Chagossian family's fire trauma

To support the Sissace family at this difficult time, please donate to their Crowdfunding page if you can.

On the evening of 15th June the Sissace family were relaxing together in the living room of their home in the Bewbush area of Crawley when a fire broke out in one of the children’s bedrooms upstairs. As the smoke alarms weren’t working, it wasn’t until they heard the cries of neighbours that they realised the danger and evacuated the house. By the time the fire brigade had arrived, they had lost most of their possessions and the house was completely uninhabitable.

Since that terrible night they have been staying a hotel in Crawley while they try to work out their next step. As their property was rented unfurnished, they had saved to buy all the furniture and were still paying installments on some of the white goods they needed. Without insurance, all that is lost and they have to start again to get back on their feet after making a home there for the 12 years they have been in the UK.

The local council will pay most of their hotel bill but as their parents are employed they have to contribute towards it as well as living expenses. As for so many families during the pandemic, it is an ongoing financial struggle, and currently their father is employed as a cleaner while the mother Marie, a native of Peros Banhos, is currently on furlough.

UKChSA has made an emergency grant and a fundraising page has been set up to help this Chagossian family to get back on their feet and start again once they have a new home. Any support will be gratefully received by the family.

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