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We are a group of volunteers who befriend and support adult asylum seekers and refugees in the Southampton area. 

 We do this by:

  • Befriending and offering one-to-one support to asylum seekers and refugees
  • Offering modest financial assistance to those who are homeless and/or destitute
  • Helping them to find and work with a solicitor to further their asylum claims
  • Getting legal guidance for specific cases
  • Working with other Southampton refugee charities who run a weekly Drop-in Centre in the city
  • Providing activities for asylum seekers
  • Giving one-to-one English teaching for asylum seekers with little knowledge of the language
  • Reaching out to churches, schools and community groups who can help them
  • Campaigning for a fairer, more efficient asylum system in the UK.

  Some facts and figures:

  • We’re all about people – many of our volunteers are trained visitors / befrienders working directly with local asylum seekers and refugees
  • We’re economical – over 80% of the money we raise goes to asylum-seekers we work with. Our funding comes from charitable trusts and our own fund-raising activities.https://swvg-refugees.org.uk/our-history/
  • We’re volunteer-led – we pay for just 25 hours per week administrative assistance, and everything else is done by volunteers
  • We’re practical – Our ASSIST scheme provides modest financial support (typically weekly payments for a basic room and subsistence) for a limited period to some 50 destitute asylum seekers in Southampton a year. We manage a six-bedded hostel for homeless asylum seekers while they gather evidence towards their claim. The ASSIST scheme accounts for around 75% of our annual expenditure. Our Legal Justice Project gives us access to specialist advice from a top immigration solicitor who also gives us regular training on changes in immigration legislation
  • We spread the word – we provide speakers for local churches and other groups, and at a national level we support campaigns on behalf of asylum seekers.

 In a nutshell, we believe that:

  • Every asylum seeker deserves respect and compassion
  • All asylum applications should be heard and dealt with promptly, fairly and fully
  • Being ‘in limbo’ between countries can be very distressing and isolating
  • Asylum seekers have a clear right to protection under the international laws Britain has signed up to
  • No UK asylum seeker should be forced into danger or destitution.

For full details, read our 2016 Executive Committee Report and Financial Statement

For a quick overview, read our Annual Review

 Pages in this section:

About us

How we work

Trustees and patrons

Our funders

Local partners

Our history

SWVG organised a day trip to the Isle of WightA day trip to the Isle of Wight