Citizens Rights Project launches appeal for hardship fund for EU citizens

Citizens Rights Project launches appeal for hardship fund for EU citizens

The Citizens Rights Project provides free and regulated immigration advice and support to all EU/EEA/Swiss nationals and their family members living in Scotland.

Through our work we also reach vulnerable clients who need our assistance with their applications for settled status. These citizens often don’t have valid ID documents or passports. This is a requirement to apply for pre-settled or settled status. For some, travelling to their national consulates or embassies proves to be an overwhelming financial difficulty.

We have launched an appeal to raise funds to assist the most vulnerable clients with the costs of their travel, paying for new ID documents, or even taking a passport photo. There are only few hardship funds available in Scotland and our clients are often not eligible to apply for either of them and rely on private discretionary donations.

Just to give you some examples, we recently supported a Polish national from Dundee with mental health issues, who had to travel to Edinburgh to obtain a new passport. We made a claim to a welfare fund to pay for their return train ticket to Edinburgh (£42), but this was refused. The financial situation of this client was so bad that he could not even afford £8 for a new passport photo.

Or a Romanian mother with no income living in the Scottish Borders who must go to Edinburgh to obtain a new passport for her few-months-old baby. Or an elderly French national living on the lowest benefit in a care home in Northern Scotland who was asked to travel to London to the French Embassy. Just to name a few.

All these people will not be able to secure their immigration status without their national IDs, but they also have no financial means to obtain the necessary documents.

People in these circumstances need immediate help to meet these costs, but the grants we have for our projects don’t cover payments for things like this. We are therefore appealing for funds to set up a small hardship fund to allow us to meet these costs. Initially, we are seeking to raise the sum of £500 for this purpose. Any funds unspent will be allocated to other charitable purposes assisting EU/EEA/Swiss citizens in Scotland.

Please, help us to help them by donating to this appeal today.

You can do so by donating to our crowdfunder, here.

Or you can make a donation direct to our bank account, here:

Citizens Rights Project

Bank of Scotland

Account – 16728964

Sort code – 80-22-60

Please use the reference: Hardship fund