Other support services

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Action for Refugees in Lewisham (AFRIL) was set up in 2006 to reduce the poverty of local refugees and asylum-seekers, advance their education and raise awareness about refugees rights and needs.
Services include advice in welfare benefits, housing, education, employment, health and immigration, a supplementary Saturday School for children aged 4-11 and a foodbank for destitute asylum-seekers and refugees.

Funded by London Councils, Ascent is a partnership project that is part of the London Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) Consortium, delivering a range of services to support women affected by domestic and/or sexual violence.  Solace is lead partner, working with 14 organisations, on the Ascent Advice & Counselling partnership. This pan-London collaboration provides specialist counselling and advice services to women and girls affected by domestic/ sexual violence. Services include 1 to 1 counselling; 1-1 advice; group work, legal advice and training and No Recourse to Public Funds assistance

Ascent Advice and Counselling 

Ascent Advice and Counselling (A&C), funded by London Councils is a partnership led by Solace along with 13 specialist VAWG partners delivering services to women across London. The services provided under this project include 1-1 counselling; bespoke group work, specialist advice, No Recourse Fund providing living expenses for those who are No Recourse to Public Funds; a London Family Law Line, Legal guides and training. This project is run by specialist organisations, led by and for women, many of whom are BME specialists. The Partnership operates a Hub and Spoke model with 2 advice hubs (East and West), a London Family Law Advice Line and advice spokes across all of London. Advice is provided by phone via the advice lines and via face to face casework for up to 12 weeks.

Ascent Advice Plus, funded by MOPAC, enhances the Ascent Advice offer available across London by adding extra capacity to the advice service by:

  • Increased capacity on the advice hubs (East and West), enabling timely access to initial advice and support;
  • Additional advice caseworker posts to ensure each specialist partner has increased capacity to respond flexibly to the diverse needs of victims/survivors and to work with women for up to 26 weeks;
  • Additional part-time legal advisor to expand Rights of Women London Family Law advice line’s capacity to provide advice around legal options;
  • Inclusion of additional consultancy expertise to assist in meeting a broader range of diverse needs, including LBT, deaf and disabled women and women with learning disabilities.
  • Extension of reach through the provision of accessibility funds for each partner for venue costs and interpreting across all London boroughs.

Ascent Leaflet 

Asian Women's Resource Centre is a voluntary sector grassroots organisation, based in Harlesden, which provides support for women who are, or have been experiencing domestic abuse. The AWRC offers safety planning, advice and information, advocacy and support services to survivors. Their service ensures cultural sensitivity, confidentiality and listening time in a safe, non-judgemental environment.
AWRC also run support groups, community engagement activities, and workshops on rights and entitlements.

Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (CARAS) is a community outreach charity that offers support and advice to people of refugee background.
They have a range of group activities that support people of all ages to develop their English skills (classes for women and young people), access services and opportunities, build supportive social networks and to feel welcomed. We run women’s groups, advice sessions and youth activities.

We support Black and minoritised young women. This includes those from ethnic minority groups, LGBT+ and disabled young women. We can support if you are: 

  • You are aged 12-24
  • You live, work or study in London Borough 
  • You are worried about or have experienced violence, abuse or exploitation 
  • You are experiencing trauma or emotional distress 

Our Multi Disadvantage Advocate service is a Pan London Service providing support for minoritised young women and girls aged 14-24, living in London and who have experienced any type of VAWG and developed multiple disadvantage (including but not limited to mental health, sexual and reproductive health and well being, social functioning, life skills, housing and immigration). We provide advocacy by conducting risk and needs assessment while devising a tailored support plan to meet the needs of the young person and signpost where appropriate.

Our Counselling service provides emotional support for young people, aged 14-24 who experienced domestic violence directly or indirectly. We are providing a safe space where they can speak freely and confidentially to process feelings and their experiences, work through fears and hopefully gain some perspective of what healthy relationships look like.

CouRAGEus Leaflet

East London Rape Crisis provides free, confidential specialist help for women and girls who have been raped or experienced any other form of sexual violence. The services are for women of all ages including young women over the age of 14, whatever the assault and whenever it occurred. The women who work and volunteer at Rape Crisis London will offer you confidential and independent support.
Services include emotional and practical support, advocacy through working with an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA), one-to-one counselling and group work.

Family Matters are a specialised charitable service supporting adults and children who have experienced childhood sexual abuse or rape through therapy and advocacy services for people living in Bexley.
The counselling practice is supported by qualified professionals - specialists in the areas of childhood sexual abuse and rape.

Hackney Migrant Centre runs a weekly drop-in advice service with the help of volunteers and professional advisers.
Visitors to the service receive initial immigration, housing and welfare advice; as well as advice on accessing a GP and dealing with charges for hospital care. Outside the drop-in, they charity works with visitors to resolve the problems facing them.

The project works with a range of women survivors of domestic abuse, supporting them through work readiness, training and employment. The programme is flexible, allowing women to pause and re-join as their situation changes.

We support a range of women including women with no recourse to public funds, to get into a position that they can work. The project also encourages women who are currently in receipt of benefits to access the programme.

  • Assess your risk level
  • Develop a safety and support plan to address immediate safety and to identify your needs to support you into work
  • Provide advice and support
  •  Advocate on your behalf
  • Individual tailored workshops
  • Offer needs led peer support

Referral process

Service users can refer themselves to the employment programme by calling 02038745013 or emailing [email protected]

A referral can also be made by a professional to [email protected], however, this needs to be done with the service user’s full consent.

Haringey Employment Programme Leaflet

Housing Justice is a Christian charity working to address homelessness and housing need. They run a London Hosting project where destitute asylum seekers are hosted by people with a spare room. They support Winter Night Shelters across the UK.