Other Important Services

Other important services

Access to other important services

Family reunion

Individuals who obtain permanent leave to remain or citizenship are entitled to bring their immediate family members, defined as their spouse and any children under the age of eighteen.

Parents and grandparents of settled persons or citizens are permitted to join their children or grandchildren in the United Kingdom but only if they are over the age of 65 and have no other relatives to support them in their home country.

Other close relatives, such as aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters may be eligible 'if living alone outside the United Kingdom in the most exceptional compassionate circumstance'.

There are financial requirements that the British citizen or UK resident must meet in order to ensure their family migrant does not have recourse to public funds. These financial requirements were challenged in the courts, but were upheld by the Court of Appeal. 

For more information, please refer to the Asylum policy guidance on family reunion applications.

Tracing loved ones

The Red Cross provide crucial administrative support in tracing separated family members.

How the Red Cross can help:

  • Finding the missing family member: when families are separated by armed conflict, disaster or migration
  • Deliver family news: when normal means of communication breaks down, a family member can still send messages via the Red Cross to family and relatives (Note: the Red Cross does not send money or packages.)
  • Get a certificate of detention: for people who have been visited and registered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). While detained the Red Cross may be able to provide confirmation of detentio.

Note: All services are free and confidential. Find out more or contact the Red Cross.

Care for victims of torture

A significant number of asylum seekers and refugees will have been subject to severe physical and/or psychological torture. There is now a large body of evidence indicating that this exposure may have long-term physical and psychological effects. High rates of post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of exposure to horrific, life-threatening events, are well documented in refugee populations. Others include prolonged grief; limited social and family support; identity and culture; and separation from, or loss of family members, all of which have an impact on mental well-being. 

Some common forms of torture include:

  • Severe beatings, falanga: prolonged and severe beating of the soles of the feet
  • deprivation of sleep and sensory stimulation
  • use of psychotropic drugs
  • electric shock: electrodes are placed at sensitive areas such as the tongue, fingertips and genitals
  • burning with cigarettes, hot irons, burning rubber, welding torches, corrosive liquids
  • mutilation: extraction of hair or nails, cutting with knives,
  • amputation of body parts, insertion of objects under nails
  • suspension: hanging by arms or legs for extended periods of time
  • isolation and solitary detention, starvation and exposure to heat and cold
  • sexual violence and rape of women, men and children: insertion of objects into the vagina or rectum

As a result, some survivors may end up having the following problems:

  • brain damage
  • chronic pain and poor mobility (can be due to fibromyalgia syndrome)
  • missing teeth
  • impaired hearing (which may result from beating and electrical torture)
  • difficulties in walking (can result from falanga)
  • bronchitis (can result from submarine torture)
  • mutilation of body parts, scars and disfigurement
  • sexual and gynecological dysfunction

Note: Some survivors may not have visible signs, so never assume that torture has not occurred.

The majority of asylum seekers and refugees are likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

It is important to consider a referral to specialist services:

Freedom from Torture

An electronic referral form can also be accessed. Freedom from Torture has five centres across the UK in London, the North East, the North West, Scotland and West Midlands.

The Helen Bamber Foundation

The Helen Bamber Foundation supports refugees and asylum seekers who have experienced extreme human cruelty, such as torture and human trafficking. They provide specialist care to meet the complex needs of some of the most marginalised and vulnerable people in the world. They offer survivors specialist psychological and physical therapy, housing and welfare support, legal protection and creative arts and skills programmes to help people rebuild their lives.

Forrest Medico-Legal Services

Forrest Medico-Legal Services is a registered not-for-profit community interest company. They are a co-operative of experienced doctors who specialise in timely, evidence based Medico Legal Reports in cases of alleged human rights abuses.

For enquiries, please contact: mlrenquiries@gmail.com

Access to immigration and legal services

Information leaflet for asylum seekers

Asylum seekers are entitled to free legal representation by a qualified asylum lawyer or caseworker. This will vary for each individual depending on their ‘status’ within the asylum process.

Asylum law is complicated and it is important that individuals get good legal advice and someone to support them. They should find a solicitor as soon as possible, as there are very short deadlines for providing the evidence needed to support the claim for asylum. For more information visit Lawsociety.org or migranthelpuk.org.

Liverpool Law Clinic

Liverpool Law Clinic is a fully functioning pro bono legal practice embedded in the Liverpool Law School. It offers final year law students direct experience of representing real clients, under the supervision of the Clinic’s in-house legal team of qualified lawyers.


Police

Professionals and members of the public are encouraged to report any racism and hate crimes against those seeking asylum and refugees.

Find the nearest police station and contact details

Hate crime

Professionals and members of the public are encouraged to report any racism and hate crimes against those seeking asylum and refugees.

Stop Hate UK is one of the leading national organisations working to challenge all forms of Hate Crime and discrimination, based on any aspect of an individual’s identity. Stop Hate UK provides independent, confidential and accessible reporting and support for victims, witnesses and third parties.

