Refugees and asylum seekers are a marginalised group of people. They have suffered in their own countries and often face further suffering once in the UK; by way of discrimination and prejudice, financial hardship, trauma and stress, language barriers and periods of uncertainty whilst waiting for their applications to be processed. Even when people are granted refugee status and officially allowed to stay in the country, life can be extremely tough. People still face immense difficulties in accessing services, finding employment and housing, and integrating into society, on top of many of the challenges they already faced as asylum seekers.
Refugee Support Group Devon provides a safe, warm and welcoming environment in our city drop-in centre, where refugees and asylum seekers can seek information and support on issues such as living in the UK, accessing local services, education and training. We promote general well-being and help to assist individuals to make informed choices about adapting to life in the UK. We can also provide emergency funding to help those in extreme need. We have an allotment run by service users and provide free training, as well organising social and sporting events.
Our Women’s Outreach Project provides a Home Tuition Programme, which offers one-to-one English tuition to women in their own homes. An experienced volunteer teacher helps with those areas of English language most useful for an individual woman and they agree a learning programme together. Some people joining the programme have had little or no real knowledge of English and this is not a problem. The volunteer teachers work in a friendly and positive way and aim to develop confidence in using English language. The Women’s Outreach Project also boosts the group members’ self-esteem by participating in craft shows and encourages social integration through taking part in local events.