Adult Asylum Services closure update - March 2014

From 1 April 2014 the Refugee Council will no longer be offering free advice and help to people applying for asylum support. This is because the Home Office has appointed Migrant Help to deliver a new Asylum Help service from that date, which will offer two functions, Asylum Advice UK and Asylum Support Applications UK.

The Refugee Council will continue to help people who are seeking asylum to obtain the support that they need to access protection and rebuild their lives. While we will not be delivering Home Office-funded adult asylum advice services, we will be providing a range of services to support refugees and asylum seekers in London, Croydon, Luton, Kent, Birmingham, Leeds, Hull and Sheffield.  You can find information about these services, which include the Gateway programme, children’s services, destitution support and therapeutic casework, on our website. At the same time, we will continue to advocate for the rights and protection of refugees and asylum seekers as we have done so successfully in the recent campaign to change government policy towards Syrian refugees.

The Refugee Council will continue to deliver our advice service until 31 March 2014. From 1 April people who need support to apply for asylum will have to appoint a new advisor, either Migrant Help which is funded by the Home Office, or another advisor of their choice.

From 1 April people who want to contact the Migrant Help Asylum Help service can do so using by accessing the:
•    Website:  www.asylumhelpuk.org (in 15 different languages including audio briefings and printable documents)
•    Asylum Helpline (Advice) 0808 8000 630
•    Asylum Helpline (Support Applications) 0808 8000 631.
We are currently offering clients with live cases the opportunity to give us their consent to share the information we hold about them with the Home Office and Migrant Help. This is so that Migrant Help will have the information they need to offer help if there is an issue with the client’s asylum support.

From 1 April clients we have assisted in the past will be able to request a copy of their file by completing a form on our website.

Thank you for your support and collaboration over the past 13 years of our asylum support services. We look forward to continuing to work with you to ensure safe and accessible support for refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.