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Allied Vehicles £10,000 Donation Helps Refugees

A Glasgow charity whose pioneering project to rehome displaced people has been running for over 20 years is being given £10,000 by one of the city’s leading employers.

Allied Vehicles Charitable Trust is giving the donation to Positive Action in Housing, who have given shelter to thousands of people through their Room for Refugees Hosting Network since its launch in 2002.

Now in its second year, AVCT is the charitable arm of the family-owned Allied Vehicles in Possilpark, a European leader in the manufacture of adaptive vehicles for wheelchair users and drivers.

The company employs around 600 people, mostly at Possilpark in the north of Glasgow, where it has been based for 30 years.

A staff committee meets monthly to decide on donations along with Allied owner Gerry Faccenna.

PAIH expanded their network last year to include people fleeing the war in Ukraine. They now have more than 2,000 people on their books, have 500 families in households in Scotland and England, and are looking for sponsors for others.

However, the initiative costs around £60,000 a year, and AVCT’s donation will help sustain it and make a difference to many more homeless and destitute families and individuals.

Describing the gift as “fantastic”, Robina Qureshi, the charity’s CEO, said: “What it means is that more people can be hosted safely and in a mutually rewarding way so that we can do the hosting assessments and the meetings … But also, we need more hosts as well, from anywhere in Scotland, for people who are from an asylum-seeking background or who are from Ukraine.

“There’s immense amount of overcrowding going on and people are being put into hotels in really bad conditions, like basements with no windows. It’s not a five-star hotel, it really isn’t."

“The people that get the money for it get five-star money, which is the Mears Group. This will really support us, but we’re really desperately seeking more hosts to come forward, to give us a bigger pool of people to work with from anywhere in Scotland.”

David Facenna, Allied Corporate Culture Director, said the AVCT committee had no hesitation in voting to give PAIH half of their monthly budget: “We recently doubled the amount we give to charity to £240,000 a year and, despite the huge demand we all felt it was the right decision to give them this money."

“I have seen PAIH’s work first hand and they do a brilliant job under very trying circumstances for such a broad range of people and we’ll be looking at how we can support them in the future as well.”

PAIH senior fundraising officer, Áine Beattie, added: “Because of your humbling and generous support, we will be able to build on and increase the capacity of the life-changing support the Room for Refugees Hosting Network provides."

“These donations will enable us to continue our multi-faceted approach towards hosting, helping our clients regularise their legal status in a sheltered environment … and make a lasting impact on the lives of many more vulnerable people seeking support.”

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