Let us live, let us help!
Our beautiful Mama M is an incredible person, with sparkly trainers, an easy bright smile and the best behaved children you could ever meet.
She is a natural leader. She is a touchstone for many of our mums who go to her not only to help with translations but for emotional and practical support, at the time of the crisis we were, together, devising a language course that would culminate in a guidebook to services with vocabulary for newly arrived migrant mums ….
Here is her take on the crisis and what it means to her, a single mother in the asylum system.
Please ask the politicians and public policy makers to do something.
I am an asylum seeker
I arrived in the UK in October 2018, I was pregnant and had two children with me. I was fleeing a situation so catastrophic that I do not wish to remember that time. I want to move forward. I applied for asylum as soon as I arrived.
Since them I have completed my asylum interviews but, unfortunately, I haven’t heard back from the home office. I am in limbo. I live in one room in shared accommodation with my 3 children.
Any parent can imagine the difficulty living, learning, sleeping in these conditions. This situation it’s really affecting our mental health and wellbeing.
My Doctor has already given me a letter to send to the home office through my solicitor saying that my living condition is causing me “undue distress and anxiety”.
I am suffering from sleep deprivation. My child’s school support practitioner has also testified how important it is that the children have some stability for their learning and wellbeing.
So things were a struggle before the Covid19 crisis. I was surviving, barely, but surviving.
But now I am really scared
I am not able to self-isolate in shared accommodation with shared kitchen and toilet. It doesn’t work at all.
What will happen to my kids if I get sick?
I have not heard anything from our building manager or from the Home Office about the crisis.
My anxiety and stress is through the roof with this additional worry about my family’s health.
We simply need a self-contained place to keep healthy.
I am also concerned that our food supplies will run out.
Because we receive our NASS support payment of £37 per person at the beginning of every week, we are unable to buy, store or stockpile food.
Luckily, we are supported by a charity called The Magpie Project who have been providing weekly food bags and nappies.
But they also, most importantly, support us emotionally by connecting us with other mums through a fantastic WhatsApp group. We can join a positive place to share ideas, ask for help or talk to other Magpie mums. *NO posting videos or stuff about the virus from unknown sources! *
We – as mums – are trying to survive and keep our children safe
But if the country gave us the support we need – we could do more. We could actually also volunteer to help this country and people in need by giving the skills we have. In our Magpie group there are trained doctors, emergency response workers, educators, and more.
All of us are forced to stay at home, destitute and worried for our families’ health, when we could be a massive benefit to this country.
If this crisis proves anything it is that we are all connected, my children are your children and vice versa.
I would beg you to
- Move us in to self-contained accommodation,
- Lift our NRPF and No Work condition.
- Let us live, let us help!