Two months have passed now since we underwent the challenge (where is this year going?!?), and, despite the sorry state my bank account currently finds itself in, it might be worth reflecting on some of the things we learnt during that time.
Now I have got accustomed to the freedom of (over) spending, and enjoying the luxury of being able to chose between taking the tube or the bus, it seems so ludicrous that 90p could make such a crucial difference. Equally, I still grumble over unexpected fees and expenses (a recent lost key comes to mind); but I know, in reality, I can most likely find a way to afford these, if they within reason. Yet, even the (objectively) modest £25 I needed to replace my keys would be too much for the asylum seeker, when their weekly budget is only £10 more than that a week.
I have mentioned a few of the reasons why we have a few advantages in our challenge, particularly compared to real asylum-seekers. However, even my brief insight gave us a real idea how incredibly stressful and isolating this budget really is.
It is worth-noting, however, the amazing work that charities are doing to rectify some of these problems. For instance there are food and clothes banks available to help asylum-seekers really in need. Speak Street even pay the transport for students to come to our free language classes, so not to deter them from coming.
However, even this actions are not enough; we need to do more to show asylum-seekers the value and respect they deserve as people. So please take action – join our campaign and help #LiftTheBan today.