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Announcement: the Helen Bamber Foundation and Asylum Aid are combining efforts to support survivors

Kerry Smith

The Helen Bamber Foundation and Asylum Aid are proud to announce that we are combining our efforts to support the vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees who need us the most. Going forward we will operate as two separate entities joined under a group structure, known as the Helen Bamber Foundation Group.

The Covid-19 pandemic has put survivors of torture and trafficking at greater risk due to the suspension of vital services providing essential care and support. During lockdown, legal provision for our clients has come under threat and combined with a hostile system that often leaves asylum seekers in years of limbo, has become even further stretched.

Asylum Aid, (previously merged with Migrants Resource Centre under Consonant) is, and has long been, a leader in our sector: providing high-level legal support to ensure the protection of vulnerable refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. Now, in its 30th year of providing high quality legal and welfare support – their services are needed more than ever.

The Helen Bamber Foundation gives survivors of trafficking and torture the strength to move on with their lives. Ensuring that survivors are free and healthy (physically and mentally), are safe, are protected from re-victimisation, detention and poverty, so that they can lead an independent life, fully integrating and contributing to society. We are leaders in our field, and we use our expertise to influence other organisations and policy makers in the UK and Internationally.

By joining forces, the Helen Bamber Foundation and Asylum Aid will secure a significant lifeline for vulnerable refugees and migrants at a critical time. Under the umbrella of the Helen Bamber Foundation Group, we will work together to continue to raise the standard of care for survivors and influence change to ensure that they receive the protection they deserve.

Asylum Aid will continue to operate as a separate organisation to allow the continuation of its necessary services, including:

  • Providing legal aid advice and representation to the most vulnerable in society – survivors of torture, trafficking and domestic violence, unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and refugees;
  • Advising individuals as part of their welfare advice service in collaboration with Westminster Advice Services Partnership.

Together, both organisations will continue to work to positively influence practice in the sector and create lasting change for all survivors of torture and trafficking. It is a privilege to bring together professionals from both organisations in a time when synergy in the third sector is a critical need.

We would like to thank both boards of Trustees and the generous donors who have supported us in making this collaboration possible ensuring survivors obtain the protection, freedom and safety they deserve.