Therapeutic Casework Unit: Many refugees have experienced extreme trauma both in their home countries and on their journey to safety. Our experienced therapeutic staff help people come to terms with this trauma, regain self-esteem and turn their lives around. There is huge demand for this service and we need to raise at least £200,000 every year to run it in London. Additional funding would enable us to expand the service to Yorkshire and the Midlands, where many refugees are dispersed.
Destitution Services: We know that many people whose asylum claims have been refused remain unable to return home because it is simply not safe for them to do so. We also see people whose claims have not been resolved, or who have fallen through the system, who are forced to endure destitution, poverty and homelessness. Our new model of partnership outreach Destitution Services across London provide a place for refugees to go for warmth, food and companionship. We need to raise at least £100,000 each year to ensure that destitute refugees can continue get the help that they so desperately need.
The Children’s Section works with refugee children who arrive on their own in the UK: We need to raise £250,000 each year to help us respond to the needs of these children, including specialist help for those trafficked to the UK who need a great deal of support to rebuild their lives; working with children whose age is questioned by the authorities and who end up in adult detention based on a quick visual assessment – in 2011 around 80% of the cases we worked on these young people were later assessed to be children and managed to access the support they so desperately needed; and providing social and educational activities to enable young people to meet others in a similar situation and share their experiences. Arriving alone in a strange country is a very frightening experience for young people, and this work is crucial to ensure that the right support is available when and where it is needed.
Employment Services for Refugees: Once a person gets their refugee status, helping them to find work is a crucial part of starting to rebuild their lives. Refugees in the UK have high levels of skills and a strong motivation to work, but their employment rates are significantly lower than those of non-refugee communities. This is in great part due to the complex range of barriers to employment that refugees face – including lack of evidence of qualifications and work experience; difficulties getting overseas qualifications recognised; and language skills. We currently provide limited advice and guidance to refugees, and some specialist projects. However, the need is great, and we would like to raise at least £100,000 to ensure that refugees can get more help to access the job market.
Campaigning and Influencing: We campaign against detention, destitution and for better decision-making in the UK asylum process. A fair, humane and effective asylum system is in everyone’s interest. But even once a person gets refugee status, they still face significant barriers to participation in society and a hostile media. This year we need to raise £250,000 to ensure that we are able to challenge the harmful effects of the UK asylum process on refugees, to promote integration, the positive assets of our refugee clients and to give refugees a voice.
Full project information and detailed budgets on all of the above are available from: