SWVG is campaigning against the Home Office building a camp at Barton Stacey for people seeking asylum.
In March 2021 we have contacted local and national organisations with the following appeal. Please support us by send this appeal to the Home Office and to your MP.
As a local charitable organisation in Hampshire working with asylum seekers and refugees, Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group (SWVG) are very concerned at the proposed development of an isolated camp for those seeking asylum at Barton Stacey, Hampshire. We believe this is a deeply inappropriate form of accommodation for people who may be suffering the effects of war, state brutality and incarceration. We seek your support in calling on the Home Office to house those seeking asylum humanely and to address the backlog of asylum cases in a fair and just way.
In addition to emailing the Home Secretary and the Home Office minister we would ask you to also email your MP and councillors on this matter. You may wish to adapt the Appeal text below to suit your particular perspective. Please add your name and address, and the name and logo of your organisation (if relevant). We would appreciate it if you would also please scan or photograph it and email it to: email@example.com or let us know that you have contacted the Home Office and your MP.
We regard this as a humanitarian issue and not a matter for party politics.
Appeal text: Do not house asylum seekers in an isolated camp at Barton Stacey.
An isolated camp in a field near Barton Stacey next to the fast A303 trunk road and 7 miles from the nearest town of Andover in Hampshire is being considered by the Home Office to provide accommodation for 300 people seeking asylum.
MPs, peers, doctors, psychiatrists, lawyers, church leaders and refugee support workers have spoken out against putting people in such camps. These camps are a deeply inappropriate form of accommodation for people who are often physically or mentally vulnerable and who have often suffered the effects of war, state brutality and incarceration. Where large numbers of people have been put in former barracks sites in the UK, there has been an increase in reports of self-harm and of those on suicide watch as well as high numbers of Covid infections.
A better option is to provide Covid-safe, community based housing where people seeking asylum can access support for their physical and mental health needs and legal advice. They also need English lessons, libraries, shops and other services. At Barton Stacey, there are almost no facilities nearby which can be safely accessed on foot.
We call on the Home Office to:-
- stop the opening of all camps including the one at Barton Stacey
- provide community based housing for those seeking asylum
- address the backlog of asylum cases
We call on the government to work towards creating a fair and effective asylum system based on humanity, compassion and the rule of law.
Guidance on contacting your MP
Guidance on contacting the Home Secretary Priti Patel MP (Home Secretary)
Guidance on contacting Chris Philp MP (Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
Useful further information about barracks and camps