Wales Sanctuary Service
The Wales Sanctuary Service helps Asylum Seekers understand their rights and gives support at crucial points on their journey.
- Help with legal advice,
- Provide access to women’s specialist services and young people services,
- Promote client-led advocacy.
Between April 2022- March 2023 the Wales Sanctuary Service held 5700 sessions with 1927 clients from over 75-countries.
"The kindness and support shown to me from the caseworkers has been amazing, they have made me feel safe and secure"
Asylum seekers receive:
- One-to-one information about their rights from a specialist caseworker registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner,
- Face-to-face support for urgent issues.
We provide support on issues like:
- Alleviating destitution,
- Accessing safe and secure housing,
- Helping challenge unfair asylum decisions,
- Access to education and health,
- Social and play opportunities for children and their families.
Oguz came to our Cardiff office after being directed to the Welsh Refugee Council by another local organisation. She spoke no English but it very quickly it became apparent that there was a safeguarding concern as she was escaping domestic abuse from a partner in Cardiff. Oguz had only been in the UK for about 2 weeks and it became clear that this was not the first time that the partner had been abusive.
Through an interpreter the Safeguarding Lead and Caseworker were able to understand Oguz’s status, accommodation situation and get an understanding of the level of risk she was at from further violence from the partner. The Safeguarding Lead discussed the situation with Oguz and set out what may happen following referrals to external organisations. An emergency accommodation application was submitted to the Home Office and the safeguarding team at the short term housing and support organisation were advised to anticipate the possible arrival of Oguz at their offices. The application was accepted within a few hours and Oguz was supported by the WRC team to get to the emergency accommodation. Throughout the process, there was clear communication between the WRC team, Oguz and the safeguarding team at the housing orgnisation to ensure the best outcome and appropriate support for her.
Ahmed came to WRC for support as he had been issued an Absentee Notification Form from the housing provider due to being away from the property for a number of unauthorised days which contravened his housing agreement and resulted in possible eviction from the property. The caseworker spoke to Ahmed via an interpreter to get a fuller picture of the situation. Ahmed explained that he had recently lost both of his parents in a tragic car accident in his home country. He had travelled to London to be with his siblings and grieve the loss of their parents, thus being absent from the property.
The caseworker spoke to the Housing Manager and relayed Ahmed’s situation to him. The Housing Manager was very sympathetic and terminated the Absentee Notification Form with immediate effect and agreed that no further action was to be taken. The Housing Manager arranged to meet Ahmed at the property the next day to conduct a Welfare Check and provide any necessary support. Without the direct support from the Caseworker the client would not have been able relay his circumstances to the housing provider thus resulting in eviction and potential termination of support. The work of the WSS team avoided further trauma following the death of his parents and enabled the Housing Manager to have a greater understanding of the complex issues asylum seekers experience.