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June 27th, 2014

Asylum-Seeker Charity Founder Praises ‘Generation Welcome’


A YouGov poll published for Refugee Week reveals that first-time voters overwhelmingly back Britain’s historic tradition of offering refuge to asylum seekers. The survey found that 79% of ‘Generation Welcome’, those who will be voting for the first time in next year’s general election, are proud of the country’s record of protecting refugees, and 76% want Britain to maintain its generous role.

Dave Smith, founder of the Boaz Trust, was delighted by the poll’s findings. ‘It is enormously encouraging to know that despite concerns about immigration and economic security, the young remain so open and generous towards those who are fleeing what can be terrible persecution and suffering.’ The Boaz Trust was set up in 2004 to offer accommodation and practical support to asylum seekers, as well as to lobby and campaign on their behalf. Over the past decade they have supported 350 asylum seekers, many of whom were later recognized as genuine refugees and who are now contributing to British society.

‘Many of the clients we work with are the same age as those polled from ‘Generation Welcome’ and it is really pleasing that so many young people have the maturity to see beyond their own immediate needs to understand the crucial importance of helping others facing circumstances so different from our own,’ comments Dave Smith. In his recently published book, The Book of Boaz, he chronicles the work of the Boaz Trust and his experiences of the asylum system, and how the Boaz Trust grew from one man to become the largest provider of accommodation for destitute refused asylum seekers in the UK

‘Having spent so many years fighting for the rights of asylum seekers, often battling with a system that seems set up to make them fail, it is wonderful to know that young men and women seem to be so charitable. This gives me genuine hope that the current hostile environment will change to better and fairer treatment of those who have suffered so much.’

With the Syrian conflict now generating the most severe refugee crisis of recent years, the advent of Generation Welcome on the political scene is very timely. The work of Dave Smith with the Boaz Trust, and others engaged on behalf of asylum seekers, often goes unseen and unpraised but with perhaps that could now begin to change with young voters keen to see their work prosper.

The Book of Boaz is published by Instant Apostle and is available from bookshops and online in paperback and electronic formats.

For trade, it is available from Lion Hudson c/o Marston.

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