Kind friends are rallying together to hold a cake sale and raise money to fund a Dunstable family’s immigration fees and stop them having to leave the UK.
Hardworking mother Helen Damisa, 48, who lives in the town with her four children, is hoping to be granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK, while she also wishes to pay for the naturalisation of two of her children.
Helen needs to raise over £4,500, but with the fees very high, her two friends Natalie Martin and Kelly Lynch are holding a cake and raffle ticket sale tomorrow (November 1) to help raise funds.
Kelly said: “It is going to be held at the Salvation Army, Dunstable, from 3.15pm - 5.15pm and we will be selling sweets and raffle tickets.
“Prizes include a £100 voucher from TWP Flooring, a £50 voucher from Wish Upon a Party, free coffee and cake from Jacc’s Coffee, and free eyebrow threading from Beauty Bliss.
“We’re looking for more donations.
“There will also be candles, chocolates, fudge and kids prizes such as bubbles, stationery, and Top Trumps.
“Please help a family in crisis.”
You can buy your raffle tickets tomorrow and the ladies are planning to announce the winners and draw the winning tickets next week. (Venue to be confirmed.)
They are also keen to find businesses who can help donate prizes.
Natalie added: “Helen is really inspirational. I was her neighbour for around three years.
“She is a single parent and really inspired me and encouraged me to go back to college. She said: ‘Don’t waste your life doing something that you don’t really want to do.’
“She is a really good parent - her children are lovely and so well mannered.
“She had paid money into our country and and it’s really upsetting; it’s hard to see her struggling and hard to see her upset.”
Helen came to the UK from Nigeria in 2002 as her then partner moved here for work, and she relocated to Dunstable seven years ago. The children were born in London, but after her former partner had to go back to Nigeria in 2011, Helen has since been applying for leave to remain (the latest application granted in 2015).
Speaking to the Gazette earlier this month, Helen said: ““I hope to apply for my indefinite leave to remain before November. If I am unable, it does mean I will be regarded as an over stayer, unable to work to support my children.
“I may be homeless and this will put us in a very daunting situation. I require the money at least by the end of October and I pray I am able to raise it.
“My children have never been to Nigeria before, so they do not have knowledge of the place and they have really built their lives here and would prosper here if given the opportunity.
“I am so happy with them in the UK as life in Nigeria is unexpected.”
To donate a prize or find out more, call: 07555 397445 (Kelly) or 07913244267 (Natalie).
To donate directly to Helen’s appeal, visit: www.gofundme.com/ebw8af-immigration-application