We have temporarily put referrals on hold to avoid any potential risk to our clients.
We will be reviewing the situation regularly and hope to open to referrals as soon as it is safe to do so.
Please also note that we are not an emergency service. If someone is in mental health crisis and/or at risk to themselves we would advise that they call the Samaritans mental health helpline on 116 123 or click here to view contact details for other crisis services.
The following information will apply once we reopen for new referrals.
The Helen Bamber Foundation (HBF) provides expert care and support for survivors of torture, human trafficking and extreme human cruelty.
HBF’s multidisciplinary team includes General Practitioners/GPs, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, psychologists, and a wide range of other clinicians and experts that work together as part of our Model of Integrated Care (see Our Services here).
How to refer:
We consider self-referrals and professional referrals*
Before making a referral to the Helen Bamber Foundation, please read the further information below.
Please note that we only accept referrals made via our online referrals system here. We cannot consider referrals submitted via any other method.
You will need to submit a signed consent form with the referral to allow us to process it.
*Referrals for medico-legal reports only must come directly from the legal representative. Referrals for reports from other professionals will not be considered.
Who we help:
We consider referrals of men and women who:
1. Are over 18 years old
2. Are living in London*
3. Have experienced direct extreme human cruelty including torture, human trafficking and other forms of interpersonal violence
4. Have ongoing legal protection needs (i.e. do not yet have legal status in the UK)
5. Have primary mental health needs relating to their history of trauma
*We accept referrals for medico-legal reports only for those living across the UK
Due to our limited capacity, we prioritise those who have the most number of needs across our service that we feel we are best placed to meet, and those who have had difficulties accessing mainstream services. We are not an emergency service and those who are in crisis and in need of immediate support should call 999 or go to their local A&E.
There are two types of referral that can be made to the Helen Bamber Foundation:
a) Referrals for our Model of Integrated Care (MoIC): You should make a referral for our Model of Integrated Care if you feel that the individual would benefit from access to our full range of services, as outlined above. Anyone can make this type of referral, but we can only consider those who are living within greater London.
b) Referrals for a Medico-Legal Report only (MLR-only): If you wish to request only a medico-legal report from HBF, you can make an MLR-only referral for an individual. Those who are referred for an MLR-only will not have access to our wider range of services within the Model of Integrated Care. MLR-only referrals must be submitted by the legal representative; we cannot consider MLR-only referrals from anyone other than the instructed solicitor. Unlike for MoIC, we offer MLRs to individuals living anywhere in the UK.
a) Experiences: we work with people who have survived state and non-state torture, human trafficking and other forms of extreme physical, sexual and psychological violence. The specialist services HBF offer are most suitable for survivors of multiple and repeated experiences of ill-treatment. Unfortunately, those who have only witnessed but never directly experienced violence, ill-treatment or exploitation will do not fall within our remit.
b) Legal status: Unfortunately we are unable to consider referrals of people who have refugee or humanitarian status, indefinite leave to remain or UK citizenship. Due to our limited capacity and particular expertise, we prioritise those who currently do not have status in the UK and therefore have ongoing legal protection needs. Please note that we may, on occasion, consider referrals of Victims of Trafficking who have been granted discretionary leave following a positive Conclusive Grounds, depending on the particular needs of the individual being referred, due to the limited nature of this leave.
c) Location: We can only consider referrals of those living inside Greater London for our Model of Integrated Care (MoIC). We can consider referrals of those living outside of London if they are being referred for a Medico-Legal Report Only. Please note that unfortunately we cannot offer medico-legal reports or our full range of services within the MoIC to anyone who is currently in prison or immigration detention as we do not have the resources to do so.
d) Age: We consider that the services offered at HBF are best placed to meet the needs of adults and as such, we do not consider MoIC referrals for anyone under the age of 18. For those whose age is disputed by the Home Office, we go by the age given by the individual being referred.
Anyone can refer someone to HBF for our full range of services within our Model of Integrated Care. We receive referrals from a wide range of people; legal representatives, counter-trafficking and other migrant support organisations, GPs and mental health services and other third parties. We also accept self-referrals. However, as above, only legal representatives can refer for a medico-legal report only
Given the specialist and integrated nature of our service, we request detailed information about the individual’s needs before considering accepting the referral (see below). As such, we would encourage those able to provide the most information and documentation to submit the referral to ensure the referral is processed as quickly as possible.
To make a decision on a referral we need to be satisfied that we have a full understanding of the individual’s legal protection, welfare and housing, safeguarding, medical and therapy needs. It also should be clear from the referral why you feel that HBF in particular is best placed to meet the individual’s needs.
Where insufficient information is provided, our Referrals Coordinator will need to request further information from the referrer, which may delay the process. We therefore ask that the referral for is completed with as much detail as possible.
Before discussing a referral we require, as a minimum, all available legal documentation relating to the ongoing immigration matter (including asylum interview notes, witness statement, Home Office decision letters and Appeal determinations) as well as up to date GP notes. Where this information is not available, and you are unable to obtain it, our Referrals Coordinator can to contact other supporting third parties to request the required documentation. We ask that you please ensure that large bundles of documents are separated into their component parts and sent as separate pdfs wherever possible.
For this reason it is very important that the consent form found here is completed and attached to the online referral form.
We aim to respond to the online referral within 2 weeks of the date it is submitted, to acknowledge receipt and request any further information should we need to.
Once we have received all required information, the referral will be discussed in our weekly multidisciplinary referrals meeting. Every referral is discussed on a case-by-case basis by our multidisciplinary team, against the team’s current capacity, to determine whether we feel we are the best placed organisation to meet the individual’s needs.
For the majority of referrals, a decision is made within 2-4 weeks from the date the online referral form is submitted. However, the time taken to make a decision on a referral varies depending largely on the availability of information in the referral form and attached documentation. Where all required information and documentation is provided, a decision may be made in less than two weeks; where the referrer does not have the required information to hand, the decision is likely to be delayed.
We are a small organisation and receive a high volume of referrals – far higher than we are able to accommodate. We aim to help as many people as we possibly can while at the same time balancing the need for our services with the provision of the high level of care and support necessary for this client group. We take into account the complex needs of our clients and constraints on our capacity and therefore have to limit the number of cases we are able to take on each week.
Our multidisciplinary team assesses how we think the individual will benefit from our full range of services: legal protection, counter-trafficking, therapy, creative arts and integration, housing and welfare. Given our limited capacity, we have to consider who is going to benefit most from access to all of the services within our model of integrated care, and ultimately for whom we feel our Foundation is going to make the most difference. We focus particularly on the individual’s need for – and willingness to engage in trauma-focused therapy against the availability of good statutory services in the individual’s local area. Unfortunately this does mean that often we are not able to accept those who are relatively well supported.
PLEASE NOTE: The Foundation currently has no child care facilities for persons attending the Foundation in connection with either therapeutic care or Medico-Legal Reports. The Foundation cannot take responsibility for child care. Other arrangements should therefore be made before setting out to any and all appointment unless other arrangements are agreed in writing by the instructing party. View our childcare policy here.