I hope that you all had a lovely time this Christmas, whichever way you choose to spend it. Personally, I saw my parents on Christmas Eve and spent Christmas Day eating and watching films with some Muslim friends from various parts of West Africa. It was a cross continental, Jewish-Muslim Christmas. Much more excitingly, the family that you have all been so generous in supporting finally moved into their own flat on the 23rd. It was in the nick of time because they spent a large portion of their Christmas Day in hospital… On the Maternity Ward! A child was born on Christmas Day.
Enormous thanks have to go to you and to all of the incredible hard work from all the T4K volunteers (apart from me. I was sick in bed during the most stressful period.) Without the phenomenal support and kindness of so many people, the child would most likely have been born in Home Office emergency accommodation. It would have been a single room in a hostel somewhere in London. These places are not pleasant. They house newly arrived Asylum Seekers. As you can imagine, that is mostly young men many of whom are extremely traumatised and all of whom are under enormous strain. There is very little chance that the father of the family would have been with them. It would have been the 21st century equivalent of a manger in a stable. Instead, mother and baby were able to have a well-planned birth in a safe environment and to return to their very own home. I want to claim that it is a Christmas miracle, but it is not. It is nothing more than the result of people coming together to bring people in, rather than cast them out. It’s nothing less than that either. Truly, it’s a wonderful life. Thank you.
If it is not enough that you have kept a family safe, you have also managed to bring one more refugee to safety. A man that has been here for 7 years, who had to make 3 claims for asylum, finally received his residence card. I will save the megilliah (long and convoluted story) for the new year, because it isn’t actually a happy tale. I will say this, along with a very sharp barrister, the thing that made the difference was your support. Because he had a home, he could focus on his case. He could find the witnesses he needed and prepare an irrefutable case. Your support has really been the difference between life and death. That’s no exaggeration.
I will sign off with a new years message from one of the residents…
Hello everyone out there, happy new year to you all. I hope that you all have a quality time with your families. I wish you all the best. I hope to meet you all in the new year.m New year, new vibes. Make sure that you come back safe from New Years Eve (I need your continuing support!). Thank you for all your support. Save some Turkey for me and have a great 2018. Keep praying for me. Here’s hoping 2018 brings you joy and me leave to remain. Thanks, KS.