News and events
MDF appoints its first paid post
08 December 2023
We are delighted to have appointed our first paid post to drive forward the fund's strategic vision of ending destitution. Will Wheeler has been involved in the fund for several years, and is now employed by Macc as the MDF Partnership Lead. Will writes:
I am delighted to be taking up the role of Migrant Destitution Fund Partnership Lead. I have worked in various capacities with people facing destitution for the last 14 years, including with several of the fund's referral partners. Outside MDF, I currently work part-time at GMIAU, and have volunteered for the last four years with Growing Together Levenshulme. In all this work, I have been angered and saddened at the cruel and racialized policies that force people into destitution. I’ve also been humbled by people’s resilience and tenacity in navigating the hostile and labyrinthine bureaucratic processes needed to escape destitution, and not least by the sheer perseverance in getting by – and, despite everything, bringing joy and humour and hope to our communities.
I’ve been involved in MDF since a pilot was first launched in 2018 – when we took inspiration from one of the members of the group who stressed the difference that cash grants could make in a system which, as he put it, “is designed to make you a beggar”. I am proud of all that we have achieved in running the fund over recent years, and the very real tangible difference that the fund has made to people’s lives not just in getting by but in helping people live with dignity. It has been especially wonderful to hear of stories of people who have been supported by the fund and have ultimately escaped destitution. We’ve been incredibly lucky to have such a committed group of volunteers, as well as fantastic support from Macc in hosting the fund, and of course our many funders without whom none of this would have been possible.
At the same time, I am sickened that the fund still has to exist – and that it’s needed more than ever. Indeed, with the passing of the unimaginably cruel Illegal Migration Act, we are only likely to see levels of destitution increase as people are forced underground by an even more hostile policy environment.
It doesn’t have to be like this.
That’s why I am excited at the opportunities that this role presents to drive forward the fund’s long-term goals to improve the response to destitution across Greater Manchester and, ultimately, advance a vision of a society where no one is forced into destitution by where they come from. I look forward to working alongside our referral partners, who are doing so much wonderful work to create spaces of welcome amidst the hostile environment, to build networks and share challenges and best practice. I’m also looking forward to developing the fund’s evidence base about destitution in Greater Manchester, and especially to work alongside people who are living through or have lived through destitution, to develop our platforms for speaking out against destitution.
08 November 2021
"“I am delighted to become and ambassador for the Migrant Destitution Fund. Everyone, no matter where they come from, should have the right to basic necessities: food, shelter, and heating as a bare minimum. The government’s no recourse to public funds (NRPF) policy leaves many migrants without these, forcing people into extreme destitution"
01 November 2021
We are pleased to announce that the Fund is now open and accepting referrals once again.
01 July 2021
Unfortunately due to insufficient funding we have had to make the difficult decision to pause the fund. Follow the link above to find out more and find out how you can help us to reopen.
22 April 2021
"We are supporting people who have experienced long delays as a result of the asylum process and have no other means of support, people denied the right to work, with additional challenges such as physical and mental health issues, and people with children to support. Even we were shocked by what the data revealed to us.”