Helping business owners to share their message has been one of my big passions for a while now, along with sharing my own positive message of hope for people living with body dysmorphia and eating disorders. It’s what I do day to day in essence – helping businesses to communicate effectively with their target markets. But recently I discovered an even greater way I could use my writing skillset to help an underrepresented, widely misunderstood group of people to share their incredibly important message.
I’m proud to be working with Manchester charity Revive, providing my writing and proofreading services to help the charity to communicate their fantastic work more effectively to the community and to the press. But I recently began a project on their behalf which I believe could be the most powerful message I’ve ever had the honour of sharing.
The global refugee crisis is prominent in the media – on and off. Unfortunately though a lot of the publicity has led to the motives and personalities of asylum seekers desperately needing our help to be misrepresented. In fact it’s Refugee Week this week – apt timing for this post.
It’s easy to forget how lucky we are sometimes (in fact make that most of the time). It’s easy to believe negative media and propaganda and feel fearful and even angry. It’s easy not to comprehend how life-changing unwanted upheaval from your home country in the midst of war or genocide would be – because we are so fortunate here.
When I decided to volunteer for Revive I wanted to make a difference – to offer my skills in communication and writing to change the negative perceptions surrounding the refugees and asylum seekers finding sanctuary in the UK. Although I rarely discuss politics and my strong personal views as a business owner I believe that we are all human and all deserve help if we are in need – and if I were ever in a position where I had to flee my home country and lose everything (and in some cases, everyone) I loved I’d want to be received with compassion and humanity. For this reason I decided a book filled with experiences of some of the refugees now living here in Manchester might help spread the word and would give them the opportunity to share their stories – give them a voice. Incredibly Revive had already been planning a similar project – but needed a skilled volunteer to help them to make it happen. Isn’t it funny how fate brings people together?
Everyone has a voice
After spending a few weeks listening to the most inspiring, incomprehensible and at times deeply upsetting experiences I’m pleased to say that the book is coming along really well.
Understandably it’s designed to be a perspective changing read – and some stories are understandably shocking – but it also has an inspiring, positive message within. Some of these people are starting again from scratch, making us think about how fortunate we are, sharing their wisdom and raising awareness all at once. Yet simultaneously their stories highlight the massive struggle genuine asylum seekers face when they arrive here. Although media often suggests they are instantly offered housing, work and benefits most cannot even obtain the legal documentation they need to be issues a £35 weekly living voucher. Many of the stories in the book don’t yet have a happy ending – with asylum seekers living destitute on our streets following numerous failed appeals to stay in our country – unable to return to their own for fear of death, rape or torture.
All proceeds will go to Revive to help them continue with the amazing work they do.
I also write newsletters and reports for Revive and provide proofreading support. If you have a skill (professional or otherwise) you’d like to offer or if you would like to donate money, clothes or food please visit Revive’s website here: www.revive-uk.org.
We’re currently looking for:
Cooks with Food Hygiene certificates
Any other help you can provide
Updates on the progress of the book will follow!