The new sanctuary breaks scheme in the East Lindsey Area of Sanctuary is making a big difference to the lives of asylum seekers stuck in limbo in dispersal cities, in states of anxiety and depression while they await the outcome of their asylum claims.
The Sanctuary Breaks scheme, run by East Lindsey Area of Sanctuary is coordinated by Heather Luna. She says the scheme provides a chance to show that Lincolnshire welcomes refugees and asylum seekers. She said: “In times such as these, what better way to show your love and support for those seeking refuge in this country than to become a Sanctuary Breaks host?”
Here is the story of M – whose journey through the asylum process has included detention, disbelief and trauma knowing her family are still being persecuted in her country of origin. As a human rights activist with plenty of public available evidence her claim is cast iron but she is still waiting after 4 years and it is taking its toll.
M had attempted suicide twice and the support of volunteers in Leicester City of Sanctuary was just keeping her afloat when she was invited to Louth for a sanctuary break on a farm. Here is what she told us:
“I would like to thank everyone for the wonderful opportunity to help me overcome my stress, by stopping my thinking and worrying.
I have met lovely people in Louth, who showed me love and respect which I keep in my heart. I’m happy and proud to know them.
John, the farmer who I stayed with is lovely man; he is very shy and a polite man. I’m so thankful for his hospitality. (John told us “It was interesting and enjoyable experience to have someone to stay from a different culture.”)
I am so thankful to all the family and friends of Heather, John, Barbara, Kate, Erling and a lovely Spanish man.
I am thankful to Kate, who took me to the top of the cathedral, which I really enjoyed and really appreciate her gift of a card and pure honey from her garden. She offered to take me to her garden and to ride a horse from her friend, she invited me to a restaurant. She is lovely lady, I told her about Leicester City of Sanctuary and I invited her to visit our drop-in Leicester, I really would love to see her again.
My trip to Louth has given me a good experience and the idea to make a cultural exchange for the Arts between Louth’s artists and Leicester’s artists via the arts collective group. Thank you to Erling whose music and songs I loved and who gave me his CD as gift. I’m going to link between him and other artists in Leicester and will introduce him to ArtReach where I volunteer.
Thank you Heather for having me with your wonderful family and friends; your heart is very warm dear Heather,
I’m very happy to know and meet great people such as Louth people. Thank you for all that you have done for me.
I’ve had a good chance to see interesting places and all of these things have impacted on me and enabled me to release my feelings and my talent.”
I have just read this post on M in respect of her break away with City of Sanctuary.
How very encouraging and uplifting to know that M experienced genuine care from the people on the farm who offered their kindness and time which consequently had a great bearing on her situation.
I myself am looking to volunteer in this amazing organisation so that i hope I personally can encourage those like M, to persevere even when circumstances may be challenging.
very proud to know that organisations like City of Sanctuary are providing such valuable support in numerous ways….. having attended only once so far, i the was struct by an amazing sense of care and compassion in both practical collective outreach as well as well as on a one to one basis….
well done to not just the staff who i understand are mostly if not all volunteers but to those who are willing to meet with others and interact, truly a united nations under one roof…..