Help for people seeking asylum - Refugee Council

Help for people seeking asylum

Asylum seekers are some of the most vulnerable people in society and they are often misrepresented in the media. We help them to navigate the process and support them along the way.

Photo by James Glossop via The Times

The UK asylum system is tough. Securing asylum status is difficult, complex and can be extremely time-consuming. What’s more, people seeking asylum are not permitted to work, leaving them dependent on payments from the government to a few pounds a day. As a result, their lives are stressful and full of hardship


people seeking asylum had been waiting for longer than six months for an initial decision at the end of March 2021.


a day, is the amount most asylum seekers live on.

How we help

We signpost asylum seekers to other services in person and over the phone. We help them access the health services they are entitled to. In London, we also help meet the immediate needs of those who are destitute.

Many of the people we see are profoundly traumatised by their past experiences and the asylum process adds an additional strain. We provide one to one mental health support as well as group therapy for women and children.

We also work behind the scenes lobbying for changes to the asylum system. We campaign for a fairer, more humane system and we carry out research into specific areas in order to bring these matters to the attention of politicians and decision makers.

Many of the children and young people we support are seeking asylum. We provide asylum and welfare support, as well as help to those whose age has been disputed. We offer mental health therapy to help the children come to terms with their experiences, and address their care arrangements, education, and health issues.

"I started going to Refugee Council, I explained my problems and they said I had to get some of my documents to prove that I was not illegal. Refugee Council supported me throughout. Eventually they found a hostel for me. When I got my status, they didn’t just leave me. They supported me and organised for me to get a more secure place to live." Allen

Our work

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If you work with asylum seekers and want to refer them to our services, find out more about how to access our support below.