Paul Kimber, a Dorset Quaker from the Portland Global Friendship Group, has reported on the efforts made to welcome asylum seekers on Portland, including the following update from Laney, one of the volunteers:
“50 welcome packs for the asylum seekers were delivered to the port last week. We received encouraging feedback from the men including this transcribed message which we have permission to post here:
‘Hello, I am a resident on the Bibby Stockholm, a helpless refugee. Someone who walks in a room with an area of 6 metres and repeats this sentence with tears in his eyes while looking at his family photo. “I am strong, I can”. You don’t know how happy I am to receive your welcome package. A package not with material content but full of things that cannot be found in any store. A package full of love with an infinite message. I am thankful that in this unloving storm that is sweeping this world, there are people who light candles for altruism. I kiss each of your hands and I wish that smile never stops.’
We were in the middle of making up the next 50 welcome packs when we received the news that the men were being evacuated due to the Legionnaires outbreak.
We had started to build up a connection with the men … and were responding to their need; hopefully that momentum will continue if they return.
A donations site has been set up for donations in order to continue making the Welcome Packs- each one costs approximately £8 to produce. We would be extremely grateful if the link could be shared.”
If anyone would like to donate items for the welcome packs, these are the items included: