The last two decades the Home Office has dispersed over 10 thousand asylum seekers in the Tyne and Wear (North East of England), Section 95 of the 1999 Act enables the provision of support to asylum-seekers or dependents of asylum-seekers who appear to the Secretary of State to be destitute or be likely to become destitute within 14 days. An asylum seeker is defined as a person who has made a claim for asylum which has been recorded by the Secretary of State, but which has not been determined yet.
It has been a great initiative trying to create a multicultural society, promoting social inclusion however, lack of practical support when asylum seekers have been granted leave to remain is the reason why most of them would move to Manchester, Birmingham, and London. This is the reason behind the 28 days transition project, it is a support package (Universal Credit claim, housing application, opening bank account) enabling asylum seekers who have been granted leave to remain to successfully starting their integration journey in the right path, from living as asylum seekers in Home Office accommodation, to living independently in alternative accommodation and integrating successfully into local communities.
Currently, newly granted refugees are given a 28 day “grace period” before the Home Office withdraws all financial and accommodation support. During this period, they are expected to:
- Access mainstream benefits or employment, along with their National Insurance Number
- Secure their own accommodation
- Open a current bank account in which to receive their financial support
This rapid change in circumstances is a challenge for newly arrived refugees, often with limited or no understanding of the English language and UK systems.
Equally, family reunion members who join a family member in the UK who already has positive leave to remain status, have no grace period at all as do not go through the same asylum process and often find themselves destitute as a result.
As this project has a key focus on successful transition to independent living and is constrained by a very short 'grace-period', it is important that priorities are established in order to reduce the risk of destitution. In order to address essential needs such as housing and financial support, our advisers work through a systematic action plan with our service users. This action plan was developed using our understanding of the process and has developed in line with our continually expanding knowledge of the challenges faced.
The other crucial part of this project is our mentoring scheme which involves using trained volunteer mentors to support advisers by taking services users to appointments, helping them to access key services and
We are also continually developing links with different organisations who can assist with parts of the process including with housing, bank accounts, employability, furniture, benefits etc
Thanks to New Horizon, they had supported me from day one with their welfare support package, upon the first assessment they carried out about my need, they submitted Universal Credit Claim fro me and once it was successful they step into my housing need.
New Horizon managed to facilitate my integration in Sunderland after they were able to get me out of a multi-occupancy accomodation into my own two bedrooms bungalow
I couldn't be any happier whilst I was about to move to Manchester