At least 135 asylum seekers at the moment are dwelling onboard the Bibby Stockholm barge in Dorset, in response to native campaigners.
Stand Up To Racism Dorset and the Portland Global Friendship Group held a welcome assembly on the port gates on Sunday for brand spanking new arrivals.
At the identical time, the No To The Barge group additionally held a protest, involved over the affect on the native space.
Co-ordinator of the Portland Global Friendship Group, Heather, informed Sky News the variety of individuals being positioned on the barge is rising.
“The number I know is 135, but I do know that more arrived on Friday so that number will be higher,” stated Heather, who didn’t need to give her full identify.
“There’s a large amount of people on-board and they’re adjusting to life. Some of them have found it really difficult.”
In October, some migrants returned to the Bibby Stockholm after being evacuated because of an outbreak of legionella micro organism.
Heather stated asylum seekers are highlighting issues with dwelling on-board, with claims that televisions in every bed room have been disconnected.
“On the barge, there are no activities – the TVs are disconnected. The Home Office said it’s to encourage the guys to socialise. They don’t have meaningful activities on the barge.”
A Home Office spokesperson stated the barge’s capability is 500, however the variety of individuals on board might differ “due to a number of factors, including individuals exiting the asylum system once a decision has been made”.
They added: “The Bibby Stockholm is part of the government’s pledge to reduce the use of expensive hotels and bring forward alternative accommodation options which provide a more cost-effective, sustainable and manageable system for the UK taxpayer and local communities.”
The Home Office added that asylum seekers have entry to communal areas, together with a TV lounge.
The volunteer group is now operating occasions for asylum seekers 5 days per week.
Heather stated: “We have conversation club, we took the guys fishing, we’ve got sports groups – all different activities put on by volunteers. We now have over 70 guys engaging with us and we get more each week as more arrive.”
A lot of the asylum seekers have begun volunteering themselves, she stated.
“Many of them are really keen to meet the community and get involved in things. We’ve got guys that go down to help the homeless, they give hot meals out to the homeless.
“Some are serving to in charity retailers and organisations across the island.
“There’s one guy who’s doing websites for community groups on the island. So they are able to use their skill set to actually support our community and make it better,” stated Heather.
In a separate protest, round a dozen campaigners from the No To The Barge group marched.
In a press release, the group stated: “The ordinary people on the beautiful island of Portland, Dorset are fed up, frustrated and angry about the socially divisive, unsupported mooring of the Bibby Barge.”