How you are helping

By donating to our Destitution Fund you are helping asylum seekers and refugees with basic life needs while they fight for a safer life in the UK. Find out more about life as an asylum seeker by reading below. 

Thank you for your support.

Could you live on £5.39 a day?

The financial allowance for people like me is a death sentence. The London living wage is £10.20 per hour, but asylum seekers are expected to live on £5.39 a day.

I accept this allowance in order to sustain my miserable life and communicate my message:

The government of my country is abusing and killing people. It killed my family.

The Cotton Tree is trying to get the Home Office to hear. Will they succeed? When? For how long must I live this way?

There are no special shops for people in my position. I have to go to the same shops as people who earn a proper wage. If I budget carefully, £5.39 will buy me: one loaf of bread, a pack of rice, a tin of beans, a litre of milk, one apple, one orange. This leaves nothing for travel, clothes, cleaning materials or personal hygiene.

On Home Office rations I face daily dilemmas. Shall I fill my stomach today and go hungry tomorrow? What choices should I make to preserve my health, so that I have the best chance of seeing my case through? How can I avoid getting sick? Should I walk or take the bus? What will I do when my boots wear out?

It’s torture to see the things I can’t buy on the market stalls. It’s unbearable to be denied the right to work and give something back to the country that accepted me when I was in crisis.

I am a human being. I have a voice. I am you in another future, another space or time. We need to sustain each other in adversity in order to preserve mankind.

...A Cotton Tree asylum seeker

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