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December 19, 2012

A sharing economy

Writing in the New Start magazine, Julian Dobson describes the emergence of what he thinks is a new trend in local economic activity. He calls it the collaborative local economy and cites several examples of where it seems to be taking root. It’s essentially about shifting the paradigm from maximising profit to one which is more about sharing what you’ve got. On that note, and if anyone feels so inclined, Glasgow based, PAiH, are taking donations of anything you’d like to share for their Winter Destitution Appeal.


Dear friend,
Please support our Winter Destitution Appeal (Positive Action in Housing Ltd SC027577) for destitute asylum seekers and their families in Glasgow.
Destitute asylum seekers are not allowed to work or take benefits or homeless accommodation. Many have fallen into long term destitution and are now part of Europe’s growing population of “invisible citizens”.
In 2012, Positive Action in Housing (Scottish Registered Charity No SC027577) provided a hardship fund, food, temporary shelter and practical advice and support to 303 destitute asylum seekers. We provided 586 nights of emergency shelter (through our volunteers and hostels). We gave out crisis payments totalling £30,400 from the Hardship Fund. (We currently give out over £2000 every month).
Two thirds of those who needed help were “additionally vulnerable”. These included young women under the age of 25, the elderly, families, pregnant women, those with severe mental or physical health problems ,and  those who have suffered some form of trauma, for example, torture, rape, domestic violence or sexual exploitation.
In addition to our regular drop-in surgeries, we are holding a special Winter Surgery on Wednesday 19 December (10 am to 4 pm) to reach as many vulnerable destitute asylum seekers (and their dependents) as possible before Christmas and New Year, to provide continued emergency support and assist people out of destitution through advice and information. We will be giving out food, cash support, warm clothing and organising temporary shelter as well as providing a list of resources and general advice and information. We will be helping the young, old, women, children and those with physical and mental health problems. Hot drinks, soup and bread will be provided on the day. By delivering this Winter Surgery we aim to reach vulnerable destitute people (and their dependents) over Christmas and New Year. We also aim to keep contact with service users afterwards in order to provide continued support until they resolve their destitution crisis.
If you or your organisation are aware of someone from a refugee background who is destitute, potentially destitute or without cash support, or in danger of going hungry over Christmas and New Year, please provide their full details and circumstances and refer them to us asap by emailing We will then advise you of a suitable time to send them to us for support.
We also welcome food donations of rice, pasta, oranges, tangerines, tins of soup (non meat), tea, coffee, biscuits, chocolates.
Please donate now
We are seeking financial donations from individuals and organisations towards our Winter Destitution Appeal, which aims to raise £15,000 by Christmas. ALL money donated will go directly towards providing humanitarian relief to destitute or potentially destitute asylum seekers and their dependents.
Individuals and organisations can donate in one of several ways:
1.     Give an online donation safely and securely at our Justgiving page .
Feel free to leave a message of support, for example, if you’re giving a donation in the name of loved ones instead of buying Christmas presents. Or be anonymous – it’s up to you. It doesn’t matter how small your donation, every little bit helps. If you’re a UK taxpayer, remember to tick the box to ensure your donation is “gift aided”, thus adding an extra 25% to your gift.
2.      Support our work regularly via standing order. Download the attached form (MS Word), complete it and send it to your bank.
3.     Send a cheque made payable to PAIH Ltd (mark the back of the cheque Xmas Appeal), and post to: Positive Action in Housing Ltd, 98 West George Street, Glasgow G2 1PJ
4.      Give a cash donation at our office Just email and we will arrange a suitable time for you to visit.
5.      Organisations can be invoiced for payment, just email with your contact details and the amount you wish to donate and we will invoice you.
6.     Send a text from your mobile phone: Simply text PAIH99 to 70070, with £2.50, £3, £5 or £10, or any amount you wish to donate. E.g., text PAIH99 £5 to 70070.
Thank you for all your support in the past and I look forward to hearing from you.
Many thanks,
Robina Qureshi
Positive Action in Housing Ltd is a Scottish Registered Charity SC027577
Registered office: 98 West George Street Glasgow G2 1PJ Website:
We wish to acknowledge the generous support of various charitable trusts and hundreds of individuals who support the Destitution Service pioneered by Positive Action in housing.
When you’re stripped of your most basic human rights: the right to food, shelter, warmth and paid work, thinking about your future becomes impossible. You are living day to day, hand to mouth, and trying to find your next day’s meal or safe shelter.  The cycle of long term destitution, mental health problems and further family breakdown becomes inevitable.
The Lifeline project aims to bring stability to the lives of destitute asylum seekers and their families in a safe, confidential environment.  It allows people the necessary breathing space to reconsider their options in a supportive environment. The Lifeline Project provides befrienders, volunteers and advisers whose job it is to meet basic human needs of food, warmth, shelter and social networks in order to bring back stability and hope for a more positive outcome to their status in the UK by providing access to good legal support and the chance of often erroneous asylum decisions being overturned by judical review.
The Fund is paid for by private donations. Two thirds of those who we helped were “additionally vulnerable”: the elderly, children, pregnant women, young women under the age of 25, those with mental or physical health problems, survivors of trauma, for example, torture, sex trafficking or domestic violence.
Destitute asylum seekers are forbidden to seek work or access public funds or emergency housing. The Hardship Fund is paid for by private donations. Without this project, they would be left street homeless and exposed to exploitation.
The Hardship fund gives crisis payments to people all over Scotland throughout the year who are at risk of being destitute. We currently give out a total of £2000 every month in crisis payments to vulnerable people, including pregnant women, young people, families, elderly people and those suffering from severe mental health problems, HIV or diabetes.
We desperately need donations to allow us to continue this much needed humanitarian work.