Suicide and self-harm are rife – especially with letters for the Bibby Stockholm

Suicide and self-harm are rife – especially with letters for the Bibby Stockholm

The Bibby Stockholm barge is indeed proving to be something of a deterrent. It doesn’t stop people coming here; it just stops them wanting to carry on living once they’re here.

One Life To Live is helping to expose a series of suicides and suicide attempts amongst asylum-seekers who are finding life in hotels – or the prospect of having to move to the Bibby Stockholm barge – too much to bear.

In the course of working on a different campaign with Colchester-based asylum-seeker charity RAMA, One Life To Live learned of a very recent suicide attempt by a 23-year-old Nigerian man living in a big-brand Colchester hotel.

With RAMA’s agreement, and working closely with them, we released that story to the media on Sunday 29 October. We are working with other journalists and NGOs to continue helping to expose the scale of self-harm and suicide among asylum-seekers in Home Office accommodation.

Can you provide evidence?

If anyone is able to provide us with further evidence of cases, please get in touch. Nothing will be made public without your permission, and aspects of the story can be anonymised and redacted.

What happened in Colchester?

The young man had been living in the Colchester hotel for several months, but initially came to the UK as an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child (UASC) and lived in a foster home until he was 18.

He made the attempt on his life just two days after Robert Jenrick’s announcement that 50 problematic hotels would close before Christmas. This young man’s hotel was among them, and he and a number of other men in the hotel found out that they were due to go to the Bibby Stockholm barge.

He found this out not because he received an official Home Office letter, but because his room number was scrawled on a board in the hotel reception. While his hotel was not perfect, it was home for him, and he had started to put down roots in his community. But now he was just a number, and he was to leave his community and RAMA behind, and move to the infamous Bibby Stockholm.

Resulting media coverage