Secondhand clothes, discounted food, children’s toys and books donated by charities … We talk to some of the 39,000 asylum seekers whose weekly allowance leaves them counting out their lives in pennies

How do you live on £36.95 a week?

It’s a question that 39,000 asylum seekers in Britain are currently grappling with. When people arrive in the UK and apply for asylum, they are not allowed to work while they wait for their claim to be decided. Those who have savings must live off them; those who are destitute – an understandably high number, given the circumstances in which many people flee their countries – are entitled to support in the form of housing and an allowance of £36.95 a person a week.

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