We support refugees and asylum seekers in several different categories:
Syrian families living in Chichester and closeby, here on the government’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. The families arrived in the UK after fleeing their homes and spending years in refugee camps in countries such as Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. They arrive with refugee status, so the parents are allowed to work. We help the families to settle in, intergrate, learn English, find work and feel like valuable members of the community.
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) living locally. Many have fled from war and persecution in countries such as Sudan, Eritrea and Iran, and travelled alone for several years, experiencing and seeing traumatic and dangerous situations, before staying in coastal camps in France and Belgium and finally making it accross the channel to the UK. We provide them with English tutors and pastoral support, take them on social activities and accompany them to appointments. One greta source of support for boys is our amazing Nations United football team. We’re currently fundraising to run a similar project for girls. The girls are especially vulnerable to further trafficking within the UK.
Asylum-seeking families, placed in the area while their asylum applications are processed. These families often arrive deeply traumatised, with no English and no idea of how to navigate their new surroundings or systems. The only support they get from the Government is a place to live and £38 a week to live on, so this group are in conserable need. We firstly get them food, winter clothes and shoes, and help them avoid destitution. Then we help them to access services (GPs, schools etc), start to build their social network, give them specialist English lessons and support them through mental health crises.
Individual adult asylum-seekers and Appeal Rights Exhausted (ARE) people. This group includes young people who started their journeys when they were children and eventually arrived in the UK after they turned 18. We support them to avoid desititution, with a small income and some volunteers offering them a place to stay, and support them through legal processes. If asylum seekers’ applications and appeals are rejected by the Home Office, they are given no income and no accomodation by the government, and as they are not allowed to work (or study), destitution is unavoidable. This group is particularly vulnerable to modern slavery and exploitation. Home Office decisions on asylum applications should take six months or less but usually take much longer – we know young people who have been waiting several years for a decision. Meanwhile, their life is on hold, their talents, skills and enthusiasm going to waste, and it is difficult to begin processing trauma and healing from it when you have no idea whether you will be able to stay in what has become your new home. By the time a decision is made, some asylum seekers have met their life partners in the UK and started a family, but this does not mean they will be allowed to stay. This is contrary to the Human Right to a Family Life.
Visit our What We Do page to find out more about the type of support offer.