Voices in Exile work with refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants in East and West Sussex and Surrey who are often marginalised, isolated and denied access to mainstream services. Many flee countries with horrific human rights records and seek safety in the UK only to end up in immigration limbo, often with their families, unfortunately some end up homeless. Voices in Exile offer practical and legal support including a weekly food and toiletries bank that they are currently crowd funding for having seen a 100% increase in demand. They also deliver emergency supplies and culturally appropriate food to people who are self-isolating and in danger of going hungry.
FareShare Sussex has been delivering to Voices in Exile since March 2018 and helping them to feed on average 100 people a week, including 45 families. The project has responded to the pandemic by adapting their weekly food bank to a food parcel delivery service with a team of dedicated volunteers who pack the food that FareShare deliver into food parcels which are driven to families all over the city.
Without FareShare deliveries Voices in Exile told us they would have to rely much more on donations from individuals and other organisations as well as spending money allocated to holistic support on food shopping.
They say about FareShare Sussex:
There’s a variation but always consistent amounts. FareShare are reliable and organised, they have also been incredibly supportive over the pandemic, by reducing our fees and keeping good communication.
Tinashe is one of the many people Voices in Exile have supported. He fled the Zimbabwean regime and made it to the UK to seek asylum and safety. He was refused asylum and became dependent on vital support from friends and charities while he sought further legal advice. Like many, his support network collapsed when Coronavirus led to a national lockdown and he was forced into homelessness. Since working with Voices in Exile, Tinashe received food and other essential items, and was helped off the streets and given back a basic level of dignity.
FareShare are responsible for providing food for organisations all over our city, supporting them is supporting hundreds of beneficiaries who need help from their community.
Whilst the pandemic continues Voices in Exile need your help to raise money towards keeping their food bank operating and expanding. You can support them here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/refugee-and-migrant-charity
Written by Nikki Dowbiggin.