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.