New arrivals from Sudan reach the UK at their most vulnerable, often after arduous journeys involving abuse in Libya, perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, and even extended stays in Europe’s refugee wastelands – many were in ‘the Jungle’ camp in Calais before it was demolished.
They arrive without the means to help themselves and bewildered by the UK asylum system. We work intensively to help them receive the services to which they are entitled. We pride ourselves on our holistic approach, responding to the individual needs of each person, rather than assuming a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is best. Our aim is to make individuals feel supported on their journey to full integration in the UK. Often this just involves being a friendly ear on the end of the phone or being physically with someone at a difficult time, but we also work to:
- Liaise with lawyers to find or supply evidence relevant to asylum claims, drawing on our expertise and reports on these topics.
- Signpost to services, whether run by other organisations in that individual’s local area, or one of our own projects and programmes, for instance our women’s groups or drop-in clinics. Because of our extensive network of contacts in the diaspora, often we are also able to put someone in touch with another Sudanese national, or a volunteer, in their area to offer support or friendship.
- Arrange visits to those held in immigration detention, drawing on the support of the volunteers in our Sudanese Visitors’ Group.
- Provide small grants to those who find themselves destitute, or help with one-off costs to attend meetings with lawyers, the Home Office, or healthcare professionals, or with a small mobile phone top-up to call loved ones.
- Support refugees as they navigate the all-too-quick 28-day ‘move-on’ period in which they must gain employment and housing after receiving their status.
If you are an asylum-seeker or refugee from Sudan, or a lawyer looking for free help for your client, please contact us.