What we do
Wales Sanctuary Service
The Wales Sanctuary Service (WSS) helps Asylum Seekers understand their rights and have the support they need at crucial points in their journey. We partner with 5 other organisations (DPIA, EYST, BAWSO, Asylum Justice, and Tros Gynnal Plant) to ensure asylum seekers can access legal advice, women’s specialist services, young people services, and client-led advocacy.
Asylum seekers receive:
- One-to-one information about their rights from a specialist OISC registered caseworker,
- Face-to-face support for urgent issues.
Asylum Seekers receive support on issues like:
- Alleviating destitution, and accessing safe and secure housing,
- Signposting people to challenge unfair asylum decisions,
- How to gain access to education, health, social and play opportunities for children and their families.
Move On Service
Just over half of asylum seekers receive a positive decision and are accepted for refugee status. However, they then are given just 28 days to leave asylum accommodation and find housing, employment and means to support themselves.
During this time, homelessness becomes a real possibility. Our Move-On Team provides crucial support in this period.
Refugees can receive:
- Help to open bank accounts, access housing, and financial assistance.
- Coaching and specialist workshops to empower them into education and employment.
- Support to integrate.
Fluency in the English language can be a barrier for many of our clients.
Our English language classes support refugees to:
- Develop their language skills,
- Develop their knowledge of life in Wales,
- Gain confidence and social skills to help them integrate into communities.
After being forced to flee their home to seek safety, many children arrive frightened and unable to communicate their feelings.
Our team of Play Development Workers create safe and friendly spaces to reduce their trauma and help them have fun.
- Help children to have fun and become confident individuals,
- Supports them with trauma and anxiety,
- Prepares them for learning at school,
- Helps them feel happier and more relaxed.
Our Employment Project helps Asylum Seekers and Refugees become more employable and better integrate into life in Wales.
The services include:
- Support with CV writing and job application forms,
- Develop interview techniques,
- Recognise strengths and skills,
- Digital Training,
- Liaise with relevant service and education providers.
The Asylum guides is a project that aims to empower and give confidence to those seeking asylum by giving access to information about their rights and services that are available. Delivered by trained volunteers, many of whom have lived experience, the guides explain the asylum system in a way that is accessible and easy to understand.
- Gives an extra layer of support to Asylum seekers,
- Gives access to information,
- Informs people of their rights,
- Is delivered by individuals with lived experience,
- Is available in a large number of community languages,
- Empowers throughout their asylum journey,
- Is delivered in 1-2-1 and group sessions,
- Signposts to other organisations for further support.
Policy & Campaigning
Asylum seekers and refugees bring skills and diversity that enriches Wales, but they can sometimes be made to feel unwelcome.
We challenge anti-refugee rhetoric and call out hostile practices to ensure the public increase their understanding on migration.
At the Welsh Refugee Council, we:
- Ensure Asylum Seeker and Refugee voices are heard,
- Provide evidence of people’s lived experiences,
- Advocate for the protection of Asylum Seeker and Refugee rights,
- Promote the positive contributions Asylum Seekers and Refugees make.
We hold the main Welsh Government contract for asylum support in Wales, and for Move on services. We receive referrals from Migrant Help to support new refugees. This means we seen by clients as the go-to organisation, and we see around 3,000 people every year.
We sit at the strategic table to ensure we can bring our insights from Wales and sit on forums like: Exec Group of Welsh Refugee Coalition, Welsh Government Asylum and Refugee Taskforce, Wales Strategic Migration Partnership, Home Office Strategic Engagement Group, Third Sector Partnership Council, and Safeguarding forums.