Advice & Advocacy

We offer non-judgemental professional advice for Housing & Welfare, No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) & Section 17, Asylum Support, and Access to Education.

Our advice service is currently paused to new referrals due to the high number of individuals we are supporting. If you require advice please try one of the organisations below. If you are an asylum seeker or recently granted refugee living in Lewisham and require support please email info@afril.org.uk

Next Advice Sessions for Asylum Seekers and Recently granted Refugees living in Lewisham:
  • Wednesday 22nd May, 1-3pm, Salvation Army Deptford, SE8 3DP
  • Wednesday 5th June, 1-3pm, Salvation Army Deptford, SE8 3DP
(Unfortunately, due to capacity, these sessions are only for current asylum seekers or those who have been recently granted refugee status and are currently living in the London Borough of Lewisham. Community members who are outside of that remit cannot be supported at the session.)

Asylum Support


Our advisors can support with S.95, S.4 and Sch.10 applications, we can  make Change of Accommodation requests for clients, address issues or delays with ASPEN cards and assist clients in the Asylum Support Tribunal. We can also support our asylum seeking clients to address safeguarding concerns and worries, to bridge the gap between clients and statutory services.

No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) and Section 17


Our expert team assists destitute migrant families to approach their local authority for housing and subsistence support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989. We can fully assess clients to advise them of their rights and entitlements, support with gathering evidence, and where necessary, refer to Community Care Solicitors. Our advisors provide ongoing, holistic casework support throughout the Section 17 journey. Our team can also refer and advocate to legal professions for NRPF clients submitting a Change of Conditions application.

Housing


Our dedicated advisors can advise and support clients from all migrant backgrounds entitled to statutory housing support. The Advice and Advocacy Team can support homeless clients or those facing eviction to make a Homeless Application, obtain emergency accommodation and understand the duties owed to them under the Housing Act 1996. We can support complex housing cases such as where clients face homelessness due to Domestic Abuse. We have strong working relationships with Legal Aid Community Care and Housing Solicitors to support our clients  facing Illegal evictions, landlord harassment and evictions under Section 8 and Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.

Welfare Benefits


The Welfare Benefit system can be complex to navigate, AFRIL Advisors can provide comprehensive information on entitlements and support clients to make applications for a range of benefits. Through our 'dependance to independence' approach to support we equip clients with the skills and knowledge of how to engage with the benefits system in a positive way. Where clients face difficulties accessing their entitlements our team can refer to legal advisors.

Other Services Contact Information


Citizen's Advice Lewisham - Welfare benefits, debt, housing
0800 231 54 53

Lewisham Refugee Migrant Network (LRMN) - Immigration, generalist advice
020 8694 0323

REFUGE - Domestic Violence
020 7395 7771

Southwark Law Centre - Immigration, housing, housing eviction
020 7732 2008

Shelter - Homelessness
0808 800 444
 

999 Club Lewisham -  Homelessness (must be able to claim benefits)
020 8694 5797

Laurence House - Local Authority (Lewisham)
020 8314 6000

Bromley lewisham and Greenwich Mind - Mental health services
020 8289 5020

Room for Refugees - Hosting Scheme
0141 353 2220

Women's Aid - Domestic Violence Helpline
0808 2000 247

Advice & Advocacy