COMFORT AND JOY: Show a refugee in the city you care, by donating £5 this Christmas

Asylum seekers from Friends Without Borders meet MP Stephen Morgan, centre, and the organisation's chairman, Michael Woolley, left, at a drop-in session
Asylum seekers from Friends Without Borders meet MP Stephen Morgan, centre, and the organisation's chairman, Michael Woolley, left, at a drop-in session

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YOUR generosity could have a real impact on the Christmas of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in the city.

Friends Without Borders is one of the 11 good causes set to benefit from The News Comfort and Joy Christmas campaign this year.

Based in Commercial Road, Portsmouth, the charity offers social drop-in sessions and legal advice to those looking for work and shelter – many of whom are facing an uphill battle just to remain in the UK.

Michael Woolley, 73, is the chairman of the organisation.

Describing the difficulties some of his service users face, he said: ‘One of the things we have to remember about asylum seekers is that when they are dispersed to a city in the UK by the Home Office, they have very little money in the way of benefits to live on.

‘In Portsmouth, we are usually working with about 200 of these people at any one time – most of them are in their 20s.

‘Many come from countries which have been hugely impacted by conflict – like Iraq and Iran – and our job is to help them win their cases to stay here, provide a social support network for them and help them find work.’

At Christmas – when many of these people are alone or away from their families – Mr Woolley says your donation of a £5 supermarket gift card to his service users can prove to be a touching gesture.

He said: ‘This campaign is wonderful because it shows these people that someone out there is thinking about them and cares for them at this time of year.

‘I would say to anyone thinking of donating, please do. What might seem like a small gesture can mean so much to someone who is trying to rebuild their life or begin a new one in a new country.’

To support Friends Without Borders’, write an anonymous Christmas card to one of its clients, insert a £5 supermarket gift card into it, and send these items in a sealed envelope to Deanery Office, St Faith’s Church, Crasswell Street, Portsmouth PO1 1HT.

Or to learn more about the campaign, visit
portsmouth.co.uk.