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8 ways you can help asylum seekers in the UK right now

At the end of June there were almost 100,000 claims being processed

Chiara Wilkinson
Written by
Chiara Wilkinson

This week, the news has been full of headlines criticising the UK government’s treatment of asylum seekers. Most of the coverage has revolved around Manston, a former military base in Kent, which was set up in February 2022 to hold migrants for a short period of time before being moved to other accommodation (which is often a hotel). 

According to the Home Office, checks are meant to be completed in 24 hours and no more than 1,600 people should be passing through the site at a time. But as of this week, there were reports of around 4,000 people being held at the centre and news of families being based there for four weeks – putting the UK government in breach of the law. 

At the end of June 2022 there were almost 100,000 asylum claims waiting for an initial decision from the Home Office, with the top five countries of origin for people seeking asylum being Iran, Albania, Iraq, Afghanistan and Eritrea. Many people will be fleeing from conflict and human rights abuses, as well as criminal and sexual exploitation.

This week, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has admitted that not enough asylum claims are being processed. And while the situation is continuously evolving and there’s not a *huge* amount us normal folk can do to help, there’s still a bit. From volunteering to charities you can donate to, take a look at these organisations helping asylum seekers in the UK.

How can you support asylum seekers in the UK? Check out... 

Refugee Council, which campaigns to make the UK’s asylum system fairer and easier to navigate, and works directly with people as they arrive in the UK. Find out more and donate here.

Care4Calais, which was one of the charities behind a legal case against the failed Rwanda deportation flight earlier this year. Care4Calais provides clothing and food to help refugees in the UK, Northern France and Belgium. Find out about volunteering and donate here

Women for Refugee Women, which provides English lessons to refugee women arriving in the UK and campaigns to change asylum policy. Find out more here.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, which works to challenge policies which discriminate against migrants and supports people navigating the UK’s asylum system. You can donate and find out more here or use their guides to write to your MPs.

Safe Passage, which campaigns in the UK and works across Europe to help refugee children find safety. Find out more and donate here.

Refugee Action, which provides advice to refugees and helps work on the resettlement of families. Find out more and donate here.

The British Red Cross, which supports people around the world who are forced to flee their homes. According to the charity, it is the largest provider of services for people who have nowhere else to go, helping them to navigate the asylum process. Find out more and donate here.

No Accommodation Network, the umbrella group of organisations across the UK fighting to end poverty and hardship for refugees and asylum seekers. Find out more and donate here, or sign up to become a volunteer or find out more about hosting a refugee in your home here.

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