Christmas appeal against torture – how Birmingham can help survivors
This Christmas you have the chance to help someone who survived torture and found refuge in Birmingham.
Torture survivors often find themselves destitute, unable to access a support network and facing serious mental and physical health issues. And with just £39.63 a week to survive on, things were extremely difficult, even more so now that we are in the midst of a cost of living crisis.
There are almost 200,000 refugees and asylum seekers in the UK and up to a quarter may have been tortured in the country they fled. Conditions such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress typically affect the mental health of survivors, while physical symptoms include disability, restriction of movement, and chronic pain. The charity Freedom from Torture claims that around 80% of its clients suffer from debilitating physical pain.
This Christmas, the charity is asking for donations to provide urgent aid. £20 could pay for a month’s phone credit to enable a survivor to access therapy remotely; £25 could pay for an interpreter for a therapy session; £30 could pay for an hour-long pain self-management session; and £40 could help pay for essentials such as food and toiletries for a destitute survivor.
Who are Freedom from Torture?
Founded on December 24, 1985, it is the only national charity specifically dedicated to the care, protection and rehabilitation of survivors of torture. On average, they directly support around 700 adults, children and young people – refugees and asylum seekers from conflict-affected countries – each year, at five treatment centers in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow.
Rehabilitation through the charity helps survivors settle into new communities and rebuild their lives while becoming a valuable part of our society.
The charity uses holistic treatment to improve the mental health and wellbeing of survivors as they overcome trauma. This part of their work began when it became apparent that some survivors were struggling to access even basic support, let alone help specifically for trauma survivors.
Therapy can be individual, group, and family, or even socially through activities like gardening, music, and baking. The charity also has a pain management service to help self-manage symptoms of physical pain, legal and social advice, and a forensic reporting service which provides evidence of torture to be used before asylum decision-making bodies.
Freedom from Torture’s center in Birmingham is the only dedicated torture treatment center in the West Midlands. Your support could be a lifeline for torture survivors struggling to cope with their mental and physical health, further exacerbated by the ever-increasing cost of living. Your donation could help them get through the winter and look forward to a brighter future.
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