New multilingual telephone advice service begins - Refugee Council
June 15, 2011

New multilingual telephone advice service begins

From Monday 20 June 2011, the Refugee Council will start operating the free and confidential Own-Language Telephone Advice Service (OLTAS). We will no longer provide a ‘drop in’ service and our current telephone advice will be transferred to OLTAS. This service is already successfully operating in our Birmingham office.

Refugees and asylum seekers who contact the Own-Language Telephone Advice Service will hear a recorded message which will include the option of being connected to an adviser who speaks their selected language or English. We will give advice, information and support over the telephone or, if necessary, book face-to-face appointments.

Callers can talk directly to an adviser in the following languages:

  • Farsi
  • Pashtu
  • Arabic
  • Kurdish Sorani
  • Tigrinya
  • Mandarin.

If you do not speak any of the above languages, you will have the option to speak to an adviser in English who will call you back using an interpreter or bilingual adviser. We are currently working on providing additional languages for advice.

We will be unable to see refugees and asylum seekers who have not made an appointment through the telephone service.

To contact the telephone advice service, simply call the number below and follow the instructions to select the language required:

0808 808 2255

For people with a hearing impairment, a minicom/textphone service is available.

0808 808 2259

Calls from landline numbers and the main six UK mobile phone networks including 3, Orange, Virgin, Vodafone, T-Mobile and O2 are free. Callers do not need to have any credit on their phone to contact us.

The Own-Language Telephone Advice Service opening hours are 9.30am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 2pm – 5pm on Wednesday.