Refugee Women Connect
In 2020, the UK received applications for asylum for 37,550 people. Around 43% of people seeking asylum in the UK in 2020 were women and children. Women asylum-seekers and refugees often face multiple inequalities and barriers in accessing support and social justice in the UK. They are very often vulnerable, isolated, or unsure of their rights. Many asylum-seeking women have struggled to get consistent support because they face being moved on at short notice to another area – where they have to start building support networks from scratch (Since 2000, the UK has run a policy of ‘dispersal’ whereby asylum seekers are relocated across the country to temporary accommodation while awaiting decisions on their claims to refugee status).
Many asylum-seeking women have left an abusive or conflict situation, are living with trauma, and are trying to deal with the huge change to their lives at the same time as trying to navigate the complex UK asylum process.
Liverpool-based charity Refugee Women Connect provides a range of services for refugee and asylum-seeking women, including an extensive outreach programme which involves weekly visits to Initial Accommodation Centres and weekly drop-ins where women can access a range of emotional and practical support. Their ‘Know Your Rights’ workshops provide preparation support for Home Office meetings, and they collaborate with a number of multi-agency drop-ins across the North-West - which provide food, connection with other women, direct support and connection to services including solicitors and translators.
Treebeard is providing core, multi-year funding to Refugee Women Connect.