Article 1 was founded as a registered charity (no. 1124746) in 2008 to support Sudanese refugees to build meaningful lives in the UK.
We provide crisis support, helping reduce the incidence of immigration detention, destitution, suicidal risk, and threat of deportation. We also provide ongoing emotional support at the end of a phone, or in person. Many clients feel immediately understood when we can share details of, or casework examples from, Sudan. It helps them feel listened to and understood. The holistic nature of our support means we are able to monitor closely the mental health status of our clients and ward off crises. Our clients feel safer and less isolated.
Information and advice
We offer information and advice. For instance, we find lawyers and source expert evidence, including by drafting country reports or support letters on request, and attending court if necessary. Although the Home Office is ultimately responsible for status decisions, our interventions make it more likely that clients with credible claims will achieve leave to remain. We are well networked with other refugee support organisations and able to signpost clients to relevant projects and services.
We run community groups, for instance we facilitate six women’s groups nationwide, and also drop-in clinics or smaller volunteer-led support groups. These are aimed at helping clients increase confidence, and form stronger social or family bonds. This reduces isolation, and develops their sense of a Sudanese identity that complements their new British identity.
We offer training aimed at improving our clients’ knowledge and understanding of their rights and entitlements in the UK, and empowering them to navigate and access structures and services better, on topics like British benefits, culture, or politics, or those affecting Sudanese communities particularly, like mental health, or FGM. We aim to empower individuals to advocate for themselves after our interventions, and gain hard or soft skills that can increase employment potential.
We engage in dial-shifting advocacy to help create better informed public, legal profession, Parliament, and government on Sudan, ensuring that the needs and wishes of Sudanese are heard at the very highest levels of our society. This improves policy and practice, increases public empathy, but also allows our clients to use their voices to heal. Often this is precisely the type of meaning our clients want to create in their lives.