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A short film about Asylum Welcome's support of detainees

Why do we run this service?

For 25 years until its closure in December 2018, Asylum Welcome ran services for detainees held at Campsfield House Immigration Removals Centre, Kidlington, just outside OxfordOur staff and volunteers were frequently in Campsfield and we played an important part in safeguarding the welfare of detainees and facilitating their release.

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People continue to be detained under immigration rules in other detention centres and prisons. Asylum Welcome remains concerned for their welfare and continues to offer a Detainee Support Service from our main office. We will be redesigning services in early 2019 to take account of the closure of Campsfield.

What does the service offer?

  • Telephone advice for detainees for example about their rights in detention
  • Telephone advice for the family and friends of detainees, and help to convey messages between detainees and their family and friends.
  • Weekly assessment visits to Campsfield to meet detainees and find out what help is needed then allocation of a volunteer visitor for regular one-to-one conversation and friendship
  • Liaising with the authorities in Campsfield to meet the needs of individual detainees.
  • Liaising with other service providers on behalf of detainees – for example lawyers, doctors and voluntary organizations.
  • Assistance to reunite detainees with belongings left at their previous address.
  • Provision of small funds to the Campsfield Welfare Office, to enable detainees to be provided with phone cards and limited travel expenses.

Who are our partners?

Asylum Welcome’s ability to help detainees is strengthened by partnership work with other specialist services – notably Medical Justice, Bail for Immigration Detainees, the Red Cross and the Association of Visitors to immigration Detainees (AVID). We are also in regular contact with lawyers who represent detainees.