About Us

We are volunteers who befriend asylum seekers and refugees in Southampton and Winchester.

We support 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
  • Giving one-to-one English teaching for asylum seekers
  • Helping people to find and work with a solicitor to further their asylum claims
  • Providing activities for asylum seekers
  • Getting legal guidance for specific cases
  • Working with other Southampton refugee charities at a weekly drop-in centre in the city
  • Reaching out to churches, schools and community groups who can help them
  • Campaigning for a fairer, more efficient asylum system in the UK.

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

Around three-quarters of the funds we raise are used to provide resources for asylum seekers and refugees. Our funding comes from charitable trusts and our own fundraising activities.

We’re volunteer-led

We pay for just 26 hours per week administrative assistance, and everything else is done by volunteers.

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.

We're practical

Our ASSIST scheme provides modest financial support for a limited period to some destitute asylum seekers in Southampton. This can be around 50% of our annual expenditure. We have relationships with immigration solicitors as well as many local organisations so we can help people get the help they need.

Our values

We believe that the current UK asylum system is inhumane, and that:
  • People seeking asylum have a clear right to protection under the international laws that the UK has signed up to;
  • All asylum applications should be heard and dealt with promptly, fairly and fully;
  • No one seeking asylum in the UK should be forced into danger or destitution;
  • Everyone seeking asylum deserves respect and compassion.

More about SWVG


For a quick overview on what we do, please read our booklet or a recent newsletter

Charity Commission pages

See our Charity Commission pages including our Annual Reports and Financial Statement. We have two sets of pages: one set for charity number 1103093 till December 2019, the other set for charity number 1183558 from Jan 2020.

Get involved

Want to find out how you can help SWVG or get involved?


To refer someone to us for help, use our referral form

Key documents

SWVG Constitution

In 2019, SWVG was approved as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, registered with the Charity Commission number 1183558. The constitution was slightly amended at the AGM on 16 November 2020 to clarify who is eligible for membership.


We hope that you don’t need to make a complaint about SWVG, but if you do, click here to find out how.

Equality and Diversity

Want to find out how you can help SWVG or get involved?