Mandeep* was in detention for nearly 10 years. During his time at the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre, his mental health and the injuries he suffered fleeing civil war at home slowly worsened.

But because visitors from BMRSG came to visit Villawood most Wednesday afternoons, he was able to “share a cuppa” with them and enjoy the sweet biscuits they’d bring on their visits. BMRSG also brought gift bags for Mandeep and others each Christmas: toiletries, socks, undies, t-shirts. And over the years, they also made sure Mandeep had books, earphones, phone credit and board games. These things all brought with smiles, the intent to listen and the time for ongoing comfort and support.

BMRSG also campaigned for his release, through endless letters of support by BMRSG members as well as letters and submissions from many others. Finally in December 2019, the courts decided that Mandeep was to be released, and he now lives in shared accommodation in Western Sydney.

BMRSG visitors continue to support him with regular contact and trips to the local cafe. After such a long time incarcerated, Mandeep will need continuing support and assistance to adjust to normal life and learn how to negotiate daily challenges such as using public transport and how Australian culture works.

With the support of our members and donors  BMRSG will keep on being there for Mandeep as he transitions from closed detention into the community.

If you are interested in how you can support BMRSG in practical ways go to Get Involved

*Name has been changed