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Refugees & Asylum Seeker Carers

Are you a refugee or asylum seeker caring for a family member or friend who couldn’t do without your help? If so our refugee and asylum seeker coordinator is here to help you with support and information – from information on opening a bank account to sorting a bus pass, help with grants and benefits as well as emotional support – we are here for you.

Asian Muslim Carers (wife and husband) looking at each other

How we can help you if you are a refugee or asylum seeker carer.

We know there are many different understandings of care and what a caring role looks like. We also appreciate that this varies across cultures and communities.

Our refugee and asylum seeker wellbeing worker can help you as a carer in a wide variety of ways:

  • Working with you one-to-one to understand your personal situation
  • Helping you understand your rights as a Carer in the UK
  • Supporting you to improve your physical and mental health
  • Helping you to plan for the future
  • Supporting you to access available grants and welfare benefits
  • Arranging equipment to help you and the person you look after
  • Signposting to other relevant services that may also help.

All our services are free and confidential, and we aim to support you no matter what your caring situation.

Read about how we supported Samir, a carer for his partner

Samir (not his real name) is a 44-year-old from Nigeria who has been living in a hotel with his partner. He cares for his partner who is disabled, and requires full time support. He gets no additional help with his caring role, and this is impacting on his own health. Our worker has supported the carer by applying for funding for a gym membership, and a referral through to the Carers Health Team for a full assessment of his health. Samir has also been referred through the Carers Support West Sussex counselling service where he will receive talking therapy.

Nigerian man looking away from the camera

Other useful resources and services

Below is a list of national and local services and resources that may also help you in your caring situation.

Local Support:

  • My Care Matters: Whether you care for people at home, in a care home, hospital or hospice, you can use My Care Matters to improve the experience for someone who may not be able to express their needs. Visit https://profile.myfuturecare.org/
  • TuVida, provide help and support to refugee carers and the people they care for across West Sussex. Services include day centres and groups, carer respite, and weekend breaks https://www.tuvida.org/westsussex

Sussex Wide

Crawley

  • Metro banks can offer basic accounts to refugee / asylum seekers with ARC card and document showing allowance / address (account application criteria on file). Branch is in Crawley and clients will need to apply face to face. 25 Queens Square Crawley RH10 1HA 0345 08 08 500
  • Lloyds Bank also offer basic accounts – they no longer accept proof of address from accommodation management. You will need proof of 1) Home Office Application Registration Card (ARC) and 2) proof of address letter from GP practise (it must be written by a Doctor at your GP practise, written on headed paper with a wet signature.) You can apply online or in-person (required to make an appointment in advance.) 1/5 The Broadway, Crawley RH10 1DU
  • Monzo Bank accept both BRP and ARC as acceptable form of identification to open up a bank account with them. They have no physical branches, and you must apply via their app. https://monzo.com/blog/2018/05/30/getting-bank-account-refugee#article
  • See also Refugee Council guide to help refugees opening a bank account: The guide is available in English,ArabicFarsiKurdish and 

Community Transport: Transport help for people who need support because of age, sickness, disability (mental or physical), poverty and a lack of availability of adequate and safe public passenger transport.

Crawley Community Action - Find support for volunteering opportunities, which can help you gain a range of skills: https://www.crawleycommunityaction.org/volunteering/i-want-to-volunteer/

Mid Sussex Voluntary Action - Support for volunteering opportunities and details of Ukrainian refugee support cafes in East Grinstead, Haywards Heath, and Burgess Hill. https://www.msva.org.uk/

Crawley community shop – Volunteering opportunity for carers who are also seeking asylum in the UK. If you are interested, please email Holly Standring (holly.standring@carerssupport.org.uk)

National Support for Asylum Seekers and Refugees:

Refugee Council is a leading charity working with refugees and people seeking asylum in the UK. https://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/get-support/services/

Refugee Action can provide information and advice on a range of issues including: the asylum process, claiming asylum, getting the support you’re entitled to while you claim asylum and homelessness support. https://www.refugee-action.org.uk/

Migrant Help is a refugee charity that can helps apply for asylum support, deal with problems in asylum housing, move on from asylum housing after recieving refugee status or other leave. Contact Migrant Help on 0808 8010 503. You can get advice in other languages. The free asylum helpline is open 24 hours a day.

The Right to Remain Toolkit, a guide to the UK immigration and asylum system. https://righttoremain.org.uk/toolkit/

The RefAid mobile app shows migrants, refugees and those who help them where services are near them. Download the app from your Apple or Android play store. https://refaid.com/

Barnardo’s Boloph Helpline supporting the mental health and wellbeing of adult asylum seekers across the UK. https://helpline.barnardos.org.uk/

Rainbow Migration provide free confidential advice and support by email or phone to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) people seeking asylum. They also have a Rainbow Migration's asylum guide for LGBTQI+ people that translated into Arabic, Bengali, Farsi, French, Mandarin, Pashto, Portuguese, Shqip, Spanish and Urdu.

Further resources

Our directory of organisations which specifically support individuals from ethnically diverse communities.

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