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Response to the deaths in the English Channel

Dear Friends and Supporters,

We wanted to write as the UK witnesses more tragic events affecting the lives of people seeking safety.ย 
We are devastated to hear of the deaths of all the people who died in the channel yesterday.
Our thoughts are with those who lost their lives, their families and friends.

Our thoughts are also with refugee communities across the UK who continue to struggle within a hostile system, and for whom this news will be particularly traumatic as they themselves have made these journeys and lost loved ones.

These deaths were avoidable. They are a result of the failure of this government to provide protection to those seeking safety here. These people are fleeing war and persecution, they are making these treacherous journeys because their lives are in danger and they have no other choice but to board a small inflatable dinghy to reach safety.

We have a responsibility to provide protection and this government is currently doing the opposite.

The new Nationality and Borders Bill will do nothing to stop this suffering. It will continue to play into the business model of people smuggling and will inevitably lead to more dangerous journeys and tragic deaths.

We are better than this.

We urgently need safe routes, humanitarian visas and a system that reflects our values and our communities. We need a system that shows compassion and gives protection to those who need it.

WERS will continue to do everything we can for refugees and people seeking asylum who need our support, and to help them to find a new safe future on Tyneside away from fear.

Thank you as always for your continued support and compassion for people seeking sanctuary here.ย 

Hannah Barnes, Directorย 
West End Refugee Serviceย