Last night the temperature in Folkestone was 0 degrees. Tonight it will drop to -2.
Some of our friends at Napier Barracks, where the Home Office is housing over 400 asylum seekers, slept outside last night in protest of the conditions there. They feel that they have no other way for their voices to be heard. They are frustrated and exhausted, having spent months being told by the barracks managers that they will be moved to more suitable accommodation.
At the barracks, the men are isolated and cut off from vital support – most experience a severe decline in their mental health. This type of accommodation is entirely inappropriate for people who may have suffered through human trafficking, torture and imprisonment. They are surrounded by barbed wire fencing; the military or detention environment re-traumatises those living there and they struggle to keep going.
Asylum seekers are some of the most resilient people we know. They have fled war, persecution and injustice, have crossed continents and survived more than we could ever imagine in the hopes that they would finally be safe and happy in the U.K. It should not be here that they lose hope.
Yesterday was a tough day at Napier – a gentlemen housed there tried to take his own life, being unable to cope with the conditions there any more. Morale is low. This is not the first time this has happened, and we fear it will not be the last.
Our friends will sleep outside again tonight. They plan to do this every night until the Home Office relocates them to appropriate accommodation. They would rather do this than continue to be in these conditions.
We have set up a fundraiser to purchase the residents of Napier Barracks warm winter clothes, gloves and hats. Please donate using the following link: https://www.goldengiving.com/fundraising/warm-clothes-for-Napier-Barracks