Why blog? Because you have things you want to say and you hope other people might want to read them.

I’m Phil Davis. I’ve spent the last 20 years working with asylum seekers and refugees in the UK. I now coordinate the work of Hope Projects in Birmingham, a small charity supporting destitute asylum seekers. This blog will explore what destitution means, why it happens, what can and should be done about it and how it fits into the wider picture of asylum, immigration and British politics.

An asylum seeker once described the asylum system as ‘like walking into a darkened room’. I have a room in my house with 2 doors on opposite walls, no windows and only one light switch. My approach to household management means it’s always strewn with stuff. I trip over stuff, put my arms in front of me to protect my face, pat the walls looking for the light switch. It leaves me briefly helpless and disoriented. No more than little occasional reminder, though. I find the light switch after a few seconds. Many asylum seekers are not so lucky.