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
  • 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 who run 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.

  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 – 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’re practical – Our ASSIST scheme provides modest financial support for a limited period to some 25 destitute asylum seekers in Southampton a year. We manage a hostel for homeless asylum seekers while they gather evidence towards their claim. The ASSIST scheme accounts for around 50% of our annual expenditure. We have 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 a quick overview, read our booklet or SWVG Newsletter Autumn 2020

To find out more, 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.

 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