Rapid Response Circle (110) was set up in February 2011 by a meeting of the combined Circles of Friends to meet the need for a group that could provide prompt responses to appeals (within 48 hours). Essentially, this is a Circle “of last resort” to help with living expenses and settlement needs. Most referrals come from experienced Agencies which have exhausted all other options including Red Cross, Australian Refugee Association (ARA) and Survivors of Torture and Trauma Assistance and Rehabilitation Service (STTARS). Our goal is always to help when a person:
- has no money
- is homeless or at risk of eviction
- needs urgent medical treatment or rehabilitation
- is a child.
Our preference is to err on the side of providing urgent help and risking a mistake, rather than leave a refugee or asylum seeker with a desperate situation unresolved.
If the Rapid Response Circle can’t help, or can only provide part of what is needed, the appeal is sent to a special focus Circle or to all Circles and we co-ordinate the response.
In 2021 the Circle underwent a renewal of members, welcoming to the team David Hoffman and Alexander Reilly with Trish Dundon remaining as Convenor. The rejuvenated Circle is looking forward to continuing the Circle’s vital role as emergency response for asylum seekers and refugees in need. We thank Denise Callaghan who has retired from her role as co-convenor after many years and hours of dogged, consistent consideration of requests, monitoring income and expenditure and keeping thorough, story filled records.