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.
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; and
everyone seeking asylum deserves respect and compassion.