Today (Thursday, 1 October), Scottish Refugee Council’s helpline is changing to a freephone number.

We’re delighted to be able to provide our busy helpline service now free of charge to all who need it.

Thanks to a grant from the National Emergencies Trust we, along with partner charities the Refugee Council, the Welsh Refugee Council, and Bryson Care in Northern Ireland, are now able to run a national freephone helpline and advice service to help people seeking asylum and those with refugee status who are experiencing hardship due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Since lockdown began, calls to our helpline have increased by 140% while our partner charities have also seen large increases in people needing their support.

The national freephone helpline will provide advice and signposting on a range of issues including homelessness, destitution, access to welfare benefits, the asylum process, opening bank accounts, and accessing health services. The pandemic has made these challenges more prevalent and much harder for refugees and people seeking asylum.

Scottish Refugee Council will provide additional specialist casework support for people seeking asylum who are destitute, and casework support for vulnerable families in the asylum system. The new freephone helpline number is 0808 196 7274.

Wafa Shaheen, Head of Services at Scottish Refugee Council said:

“We are delighted to receive this grant from National Emergencies Trust and to be part of a UK wide effort to support people during this very difficult time. This funding means we can make sure no one is excluded from accessing our lifeline advice services, including people who are destitute or may be facing destitution and homelessness.”

Laura Delaney
Author: Laura Delaney