Ongoing Projects

Livewell Project: In partnership with the Asylum Seeker and Refugee Mental Health Team at Livewell, this project aims to promote social interaction in the natural environment by providing different weekly activities over the summer. By facilitating social cohesion and promoting the many benefits of spending time in our green spaces, it helps connect those arriving to the area and the local community.
Art Group: We host a weekly art class led by volunteers, in which the group get creative and express themselves with a range of techniques such as origami & collage.
University IT Project: Using the IT facilities on campus at the University of Plymouth, the DCRS has an IT literacy project set up where our service users have access to the internet and can also sign up for short IT courses that can help them upskill their knowledge and elevate their employability post-status.
Music Group: We host a weekly music group, led by volunteers, in which service users have the space to be taught to play a range of musical instruments including guitar and keyboard.
English Classes: We offer basic English classes 3 times a week to newcomers to the region. Once 6 months has passed, we refer on to Open Doors (ODILS) or City College for accredited ESOL courses.
Health Point: A triage health service every week on Tuesday to any asylum seeker or refugee, with a registered GP and mental health professional available. This service supports the patient and GP surgeries by reducing the length of time needed to determine treatment, educating patients around how best to access the NHS through appropriate signposting and a letter writing service to break down language barriers.

 

ARE Home

 

We are currently seeking funding for an Appeal Rights Exhausted (ARE) Home. When an asylum seeker has their asylum claim refused, and they have exhausted all possible avenues to appeal the decision, they become ARE. At this point, they have no right to rent; no right to work; are no longer entitled to asylum support. They are therefore destitute, and at severe risk of exploitation.

Of known outcomes of asylum applications in 2021, 52% of initial asylum applications have either been withdrawn or refused (Home Office Asylum Statistics 2022). A claim can be refused for many reasons outside of whether there are genuine grounds for asylum. These include legal representation or advice, and the inability to provide sufficient evidence.

An individual has the right to apply for asylum again in order to present material that has not been considered by the Home Office before. Without housing or an income, trying to access legal representation is nearly impossible. Many of our service users have difficulty engaging with this process due to rough sleeping, without their basic needs for food and housing being met.

The purpose of the ARE Home is to meet those needs, allowing service users with grounds for a Fresh Claim to prepare their case to give them a second chance. Once a Fresh Claim is submitted, they are again entitled to asylum support while their claim is being decided.

Fresh Claims Project

In tandem with the ARE House proposal, our immigration solicitor George Rosenberg provides pro bono advice to service users who are looking into a Fresh Claim. Alongside the difficulty of being homeless, there is a significant shortage of legal representation in the South West. Fresh Claims are less favoured by solicitors due to their complexity and the lack of funding covered by Legal Aid. This can therefore make finding legal representation even more difficult. George is helping counteract this problem by packaging a Fresh Claim for a solicitor to then take forward. This makes it significantly more likely a solicitor will take on the case. Early intervention following the refusal of an asylum claim can quickly regularise the immigration status of a service user and avoid unnecessarily lengthy periods of destitution.

We Need your Support!

Devon & Cornwall Refugee Support are reliant on generous donations from supporters and the public and appreciate all organisations who contribute.

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