“A member of BRR explained to me that people who arrive in this country and apply for asylum are split (by the authorities) into two categories. Those whose cases are pending receive a small amount of money, on which they have to try and live; they’re the (relatively) lucky ones. The other group are those whose cases are rejected, but who remain in this country but can’t be deported as either the case is under appeal, or the country isn’t safe to return to. This group of people are given no money; instead each week they receive £35 worth of supermarket vouchers. They must live entirely from Tesco or Asda or Sainsbury.”

The vouchers can only be exchanged for food…so no clothes fags or booze, and potentially no halal meat – as many supermarkets don’t stock it.

This exchange needs to expand – there are a lot of asylum seekers who’d love to swap their vouchers for some real money. If you’d like to help contact Bristol Refugee Rights: or 0117 9080844

Alternatively drop in to their centre, on Newton Road near Easton Leisure Centre. They’re there on Wednesday mornings or all-day Thursday. The nice lady from BRR said they really need people to send them cheques. They can then send back vouchers, and start expanding the exchange operation.

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