An anti-racism group is appealing for donations to show locally-housed asylum seekers “someone cares about them”.
Southport Against Racism is collecting “Christmas shoe boxes” for families who have travelled thousands of miles, from countries including Syria, before being given given temporary accommodation in the town.
Many of them fled as the result of war or other traumatic circumstances, and have arrived with very few of the things they need.
Nadia Speers-Robinson from Southport Against Racism said: “We are asking for people to donate what they can, though we know it may be harder than usual this year, to show our friends that they have someone thinking about them.
“We will also be giving gift boxes to local homeless people too, or any other vulnerable people who you might know who would benefit from an anonymous gift box.”
Southport Against Racism is a group “where like minded people come together to share ideas on how to eradicate racism with a focus on Southport and surrounding areas”.
The group was formed by Katrina Khan in June, and has already attracted over 800 members.
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Nadia continued: “Help us make Christmas a little better for those in need, and fill a shoe box with small gifts for asylum seekers.
“Suggested items include: hats, gloves, socks, underwear, toiletries, playing cards, board games, chocolate, biscuits, pens and pencils, and notepads.
“We are also appealing for Morrion’s or ASDA vouchers to be used to buy new clothes and winter shoes for children.”
Sefton Council is part of the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Programme.
Refugees or asylum seekers coming to Sefton come from camps in Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq.
Those that have made their way across Europe are not part of this scheme, so none will be coming from France, Greece or any other European Union country.
Asylum seekers have applied to live in the UK because they fear persecution in their home country.
The Home Office will consider their case, during which time they can stay in the country.
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An asylum seeker’s application may be refused or accepted but asylum seekers can legally stay in the UK while their application is being assessed.
This may take several months. During this time they can’t work, nor receive government benefits.
If you’d like to donate a shoebox, or for more information, email email@example.com