Legal Action for Women (LAW), is a grassroots anti-sexist, anti-racist, trans inclusive legal service for all women, based at the Crossroads Women’s Centre in London, England and San Francisco, USA.
LAW provides free advice and support to low-income women who have little or no access to legal advice and who are more likely to be denied justice.
Each year as Christmas approaches, Legal Action for Women organises an appeal for destitute women and children in All African Women’s Group (AAWG) — the self-help group of women asylum seekers based with us at the Crossroads Women’s Centre, the charity running the Centre, is administering the appeal.
We are always overcome by people’s generosity – those who have very little themselves go out of their way to give to women who are surviving on even less.
This year, unfortunately, we have to report that the situation is even worse than before. More women are being housed in hotels where they are given only £9 a week to live on. This includes mothers with young children, including breastfeeding mothers. Food is supposed to be provided but is often inedible and women don’t have any facilities to cook. Some women were so desperate about their children going hungry they bravely publicised their horrible living conditions and as a result got moved to self-catering accommodation. But many women were left behind and are still suffering. A recent report found that “an increasing number of children in temporary housing suffer from malnutrition and other health issues”. Other women describe living in in cold and mouldy flats and can’t afford to turn the heating on.
There has been an increase in single mothers coming to AAWG for help having been abandoned and left hungry and homeless by the father of their child. They end up living with people that take advantage of them in various ways. They describe that having just a little money of their own for the short period of time would provide a reprieve that would help them to find somewhere better to live.
The advantage of our Christmas appeal is that all the money goes directly to women and their families. Nothing is deducted for administration. We work closely with the All African Women’s Group to distribute the money.
Last year we were able to give small one-off payments to over 48 women and 22 children.
Women put the donations to good use, for example, to cover essentials like food or heating or clothes for their children. As Faith, a co-chair of AAWG, commented.
“We are very touched by people’s kindness. For us this money embodies happiness to children and hope to mothers.”
Anything you can donate, no matter how small, will be gratefully received.
Thank you and best wishes,
Niki Adams, Legal Action for Women.
Through Crossroads Women’s Christmas Asylum Appeal 2023 -If you are a taxpayer the value of your donation is increased by 20% at no extra cost to yourself if you choose to add Gift Aid to your donation.
By cheque, payable to Crossroads Women – please specify that you are donating in response to the Christmas Appeal and post the cheque to: Crossroads Women’s Centre, 25 Wolsey Mews, NW5 2DX. If you wish to pay another way, please get in touch. 020 7482 2496