their home country are denied safety in the UK. Many refused refugees do not return to their home countries for a number of recognised reasons (e.g. there is a war and no rule of law). They are legally allowed to stay here, sometimes for many years, but are not allowed to work.

Instead each week they receive 35 worth of supermarket gift vouchers and so must live entirely from Tesco or Asda or Sainsburys.

These vouchers cannot be used in charity shops, markets, to take a bus,or to buy halal food. Some stores do not even allow them to be used to top up a mobile phone.

How to help

You can help by exchanging gift cards for cash, and using the cards yourself to shop. This will give cash and a little more dignity to people who seek refuge here and a little so that asylum seekers can use buses, top up mobile phones, use charity shops and markets.

Please contact Bristol Refugee Rights dropin@hotmail.co.uk or 0117 9080844

dave clark
Posted: Nov 19 2009, 07:55 PM


Group: Members
Posts: 9
Member No.: 323
Joined: 3-April 09

Can i just pop something round to our house? might have a spare fleece or two!
Posted: Feb 1 2010, 12:54 PM


Group: Members
Posts: 3
Member No.: 12
Joined: 8-February 07

I am still collecting donations for asylum seekers in Bristol. During the current cold spell there is a particular need for gloves, and winter wear in general.

People are also particularly asking for:

1. Dictionaries. English. English/French. English/Arabic. Picture dictionaries incl. childrens dictionaries.

2. Maps - Bristol. UK.

3. Photo frames.

4. Bike helmets, pumps, saddlebags, child seat

5. NEW pillows and duvets.

6. Mains radios, CD and tape. Kettles.

7. Bags. Shoppers and sports.

8. Toiletries.

9. Umbrellas.

10. Good condition mens trainers.

11. NEW frying and saucepans.

FOOD. Most asked for;- Rice, Tuna/fish. Tomato sauce. Tea / coffee / sugar / milk.

All donations of these things or of money for the Bristol Refugee Rights Welcome centre (see http://www.bristolrefugeerights.org ) would be really appreciated by the asylum seekers who use this great centre. Please get in touch and we can work out how to collect it.

Many thanks
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