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News Report Page 2 of 14
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Scarisbrick Hotel Asylum Seekers relocated after months of lobbying

THE Scarsbrick Hotel, on Lord Street, was designated as temporary accommodation for up to 150 asylum seekers, in May 2020, through an arrangement between Serco and the Home Office. The agreement lead to concerns being raised, that ranged from safety and security, to suitability, and problems communicating advice about Coronavirus and social distancing. This resulted in Damien Moore MP and his caseworkers having to deal with hundreds of emails from constituents. But now the Southport MP Damien Moore has received confirmation from Serco and the Home Office that all asylum seekers have now been successfully relocated.

MP Damien Moore said:- "I have managed to secure confirmation that the asylum seekers at the Scarisbrick Hotel have now been relocated. This follows months of lobbying by my caseworkers on behalf of local residents who have raised concerns about the asylum seekers living conditions at the hotel, the suitability of their accommodation, and what plans were in place to communicate advice about Coronavirus and social distancing. I have every sympathy for those asylum seekers who are fleeing persecution and we rightly should help them in every way we can; my office has supported a number of asylum seekers with a range of concerns and issues over the last twelve months. However, it was not practical to place up to 150 asylum seekers in the Scarisbrick Hotel during the national lockdown with no realistic timeframe of when they would be properly housed or integrated into society. Some of the conditions I was made aware of by both asylum seekers and residents were far from acceptable. My caseworkers have been communicating with the Home Office and Serco throughout the last twelve months to express residents' and asylum seekers concerns and to secure a better outcome. I am pleased to see that the situation has now been resolved and that the asylum seekers have been provided with more suitable accommodation. I would like to thank those constituents who contacted me about this issue and I would like to wish those asylum seekers that stayed at the hotel the very best of luck."

Our Paper has also been informed that the Scarisbrick Hotel will shortly become available to visits again.

Tesco invites charities in the North West to apply for new Community Grant

TESCO is encouraging charities and community groups in the North West to apply for funding for local projects that matter to them. The newly rebranded Tesco Community Grants scheme will award grants to charities and community organisations whose focus is on helping children and families access the food and support they need for a good start in life. Eligible projects will include breakfast or holiday lunch clubs, food banks, youth clubs or Schools. From July 2021, 3 community groups in each area will be selected to receive votes from the public to decide which project receives the most funding.

A total of ₤2million in the next 3 months in funding pots of:- ₤500, ₤1000 and ₤1500 will be available for the shortlisted projects, and Tesco customers will be able to choose which 1 receives the most funding by voting in store every time they shop. Originally launched in 2016, as Bags of Help, the scheme has supported over 36,000 community groups with more than ₤86 million in grants, since 2016, including 2,000 sports teams and 1,400 groups supporting vulnerable older people. In 2020 alone, more than 10,000 groups were awarded grants of over ₤7.9m, by Tesco throughout the UK.  Friends of Ightenhill Park, a community group based in Burnley, is one of the many recipients across the country who have secured a Tesco grant.

Ida Carmichael, Secretary of Friends of Ightenhill Park, praised the extensive support they have received from Tesco, saying:- "The donations and funding we have received from Tesco have been extremely important to the group, and we wouldn't be where we are now without them."

Keith Jackson, Tesco Community Grant Manager at Tesco, said:- "Over the years, we've been delighted to have been able to support so many charities, community groups and organisations from every corner of the UK. The help and support they provide to families and children is now more important than ever. We're encouraging groups in the North West to apply for funding as we hope to see the fantastic community work they provide to continue long into the future."

Graham Duxbury, Groundwork's UK Chief Executive, said:- "The last year has been extremely difficult for everyone, and that includes community groups and charities who will have been hit particularly hard by the Pandemic. Many groups have seen a surge in demand for their services while volunteer numbers decrease, which has caused mounting pressure. We're delighted to be working with Tesco to provide these much-needed funds, which will help to support local communities as we recover from the Pandemic."

The Tesco Community Grants will support thousands of local community projects and good causes across the UK. The scheme is open to registered charities and not for profit organisations, so if you are an eligible organisation then apply for a grant now. If you are a Tesco customer or colleague, you can nominate a cause that you'd like to see supported. To apply for a Tesco Community Grant, visit:- TescoCommunityGrants.Org.UK.


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