Category: Refugee services

Finding the family you never even knew you had

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Susan looks at old family photographs in her home

© Sam Whitwham/British Red Cross

Susan knew very little about her dad, who disappeared at the end of the Second World War. When she started to look for him, over 50 years later, she found more than she could have ever imagined.

When Susan was a little girl, her favourite possession was a small sepia photograph of her father. The last time she’d seen him, she was just five months old.

Susan treasured this photo and the few facts she knew – but, as she got older, it wasn’t enough.

In the years that followed, terrible and traumatic life events would push Susan to look for the dad she’d never known.

She had no idea that the search would end up with her finding a whole new family. More

Asylum in the UK – adding up the true costs

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Asylum seekers are called a lot of things in the press: freeloaders, scroungers, here to suck this country dry. So are we really the ‘El Dorado’ of Europe – a place of riches and gold that people flock to in droves?

If you feel like we give away too much of a good thing, then let’s take a moment to go through the bill.

Updated September 2015.

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Let’s lay down the law on asylum ‘illegals’

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Every week, there are headlines about illegal immigrants, sneaking under lorries and even hiding behind car seats – all so they can claim asylum in ‘soft-touch Britain’. Why don’t we send them back to their countries? Are they taking us for a ride?

To answer that, we really need to understand the law and process around asylum – and so does much of the media.

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Asylum seekers: are they living on easy street?

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It’s hard to picture what life is like for an asylum seeker in the UK. Some papers talk about five-star mod cons, while others write about dirt and grime.

So are they living it up in a luxury apartment, while you’ve bagged a rip-off bedsit? And do they jump to the front of the council house queue?

Let’s look at the housing an asylum seeker actually gets – and lift the curtain on those living conditions.

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Asylum – three facts you need to hear

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Everyone’s talking about immigration right now. Often asylum seekers and refugees get included in this debate, but for the wrong reasons. That’s why we’re asking the media to get the story straight – and give us facts, not fear.

Migration is the ‘hot topic’ of the moment. And one group caught up in the rhetoric is refugees and asylum seekers.

Every year, we help over 10,000 people in the UK who have fled trauma and persecution.

They deserve the facts – and so do you.

Here are three, for starters:

FACT ONE

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Family fortunes rely on an impossible form

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A Syrian refugee with her baby

Malla, Ibrahim (BRC)

Imagine this. You live in the UK but your family are stuck on the other side of the world. Your children are growing up fast and soon they won’t remember you. But all is not lost – you could still be reunited. To be in with a chance, all you have to do is fill in a form.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? The trouble is the form is long, complicated and doesn’t make sense. Suddenly, the odds of seeing your family again feel very small indeed. More