Most of our services are accessed on a drop-in basis. When you arrive you need to sign in at the front desk and ask for a case worker, the clothes store or the service you require. You may need to wait, especially for a case worker to be free.
The volunteer at the front desk should always be able to give you initial information. When they ask you for details about your visit, this is so they can direct you in the best way possible.
These are short translated descriptions of how to access the different services at Asylum Link
Casework: Caseworkers are problem solvers. You need to get a number from the front desk before you can see a case worker. They will deal with problems such as housing, homelessness, missing payments, or any other problem that may arise as an asylum seeker or refugee. Their services are free.
Exception: Travel Documents – there is a £100 charge per document, plus what the Home Office charges as a fee.
Destitution: If you are homeless you can talk to a caseworker who can make an appointment with the destitution team to see if they can help you. We alleviate destitution amongst asylum seekers and refugees through the provision of food, clothing and occasionally housing. A Social Worker is employed via a partnership with the Red Cross and Refugee Action, to work with destitute asylum seekers with complex needs.
ALM have produced The Destitution Roadshow – a presentation on why Asylum Seekers come here, what happens to them and how they find a way through destitution. It is taken to business and community organizations as well as schools and churches thereby ensuring that the message of Asylum Link Merseyside becomes better known and supported.
Leaflet on destitution services
Immigration Advice: We have an OISC1 certificate for only very basic immigration advice. The Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit GMIAU deliver Immigration advice on site and will take on new claims if they have space. (phone 0161 740 7722)
There are two pilot projects currently underway, preparing further submissions and family reunion applications. This provided through a partnership between ALM, MRSN and the GMIAU
Status/Leave to Remain Advice: Advice for people who have status or leave to remain is available through MRSN, the Merseyside Refugee Support Network. They are available on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and their wide range of services includes advice on benefits and housing. You need to make an appointment to see them.
English Classes: We provide English classes (ESOL) at ALM for up to 85 asylum seekers of all levels of language ability, Monday to Friday. Each class has 4 sessions a week, morning or afternoon. In January and September, students are assessed and enrolled before starting a class but space is also available in between those dates. Once in a class you are given an ID card for that particular class. Four or five volunteers lead English classes each day. ESOL classes are available at other venues in the city.
Conversation Club: Run by STAR Student Action for Refugees These classes run on a Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon.
Jan 2017 – Classes are full and there are 160 people on the waiting list, therefore no new names can be added. It is likely the list will open again in September 2017
- Breakfast, porridge or toast, is available from 9.15 – 10.15
- Tea or coffee is served from 9.15 – 3.15 except during lunch time
- Lunch is served from 12.15 – 1.15 – always Halal and usually a vegetarian option
Every day tea, coffee, and biscuits are available during opening hours in the kitchen area table tennis, bar football and other activities in the large room.
Clothing: We provide free clothing to destitute and homeless people which they can request by seeing a caseworker. We have clothing sales on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12.30. You need to get a ticket from the front desk and there is a small charge from 50p to £2 for items of clothing for those who have Home Office support.. See Leaflet on clothing.
Furniture: From time to time, we have items of donated furniture which can be given out. However we no longer have access to a driver or van for delivery and so this service has been severely curtailed.
Social events: We have a variety of social events which encourage integration and friendship. Examples include: Refugee Week, Christmas, Eid and other festivals, trips and visits to other venues, cycle and walking programmes at two week intervals.
More activities: We have a variety of imaginative initiatives to promote well being: bicycle repair on Tuesdays, gardening and allotments on Monday and Tuesdays at 12, cooking demonstrations with other local groups, textiles recycling and a student led Conversation club.
Every day table tennis, bar football and other activities are available in the large room. Football Sessions are provided via Everton in the Community EitC and Liverpool County FA.
Health and Associated Agencies: We run a Health Information Gateway Services funded by the local Clinical Commissioning Group. Amongst other things this provides information on Mental Health, TB, HIV and other areas of health which may impact on Refugees.
The following agencies hold drop- ins at the centre, check ahead to see what days they attend: the NHS Social Inclusion Team, CDW mental health workers, HIV Testing and advice, Sahir House HIV drop in, the Red Cross Family Tracing Service and Smoking Cessation.
You can see many of our activities on facebook page
Information and Research opportunities. The Tudor Trust, Liverpool University and community projects as well as for individuals on degree/masters courses or for student placements have all undertaken research at Asylum Link. Many statutory bodies use Asylum Link as a source of information and contacts. We also conduct our own research at the centre: (UCLAN Barriers to Accessing MH services and CTAR/EVASP EU research into Vulnerable Asylum Seekers). Our Social Worker is currently undertaking a Phd study at the centre.
Volunteers: We encourage asylum seekers and refugees to become volunteers and to engage with their new community. If you would like to help at the centre, you need to register with Illa, the office manager on the first floor of Asylum Link. Read more on volunteering opportunities
Statistics for Casework in 2016