Saturday 10th October Vigil 1:
Thank you to those that came last night- about 25 of us over the course of the evening. Poigniant conversations, solidarity and flasks of tea.
One learning for me was that staying on the street for a night is a draining experience – emotionally and physically. I guessed it would be. I woke at maybe hour/2 hour intervals from cold or disturbance.
I felt laying there that to run the event again as an evening vigil rather than over-nighters, I’d be interested in thoughts about that – something like an hour or 2 once a month. While NRPF continues to exist I plan to continue these vigils and will post here about them.
king regards, Joe
FAQ: I don’t feel I can sleep out can I come and support?
A: Yes, please come down on the evening of Friday the 9th, and bring your sleeping bag then you can lay down for our photographs if you want to, we’ll aim to have a photo shoot around 8.30/9pm.
You may also want to join us for an hour or two, completely up to you
Hello thanks for coming by, my name is Joe Holtaway I’m an artist and a teacher and on this occasion an organiser for a Vigil. On Friday 9th October I will be sleeping-out on the street in central London in a prominent place to raise awareness for something called No Recourse To Public Funds.
Without any wish to write this with contempt for any individuals I am contributing my voice to those who are asking the Government to reform this policy that affects around 1.4 million people in the country today.
No Recourse limitations means people can stay in the country but have no access to central benefits at all. Their only saving grace are NGO’s and charities, many of which are struggling or shut at this time.
I became aware of it working alongside people who are seeking asylum at a day centre in South London, gardening and singing. Some of these people are subject to NRPF.
You’ll see from the Guardian, Independent and BBC articles below, that many are already raising concerns of the precarious and stressful position it puts people in.
I invite anyone who would like to join me to do so that evening in central London.
All info is in the pack below – please read before attending to know how to stay safe while gathering during the pandemic in accordance with published guidelines. Depending on further restrictions and the weather there may be changes – check back here on the day please – thank you – feel free to contact me with any questions
‘People will die’: Priti Patel warned immigration policy will force thousands back on the streets
Local councils call for ‘urgent action’ to ensure homeless migrants — some of whom have lived and worked in UK for decades — are not pushed back into destitution because of their immigration status
Independent 07 July 2020
The cruelty of Britain’s ‘no recourse to public funds’ immigration policy
Whether this is the cause of Mercy Baguma’s death or not, she should never have been forced into extreme poverty because of her immigration status, say women campaigning to end NRPF
Maya Goodfellow, Shaista Aziz, Sandhya Sharma, Chitra Nagarajan, Lola Okolosie and Elizabeth Jimenez Yanez
A collective of women campaigning to end NRPF
Guardian 27 August 2020
Poverty and destitution. That’s the reality for thousands of migrants in the UK since the pandemic started. As lockdown hit, migrants across the nation who often work in casual and low-paid roles saw their jobs disappear or incomes slashed. But unlike the rest of the country, they have no welfare safety net to fall back on, because a controversial immigration policy known as No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) means they cannot access benefits.
BBC 18 August 2020