A short film about the clients and work of the Advice Service
Why do we run this service?
We want to empower asylum seekers and refugees to rebuild their lives in Oxford as quickly and easily as possible. We try to achieve this by providing information and advice on their rights and services available to them, helping them to navigate through those services and advocating on their behalf.
Who is this for?
Adult asylum seekers and refugees and their families.
How to find out more?
What does the service offer?
- The opportunity to talk in confidence to a trained volunteer or member of staff, if necessary with interpretation.
- Advice on asylum and immigration processes, registered at OISC Level 2.
- Advice for asylum seekers on making a claim for Asylum Support (including Section 4 support), and assistance to complete forms and progress claims with the Home Office.
- Advice for people with UN Refugee Status or Leave to Remain on claiming welfare benefits, assistance to complete forms and progress claims with JobCentrePlus.
- Advice on housing options, including referrals (if eligible) to Oxford City Council Housing Department, and to projects aimed at preventing homelessness.
- Referrals to Oxfordshire County Council social services, for example in cases where children face homelessness.
- Advice and information on family tracing and family reunion.
- Advice on registering children in schools, liaising with schools as needed to help children to settle in.
- Assistance to register with a doctor, liaising with hospitals and clinics regarding medical treatment, and help to complete forms for free medical care.
- Referrals to counsellors and therapeutic services for those with mental health conditions.
- Information on a range of opportunities open to refugees and asylum seekers in Oxford – for example leisure activities, community groups, sources of cheap food and clothing, local authority services.
- Advice and referrals to relevant authorities on matters of personal safety, for example domestic violence, racial harassment, trafficking, etc.
- Advice on options for refused asylum seekers, including further submissions and voluntary returns.
Who are our partners?
This work would not be possible without good relationships with a wide variety of organizations, for example the Home Office, the Job Centre, local medical centres, hospitals and schools, local housing and social services departments, law firms and the police. In the voluntary sector, some of our many partners are Refugee Resource, the Citizens Advice Bureau, MIND, St Mungos and Asylum Help. We are also grateful for the support of local councillors and M.P.s for their interventions.