Fire service

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

Tel: 0151 296 6270

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service provides every household on Merseyside with a FREE Home Fire Safety Check, including FREE smoke alarm installation. A specialist community fire safety advocate can visit households to carry out Home Fire Safety Checks for refugees and asylum seekers. 

Sexual Health

Whatever you are looking for in Liverpool — whether it is condoms, contraception, STI testing, pregnancy testing, referral for abortion or some support and advice — you can find out about it using the links below.

Sexual Health information

Most services are free, and all are confidential. There are services for all ages, including under 16 year olds.

Guide to sexual health services


Child trafficking

For more information about child trafficking visit the NSPCC website.

Savera

SAVERA UK

Savera UK works with Black Minority Ethnic communities to challenge attitudes towards domestic abuse and harmful practices such as forced marriage, 'honour' based violence and female genital mutilation.

Live Well

Sola Arts – Art Therapy for refugees, BME communities and people with dementia

The programmes are delivered through gender specific, mixed gender, age specific, family focused or specific mental health needs focus in the form of:

  • Formal groups
  • Informal art groups
  • Working alongside other social activities within an organisation
  • Family Support
  • Individual support

Programmes normally run for a minimum of 13 weeks, with most people accessing support for a minimum of 26 weeks.

Community groups

Chinese Well-being

Chinese Well-being

Telephone: 0151 709 2643

Their organisation provides Domiciliary services, Personal Wellbeing Services, Mental health and Wellbeing Services, Luncheon Club and the Teahouse Reminiscence Project. Contact through telephone service, drop-in service.

Irish Community Care Merseyside

Irish Community Care Merseyside

Telephone: 0151 237 3987

Offer daily drop-in information and advice around a range of issues including homelessness, identification, health, GP registration, applications for accommodation, cultural isolation and maintaining family links. Their Welfare Benefits Advice and Advocacy links people into the range of welfare benefit entitlements from initial welfare benefits checks and form filling to representation at appeals and tribunals.

Office Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm

Liverpool Somali Community

Liverpool Somali Community

Telephone: 0151 709 3853

Provide human resources, buildings, facilities, open space, advocacy, advice and information among the Somali community in Liverpool. The aim is to advance the Islamic religion, and to provide facilities in the interest of social welfare for recreation and other leisure-time occupation. They reach out to children, young people, elderly, those with infirmities or disabilities and those in difficult social and economic circumstances.

Office Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm

Merseyside Yemeni Community Association

Merseyside Yemeni Community Association

Telephone: 0151 734 4965 / 0151 734 3843

Their office is open to anyone seeking help and support. Available activities include football, swimming, elderly lunch club, family trips, cultural celebration days and female support sessions.

Office Opening Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9am – 2pm; Thursday 9am – 3pm

Liverpool Arabic Centre

Liverpool Arabic Centre 

Liverpool Arabic Centre was initially set up as Nadey Al – Cul in 1995 after a group of parents from Yemeni and Arabic backgrounds raised concerns with each other about their children’s educational and personal development which was being affected by negative experiences they were having within schools and by unaddressed issues because of their dual heritage backgrounds.

4Wings

4Wings 

4Wings is a unique community interest company (CIC) offering ‘Next Step’ support in the format of ongoing long-term after-care for marginalised or vulnerable women across Merseyside. They aim to take over where the other agencies have left off, focusing on rebuilding women’s self-worth and self-identity, enabling them to move on and reclaim their lives.

Links to useful organisations

Asylum Aid

Asylum Aid

Asylum Aid gives free legal advice on asylum applications and represents the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people seeking asylum in the UK. 

European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operation

European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operation

The European Commission aims to save and preserve life, prevent and alleviate human suffering and safeguard the integrity and dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises. 

European Council on Refugees and Exiles

European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE)

The European Council on Refugees and Exiles is a pan-European network of refugee-assisting non-governmental organisations, aiming to promote the protection and integration of refugees in Europe.

Home Office

Home Office

The Home Office is the Government department responsible for internal affairs and immigration control (permission to stay, citizenship, and asylum) in England and Wales.

Immigration Law Practitioners Association

Immigration Law Practitioners' Association (ILPA)

The Immigration Law Practitioners' Association promotes and improves the advising and representation of immigrants, and provides information to members on domestic and European immigration, refugee and nationality law.

Migrant help

Migrant Help

Migrant Help is the largest UK-wide charity offering advice and support to vulnerable migrants, helping them feel protected, informed and safe.

Refugee Action

Refugee Action

Refugee Action provides practical advice and assistance for newly arrived asylum seekers and is committed to their settlement through community development work.

Refugee Council

Refugee Council

The Refugee Council provides support and help to refugees and asylum seekers.

Salvation Army

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is part of an international Christian church and one of the largest providers of social welfare in the world.

Shelter

Shelter

Shelter helps 100,000 people find and keep a home each year.

The UN Refugee Agency

UNHCR - The UN Refugee Agency

UNHCR aims to ensure that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge, having fled violence, persecution, war or disaster at home.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is the agency mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems