Castle1

On Tuesday Aberdeen Shared Planet launched a crowfunding bid for £6 million on the website indiegogo.com. Image: Aberdeen Shared Planet.

  • Student group at the University of Aberdeen launches crowdfunding initiative to buy a 6 million pound castle in Perthshire.
  • Students intend to turn the castle into a safe space for destitute asylum seekers.
  • The self­proclaimed “Comrades of the Glen” want to use the funding appeal to highlight the poor support and lack of rights currently available to asylum seekers in the UK.

A group of students from the University of Aberdeen have launched a crowfunding bid to raise the funds to purchase a 6 million pound castle in Perthsire. In its funding appeal, the group proposes to turn the luxury estate into a co­operative that provides a safe space and quality housing for asylum seekers.

Rannoch School on the Dall Estate in Perthshire.

Rannoch School on the Dall Estate in Perthshire. Image: Wikipedia

The students, who are members of the University’s “Shared Planet Society”, want to use the funding appeal highlight the destitution and insecurity faced by asylum seekers and refugees in Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

Current Westminster Government policy bans asylum seekers from working while they await decision on their application, forcing them to rely on state support of as little as £5 a day. With no additional support from local government or access to decent housing, many are driven to live in poverty. 52% of applicants to the Refugee Survival Trust were in destitution due to administrative errors and procedural delays, and almost a third of applicants were homeless (see below for more information).

To realise their plan, the students need to raise the required funds from single donations over the next 59 days. The group are calling on individuals and communities around the country to support their initiative.

Eva Nohe, Co­President of the Shared Planet Society, says:

“We’re appalled that asylum seekers have to face destitution and poverty in one of the richest countries in the world. It’s shocking that in the UK some people can afford to live in a castles, while others end up sleeping in the streets.”

“Our proposal would turn the castle into quality, humane housing and community space for asylum seekers. A big estate like this should be used for the common good, not for some rich old man’s summer holidays.”

“With this appeal, we want to spark discussion about the lack of human rights and decent support for asylum seekers in the UK. We hope that our unconventional bid will inspire others to act in solidarity with asylum seekers and to dream big.”

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­For more information on asylum in the UK visit:

For information about the project contact Eva Nohe, Co­-President of Shared Planet Society, e.nohe.10@aberdeen.ac.uk, 07856160467.

 

Ric Lander

About Ric Lander

Ric is a Co-Editor of Bright Green and writes on economics, climate change and Scottish politics. His work based in Edinburgh supports grassroots fossil free campaigning.