In order to fulfil the government’s instruction to stop all non-essential contact, CARAS will not be conducting any face-to-face work with beneficiaries until further notice. We have closed our project space and office and are not running any in-person services during the lockdown. We will review this whenever government guidance changes.

In the meantime we are running the majority of our activities online. Our staff are working to support beneficiaries remotely, running activities thorough video-calling, consulting on the kinds of additional support they need during the crisis, and planning how we can support them with future changes. Staff are communicating with beneficiaries by phone and messaging, and volunteers and staff are providing regular content for beneficiaries to keep connected.

We know you will be worrying about how refugees and people seeking asylum are coping with the hardships of life under lockdown. From our conversations so far, we know that the already isolated and vulnerable people we support are missing out on vital health messages: young people who believed they had to stay inside their houses even when there was no food; families struggling to make use of 111; people living with acute mental health problems unable to attend their appointments or buy food that helps them take their medication properly. Others are simply lonely, like many of us, but are experiencing this crisis alone or in places they didn’t choose, worried for loved ones overseas, uncertain for the future, and trying their hardest to support others.

Even though we are more separated now than many of us have ever been, across the country our communities are pulling together in the most extraordinary ways. Thanks to the support our supporters have given in the past – your sponsored runs, swims and fashion shows, your donations to our Big Give appeals, your one-off gifts – our community is in a strong position to help those in need. However, in the space of a month some of our harder-to-fund crucial services are suddenly looking threateningly unsustainable.

What we need is the capacity and confidence that comes from having monthly donations from our support network. Could you step forward and sign up for a monthly donation, of any size? In the short term your support will keep us making those calls, supporting people to get online and lobbying statutory services to do more. After this crisis, your donations will enable us to support people to begin anew after profound isolation and neglect.

Our bank details: CARAS, account number 00018781, sort code 40-52-40 (CAF Bank).

Or donate online by clicking here.

Thank you for reading and for your continued support.