Liana Wood on what motivated her to sign up to a half marathon to raise funds for DDVG
I’ve been associated with this charity for a long time. Visiting detainees at Dover Immigration Removal Centre when I was a teenager helped me to understand more about the circumstances in which people come to this country, sometimes illegally, and what can happen to them in the detention system and afterwards.
My mother has continued to be involved in the organisation so I have kept up to date with how it has developed since then, even though I now live and work in London.
I will be taking part in the Run to the Beat half marathon on Sunday 8 September 2013 to raise money for Samphire (which will soon be the name of DDVG), and I would like to ask you to sponsor me in this run.
I’d like to tell you a little about the organisation your sponsorship will be going to so you can see how vital its services are.
Local projects: detention support
DDVG (soon to be Samphire):
- Empowers local volunteers to visit people while they are detained in Dover Immigration Removal Centre.
- Provides emotional and practical support to people while they are detained, including casework support (for help with paperwork and correspondence).
- Has a legal caseworker who can help with legal advice for people who have no solicitor, something which is becoming more and more important as the government makes it so difficult for people with little money to access advice.
- Has an important role in the Kent area in raising awareness within the community of issues associated with migration, asylum and detention.
Unique national project for ex-detainees
DDVG/Samphire supports people who have been released from detention and are living in the community. This service is open to anyone who has previously been held in immigration detention in the UK.
Caseworkers provide a helpline four days a week, signposting and referring to NGOs and community groups who help people survive. Ex-detainees seeking asylum in the UK are banned from mainstream benefits and the right to work.
Samphire/DDVG’s ex-detainee project aims to provide emotional and practical support and advice, in many different situations. These include helping someone to find emergency accommodation or warm clothing, maintaining family contact, and putting people in touch with charities in their area where they can volunteer in order to contribute to the community and gain some self-esteem.
This project runs on a shoestring, and so any sponsorship money you kindly give will go towards easing the very tight budget they have. The need is enormous, and anything you can spare will be used in the most cost effective way possible.
So again, if you feel you can support me in my run please sponsor me.