Ilford and Romford Salvation Army branches campaigning for asylum seekers to have the right to work
PUBLISHED: 11:09 11 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:15 11 July 2019
Ilford and Romford chapters of the Salvation Army joined forces this week to show support for people who want to work but are not allowed to do so due to their asylum seeker status.
The event followed on from a meeting in November when the charity joined a 'Lift the Ban' coalition, comprising more than 200 organisations that believe people should be able to get a job whilst they wait months, and often years, for a decision on their asylum claim.
At the event on Tuesday, July 9, the group heard from a woman who is currently waiting on a decision from the Home Office about her refugee status.
She said not having a job made her feel worthless and not part of the community and it was only when she began volunteering that she gained purpose.
"Depression set in and some days I wouldn't want to leave the house as there was nothing to leave for," she said.
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"One day I dream of becoming a midwife so that I can help women in a time of pain.
"If I was allowed to work whilst I am waiting for my decision it would make me feel valued and that this country recognises me as someone that can give something to the UK and not just take."
National refugee response coordinator for The Salvation Army, Nick Coke added: "The Salvation Army believes that people who have risked everything to find safety should have the best chance of contributing to society and integrating into communities, as well as having the opportunity to better support their families financially.
"This means giving people seeking asylum the right to work so that they can use their skills and live in dignity."
The Salvation Army Ilford and Romford were also joined by members from Raynes Park, Edmonton, Asylum Matters and the Church of England.