A REFUGEE charity says the UK Government’s “hostile” attitude to asylum seekers helped trigger a “phenomenal” response to a crowdfunder campaign, which saw £30,000 raised in matter of days.

The appeal by Glasgow-based Refuweegee had a target of £7500, but donations poured amid widespread criticism of Rishi Sunak’s plans to “stop the boats” crossing the Channel.

The cash raised will be used to help provide emergency food parcels and toiletries to refugees and asylum seekers, particularly those living in hotel accommodation.

Selina Hales (below), founder and director of Refuweegee, said the fundraiser was inspired by a family living in a hotel who had approached and asked for help with food, as the meals provided were at unsuitable times and not enough.

The National: Selina Hales

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She said: “A team member said can we push for people to donate hotel food as I have had to give them Pot Noodles and a packet of biscuits.

“It has been absolutely amazing - everything from £2 donations with wee notes saying this is all I can afford.

“Those are the ones where you know people get it, you don’t have to have a huge amount of money to give but if you have got £1 or £2 it makes such a massive difference.

“Now we are in a position that we know we are not just able to provide people with food so they are not hungry, we are now in a position to provide them with food they actually want to eat.

“With this amount of money, that will see us support thousands of people in all sorts of situations.”

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Hales said the conditions people were living in were part of the UK Government’s “hostile environment” designed to act as a “deterrent” to asylum seekers.

“When your child has been eating packet sandwiches for lunch every single day for three months, that’s not a standard of nutrition,” she said.

“There are so many elements of it that just strip away dignity.

“[The UK Government] believe that is some sort of deterrent, whereas we know the only thing it does is wreck people’s mental health, further isolates and it certainly doesn’t change whether or not they can go home, it makes no difference to that.”

She also said the latest plans unveiled by Sunak to deter asylum seekers from crossing the Channel to come to the UK had led to “huge fear” among the community.

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“There is so much unnecessary stress and fear,” she said. “We get more questions that we rarely know the answers to.”

But she said the fundraiser demonstrated the show of support from the public, with donations received from across Scotland and as far away as Australia and America.

“Whether it’s welcome letters, whether it’s donations, whether it’s lovely volunteers, there’s always a way to show people that there are people here who care, and the fundraiser is just the latest example of that,” she said.

“I’m always blown away by the response, but this one just seems very telling of what people now do in times of frustration and crisis – what a beautiful way to respond to something that you don’t know how to challenge.”