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Inspire Awards: "I am still alive because of Boaz"

How a project supporting asylum seekers is making a big difference in Manchester

How a project supporting asylum seekers is making a big difference in Manchester

The Boaz Trust was started in 2004 as a result of the needs of destitute asylum seekers who, on coming to the UK and being refused asylum, are left with no support or accommodation, and without the right to work.

It now houses more than 100 asylum seekers and refugees each year in Greater Manchester. It currently accommodates 45 individuals.

The charity has 12 houses and local host families where asylum seekers can find accommodation, but they do a great deal more than simply house the people who come to them. The charity helps asylum seekers access healthcare, other specialist services and legal expertise to help them move on with their claim for asylum. They also provide their residents with food and other essentials on a weekly basis.

The Meaningful Lives programme means that asylum seekers who could otherwise find themselves without any daily activity, can take part in various useful classes and become more integrated into the local community.

In addition to all of this, the Boaz Trust seeks long-lasting solutions for the problems asylum seekers face by campaigning for changes in the asylum system and raising awareness.

The founder and director of the Boaz Trust, Dave Smith, already had his and the project’s work recognised when he received a BEM (British Empire Medal) earlier this year.

More than simply providing for people’s physical needs, the Boaz Trust strives to tackle the everyday problems asylum seekers face. In the words of one of their Ethiopian clients: “[The Boaz Trust] means more than anything. I don’t have the words to say. I believe God has prepared Boaz for this work. I am still alive because of Boaz. When I think about my situation before, I was like a dead person, now I feel I am alive. I have got energy to do different things. I have got everything.”

Lauren Belcher

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