The Guardian and Observer 2018 charity appeal has raised £1,127,000 for charities whose work with destitute and homeless migrants and UK citizens helped expose the Windrush scandal. Thousands of readers had each donated an average of £77 by the time the appeal closed at midnight on Thursday. The total includes estimated gift aid, and will…
The Guardian and Observer 2018 charity appeal has raised £1,127,000 for charities whose work with destitute and homeless migrants and UK citizens helped expose the Windrush scandal.
Thousands of readers had each donated an average of £77 by the time the appeal closed at midnight on Thursday. The total includes estimated gift aid, and will grow in the next couple of weeks as stray cheques come in.
The money will be shared between five charities that support people made destitute and jobless and hit by unfair hostile environment policies: Praxis Community Projects, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), the Refugee and Migrant Centre Black Country and Birmingham (RMC), the Runnymede Trust and the Law Centres Network.
The charities provide legal assistance, advice, advocacy – and often welfare support – for migrants and UK citizens facing a variety of injustices caused by “hostile environment” immigration policies, including loss of employment, home, denial of NHS care, detention and even deportation.
The Guardian’s editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner, said: “Thank you very much to all those readers who contributed to the incredible total for the Guardian and Observer charity appeal this year. The money will benefit five excellent charities working in a challenging area and will absolutely change the world for the better.”
The Guardian’s award-winning coverage of the Windrush scandal involved many individuals who were supported directly by the appeal charities. The charities’ work ensured their clients were not unjustly detained or deported, and in some cases meant they received the vital NHS treatment wrongly denied to them.
Satbir Singh, JCWI’s chief executive, said: “This huge and desperately needed injection of funds will help charities like JCWI fight the hostile environment and enable us to continue to help people access the justice and protection they so desperately need and are entitled to. Every penny will make a massive difference to so many people’s lives.”
Julie Bishop, the director of the Law Centres Network, said: “The hardest thing for law centres is to turn people away due to lack of funds, whom we could otherwise help. Thank you sincerely for your donation – it allows us to help so many people we would have had to reluctantly turn away.”
The Law Centres Network plans to create a crisis fund from its share of donations, which can be drawn on by its 43 members across the UK to pay for extra casework or set up liaison work with community groups to ensure people affected by the hostile environment get the help they need.
Pam Gill, RMC’s deputy chief executive, said: “We are really grateful to the Guardian and Observer readers for their generosity. Your support will mean we can continue our vital work with extremely marginalised individuals and families.”
The Praxis chief executive, Sally Daghlian, said: “Every day we see individuals whose lives have been broken by the casual cruelty and indifference of a brutal and complex system. The money readers have donated will help us to maintain our specialist services and reach out to more of those who have been so brutally pushed out.”
Omar Khan, the director of the Runnymede Trust, said: “We will work with our partners to keep fighting the injustices migrants and ethnic minorities continue to face in 2019 and beyond. Thank you so much to everyone whose donations will go to challenging racism, xenophobia and the hostile environment, and to positively build a more inclusive and just Britain.”
The interim total raised includes £45,000 pledged by readers during the appeal telethon day in December, and nearly £10,000 raised by Guardian and Observer staff through in-house fundraising events.