Case Study

How IMIX sparked the campaign against seven day evictions

Posted by Katherine Maxwell-Rose on January 10, 2024

In early September 2023, IMIX’s North East Co-ordinator attended a local meeting where a frontline worker flagged a change to Home Office procedure meaning that in practice most newly-recognised refugees would get only seven days’ notice to leave their accommodation (previously it was 28 days).

The team member immediately identified this as a major news story which was not yet being reported on. Within a week, using our regional and national contacts IMIX had chaired a messaging workshop involving frontline organisations in Glasgow, Liverpool and Newcastle and homelessness specialists. Our aim was to ensure frontline voices were amplified and that the narrative remained focused on fixing the problem and not scapegoating refugees.

By mid-September, IMIX had introduced the Guardian’s documentary team to frontline workers in Liverpool and was supporting them through the filming process. The resulting documentary, Seven Days to Find a Home, featured extensively in the Guardian.

IMIX meanwhile issued a press release highlighting the issue to local and national journalist contacts, while also providing a template to regional charities to issue their own press releases to journalists.
From September to October, IMIX connected journalists from The Big Issue, known for its track record on homelessness, ITV Granada, and The Liverpool Echo to frontline workers. The Big Issue and ITV ran follow-up stories, while The Guardian adopted refugee destitution as its Christmas campaign and ran profiles of many of the charities involved, including referencing the pressure of coping with evictions. By November, the story had also been picked up outlets as varied as Sky News and The Church Times.
On 21st December, the Home Office reversed its decision. The Big Issue included the Liverpool charity in its list of Changemakers for 2024. The Guardian’s Christmas appeal raised £1m for frontline charities.