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Sunday, 20 December 2015

Taking us for a ride: £100k of your cash blown by charity on days out to help refugees ‘integrate’

NEARLY £100,000 of the public’s money has been blown on taking asylum seekers to theme parks and the seaside in a bid to help them “integrate”.
Refugees have also enjoyed week-long adventure holidays, swimming and art classes and even lessons in mime.
The migrant “jollies” were last night blasted by furious campaigners who said they made “Britain look more like Butlins”.

Sight-seeing ... at the London Eye
Sight-seeing ... at the London Eye
We can reveal dozens of immigrants have been treated to freebies since 2009 courtesy of The Hillingdon Refugee Support Group, part-funded by the National Lottery.
They posed for photos on visits to top tourist attractions including Thorpe Park in Surrey, which costs one adult up to £49.99, the Tower of London (£22) and Whipsnade Zoo, Beds (£19.50).
Jaunts to Brighton beach, the London Eye, the Cutty Sark and the British Museum were also funded by the charity, which received £399,545 from the Big Lottery Fund this March.
Boat ... at Cutty Sark
Boat ... at Cutty Sark
Adventure holidays were another treat, with 16 to 21-year-old migrants who arrived “unaccompanied” to the UK enjoying a week of climbing and canoeing.
One included a stay at the £500-a-night Grenville House Outdoor Education Centre in Brixham, Devon. The West London-based charity said in a newsletter: “Everyone enjoyed it. We shall be looking to visit next year.”
After Thorpe Park it said: “There will certainly be a repeat.”
A trip to Whipsnade Zoo was a “summertime favourite” that asylum-seekers “always enjoy”.
Zoo ... migrants pose at park
Zoo ... migrants pose at park
Some have become regulars. One said in 2012: “The best of all the trips were the zoo, Thorpe Park and Brighton beach. Next year we’d like to have more fun.”
According to its accounts, the charity spent £98,810 on outings and events over the past six years.
History ... at British Museum
History ... at British Museum
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: “Some of my constituents can’t afford to take their children to some of these places.” He added those who play the Lottery will be “disappointed if it paid for asylum-seekers’ jollies”.
Guard ... at Tower of London
Guard ... at Tower of London
Steven George-Hilley, of the Parliament Street think tank, said: “With so many freebies, Britain looks more like Butlins.”
HRSG, also funded by the Hillingdon Community Trust charity, says on its website the trips “build confidence” for the refugees and “enable their integration into British society”. It did not respond to requests to comment.
The Big Lottery Fund said: "Hillingdon Refugee Support Organisation was awarded £399,545 in March 2015 and £91,372 has been paid out to date.
"The funding is for young people without families who have recently arrived as asylum seekers or refugees.
"The majority of the grant money is being used for one to one counselling sessions, education and life skills training to help them build their confidence and independence."
Hillingdon Community Trust did not comment on the outings but referred to information on its website.
This states it has given grants of £60,000 over three years to the charity's Befriending Hillingdon Unaccompanied Minors Project¿Uniting People, offering a "broad range of educational and recreational activities aiding integration".

Source the sun

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