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Fear and poverty in times of crisis

Fatima project baytree centre

The Baytree Centre is supporting women in London who are facing poverty and fear during this pandemic and are unable to access support elsewhere.

Living through a pandemic and lockdown has been challenging experience for all. But for those who do not have a stable home it presents an impossible situation. The Coronavirus outbreak has highlighted the extreme vulnerabilities of those living in poverty and on the margins of society. Those living in overcrowded and temporary accommodation who are unable to access support offered by the government.

Many are finding themselves at the mercy of not very kind landlords that ignore their duties whilst demanding their rents, a bit like in the times of Dickens. It is hard to imagine that in 2020, in London this is the sad reality for very many people. Families are suffering, not just from poor health due to poverty, but also from isolation and fear.

The Baytree Centre is helping those most vulnerable in London

The Baytree Centre, our local partner in London, United Kingdom, has been working tirelessly to support the women and girls they work with through this pandemic. By providing advice, reassurance, education input, access to food vouchers, they are offering an invaluable lifeline to those who need it most. Many of them are migrants and English is not their first language.

Now, when the need to be informed is of paramount importance, many are finding it difficult to navigate this new situation. How else can they defend themselves from the unreasonable demands of rogue landlords? How else can they receive and discern the right information that allows them to be informed but without undue panic? How can they understand their rights when some companies still abuse the right of workers? How can they protect their family when living in fear, poverty and in a time when there is an increased rate in domestic abuse and violence?

Every week, the staff at The Baytree Centre is helping women escape their homes. The space they occupy with their partners and children. One woman, unable to access a phone, managed to use her daily exercise allowance to reach out and plan an exit strategy. Another woman and her family are facing returning to the country they fled as refugees ten years ago as they are unable to access income benefits in the United Kingdom. Those who were already living in precarious situations are being forced to make impossible choices for their survival in lockdown.

The right to a safe and secure home should be universal. Right now, as we talk of solidarity surrounding the Coronavirus it is important that we recognise those who are most vulnerable during lockdown, and most in need of support. Let this movement take on a world where home is not a luxury, but a minimum, and everyone has the ability to find peace, rest and joy.

The Baytree Centre needs your support, now more than ever

The Baytree Centre is supporting women who face societal exclusion and are unable to access support elsewhere. As one of the few places delivering education and all round support for refugees and migrant young people, Baytree are receiving many referrals from individuals seeking help. You can help support The Baytree Centre’s work during the Coronavirus by making a donation.

100% your donations will go towards helping our local partners around the world deliver lifesaving resources and support to vulnerable communities. If you would like your donation to go to a specific partner, please let us know by making a comment during the donation process.

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