We are very pleased to announce that we have entered into a partnership with the British Red Cross, to help them provide advice and assistance to recognised refugees who are trying to be reunited with their families.
As part of the cuts to Legal Aid made in April 2013, assistance was stopped for those granted asylum who had to leave their husband/wife and children behind when they fled torture, execution and other forms of persecution and who were trying to have their family join them in safety.
Following a court decision there was a brief period in 2014 when these people, who have recently arrived and still struggling to learn English and find work (let alone learning the finer points of Immigration Law), were considered to be eligible for the princely sum of £234 to try and get their family to safety, but a challenge to a higher court by the Government led to this legal assistance to be quickly withdrawn again.
The British Red Cross are helping people in just that situation to collate legal evidence with regard to their relationships with family members; to complete the lengthy application forms involved; and generally helping people to be reunited with their loved ones. These are people who are on limited, if any, income, who often have no education or support and who understandably struggle to deal with the unnecessarily complicated application process.
We are providing our expertise and experience to the Leeds office of the Red Cross to assist them in establishing this service and are excited to be working in partnership with such a well-respected and established organisation, which helps some of the most vulnerable people both in the UK and overseas.