LGBT Asylum Support at ELOP

£1,130 of £7,500 goal

Raised by 32 people in 29 months
You can help us give hope and support to LGBT asylum seekers to build a new life.  Through supporting our fundraising efforts you can assist ELOP to continue to provide support to those who need our services, many of whom face immense emotional distress, mental health challenges including suicidal feelings, and great fear of what their future holds.  Many are frightened that they will be killed should they be returned to thier country of origin.   Many have lost their home, family and all connections they once knew through the often violent non-acceptance of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Supporting our work with LGBT asylum seekers gives hope and enables individuals to build a new life from a foundation of safety, support and acceptance.

Current users have told us:

“Coming to ELOP is heaven, is like finding a family, without this we would have nothing.  Through ELOP I have found some hope and some belief both in myself and in the world.  Knowing that I can be who I am, and that I don’t only have to face hate for this, means everything.  Having lost my home, my family, all that I knew, being able to come here and rebuild my life and find some safety means the world to me”

“ELOP is like a wall to lean on”

“ ELOP has supported me with my journey to  gain a new life,  I would be lost without it”

Below are a couple of the stories of those we have supported (names have been changed)

Afsa, fled her home country after experiencing imprisonment when her family found her with her female partner. They handed them both to the police, where in jail they were forced to have sex so they could be videoed and then were raped by the police.  She was kept in jail for 6 weeks and then she fled to England.  Afsa fears returning, at ELOP she has been provided with counselling and attends the weekly support group.  She is also being supported with her asylum application.   Through ongoing support her flash- backs are lessening, and her mental health has improved. She is no longer self-harming and is not actively suicidal.  However she fears being returned, her family have no contact with her, and have threatened to kill her should she return to her town. 

 Farhan (24)  watched his boyfriend being beaten to death, after they were discovered together and were dragged out of the house and beaten by his partner’s family.  He managed to escape the beating but was taken to jail where he was beaten by the police and raped.  He was released from jail when his sister paid for his  release and paid for him to get to England.   He is currently in the process of applying for asylum supported by ELOP.  He attends the weekly group and through this has found a group of people who have a shared understanding of his experiences and his fears.  Through the group he has gained friends, who he describes as his family now, is able to talk about his experiences,  and also now his hopes for his future. He has gained self-acceptance, and having been to Pride with the group, more than ever wants to live somewhere where he can be who he is without fearing for his life.  He is still mourning the loss of his boyfriend and coming to terms with this experience.  Through counselling support his has slowly been able to recognise that he did nothing wrong and is not responsible for his boyfriend's death. His new hope is that he will in the future have another boyfriend where they can celebrate their love for each other openly and even get married.  It has taken Farhan awhile to start this journey of recovery and whilst not at the end of his journey to rebuild his life, through the support he has gained from ELOP and the network of friends he has built he has found some hope again in his life. 

 ELOP, through our LGBT asylum group, counselling service and individual case work support for asylum applications, has supported many people with experiences similar to Afsa and Farhan.  We have also supported many who fear forced marriages should they return to their families in their home countries. Some have married at their family’s insistence and these marriages have broken down quickly.  If they have explained their difficulties to their spouses, many of them faced violence and threats from both families, and have been forced to flee. 

All of those we support at ELOP have no contact with their families, and many have been publically disowned, have faced violence, threats and rejection. Many of them believe that they will never in their lives be able to rebuild a relationship with their families, even at a distance of thousands of miles, and often remain concerned that their families should not know where they are in the UK, in order to remain safe. 

 In the past year ELOP has supported more than 50 LGBT asylum seekers.  The need for this vital service continues, and to be able to help more people we need to raise urgent additional funding.  Please help us to do this and give hope to those in a place of despair and hopelessness.

£20.00 can support one hour of case work support

£40.00 can provide for one counselling session

£75.00 can support ELOP provide a weekly group support session for up to 20 LGBT asylum seekers

 Your money gives hope and will help to change lives.
  Any and all amounts will help

Target: £7,500 – would enable us to run this support group for another year and provide individual support or counselling for 10 people.  Reaching our stretch target would enable us to provide this support for an additional 10 people.    Stretch target: 12,500

Having met with those getting support at ELOP to find out what it means to them, it is clear that ELOP provides a lifeline for many and an opportunity to rebuild their lives. 

No one should face persecution or violence for being who they are; please help us to continue this vital work.

Thank you for helping us make a difference.
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Last week three of our group members were granted asylum, which was fantastic news for them as they can now start to build their future free from concerns of being returned to their country of origin and the persecution they would face due to their sexual orientation. We continue to work each week with many people facing great emotional difficulties as this certainty does not exist for them. Our group has grown to such an extent that unfortunately we are turning away people each week, as we can only support 25 people in each group that we run. We are contacted by at least 5 new people a week who which to join our groups so the numbers that we turn away each week has grown. Help us to raise additional money so we can start a third group- the demand for this is so apparent. Your money will support us to be able to do this and we can continue to save lives, and bring some hope and support to those in great need.
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Since we started the group we have supported 145 LGBT asylum seekers and now support 50 people a week in the two groups. We have recently recruited additional volunteers to support the groups to ensure we can provide the best possible support. Please continue to support this work - it is vital for so many people to have a regular space to meet with others facing similar concerns and the opportunity to be part of LGBT group and centre.
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The group we provide has grown since we launched this fundraising campaign and is attended weekly by so many people that we have had to establish a second group. We regularly support 40 LGBT asylum seekers a week. Please help us to continue to do this and provide an opportunity to enable peer networks to be established.
For those of you who would like to increase your donation through the use of gift aid we will contact all those who have donated to offer this opportunity.
All support makes a difference and enables us to continue to provide this much needed service.
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here is some more information about the group and another story

Thanks to the support of ELOP, almost 30 LGBT Asylum Seekers took part in the London Pride March. Amir (not his real name) is a Pakistani gay man in his early thirties. He came to the UK on a student VISA and studied at college. Towards the end of his studies, his family started to put pressure on him so that he would go back to his country of origin and get married to the woman chosen for him. Having been abused in his teen for looking “too girly”, Amir had kept his sexuality secret all his life and decided to tell the truth to his parents over the phone. His family did not react well, and stopped contacting him. He was dead to his family and got told he would be killed if he were to go back to Pakistan. Left with no choice, Amir applied for Asylum as the end of his student VISA.
Amir came to ELOP when he could barely remember what it felt like to be part of a community, feeling sad and demotivated all the time. At ELOP Amir found out that other people were in similar circumstances; he could share the fear of having to deal with the Home Office, the complexity of a 3-hour long interview in a language not your native one and the inability to move on with his life.
It was Ramadan and Eid was coming close. Amir was fasting, and decided to keep on attending the group. ELOP involved him to come to the London Pride Parade, and he showed up with the other 30 people to march around London. Amir felt he had friends again. He came back to the group thanking ELOP for how amazing it had been to go to Pride. Amir said will never forget that moment and, most importantly, he was able to look forward to Eid for the first time since his family stopped contacting him. With ELOP’s support, Amir has got people who will celebrate Eid with him.
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£1,130 of £7,500 goal

Raised by 32 people in 29 months
Created July 25, 2016
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