Health Access for Refugees (HARP) in South Yorkshire - Refugee Council

Health Access for Refugees (HARP) in South Yorkshire

The Health Access for Refugees Programme (HARP) enables clients to better understand, care for and communicate their own health needs. Asylum seekers and refugees are supported to become more confident to support their peers, share their experiences, and communicate their health needs to health professionals.

Our advocacy support ensures that our clients can access the support they need, to have a positive experience and understand their rights to healthcare in the UK.

HARP works closely with other local services to ensure that the needs of our clients are met through partnership working and by working with health services to raise awareness and achieve best practice in refugee healthcare. We share our expertise to help some of the most vulnerable people to challenge health inequalities.

What we offer

Support for clients:

  • Weekly health drop-in sessions at initial and contingency accommodation sites for asylum seekers – we go to our clients to reach the most vulnerable.
  • Health access workshops to improve understanding of the NHS and its services.
  • Support and advocacy to access different health services, such as registering and liaising with GPs, midwives, hospitals, dentists and other health care providers.
  • Support to access appropriate mental health, emotional support and social care services.
  • Facilitation of specialist sessions including ESOL for health, wellbeing activities, fitness, Covid awareness and briefings on appropriate health topics.
  • Help to access appropriate language support.
  • Opportunities to become HARP volunteers to support their peers and share their stories as Experts by Experience with health professionals.

Support for volunteers:

  • An opportunity to enrich your life by getting to know people from other cultures and helping them to access health services, in a timely and appropriate manner.
  • Training and mentoring to enable you to develop your appropriate skills.
  • Regular peer support meeting and supervision.
  • To gain valuable work experience within Refugee Council.
  • Networking opportunities with professionals within the organisation and across the sector.

For healthcare services and practitioners:

  • Awareness raising sessions for GP practices, medical and other students, receptionists, mental health teams and any other health practitioners who want to improve their knowledge and gain insight into working with patients seeking asylum.
  • Opportunities to hear from our Experts by Experience who give authentic accounts of seeking asylum in the UK, their experience of overcoming health inequalities and the needs of their peers.

Who HARP is for

We focus mainly on asylum seekers living in contingency accommodation (hotels) in:

  • Wakefield
  • Hull and East Yorkshire
  • Sheffield
  • Rotherham

We can take referrals to clients living in the community, depending on our capacity at the time, but only in the above local authority areas.

How to access this service

Contact HARP's project manager using the details below.

Contact Details