COVID-19 Resources and Guidance

This page contains information on COVID-19 of relevance for asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in the West Midlands, as well as those working with and supporting them. It is not an exhaustive and up-to-the-minute source of information on COVID-19 and we urge people to check official nhs.uk and gov.uk websites for the latest information. If you have questions or comments on this document or on COVID-19 insofar as it relates to migration, please contact wmsmp@birmingham.gov.uk.

For a word (printable) version of the information below please click here.


Multilingual COVID Guidance

Message that COVID-19 testing & treatment is free of charge, irrespective of immigration status, translated into 40 languages https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-entitlements-migrant-health-guide#main-messages

NHS England at risk patient letter in English, Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, French, Gujarati, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Simplified Chinese- Mandarin, Traditional Chinese- Cantonese and Urdu https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/guidance-and-updates-for-gps-at-risk-patients/

Q & As on COVID-19 and various related health topics in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub

Doctors of the World are updating their translations of NHS guidelines to reflect the changes to Government guidance. Check their website for the latest translations https://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/coronavirus-information/

EU citizens

European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control national information resources on COVID-19 https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/COVID-19/sources-updated

Mental health & wellbeing

Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership’s translated ‘Coping strategies for anxious times’:

Coping strategies for anxious times – Albanian

Coping strategies for anxious times – Arabic

Coping strategies for anxious times – Bengali

Coping strategies for anxious times – English

Coping strategies for anxious times – Farsi

Coping strategies for anxious times – French

Coping strategies for anxious times – Mandarin

Coping strategies for anxious times – Pashto

Coping strategies for anxious times – Polish

Coping strategies for anxious times – Romanian

Coping strategies for anxious times – Somali

Coping strategies for anxious times – Sorani

Coping strategies for anxious times – Tigrinya

Coping strategies for anxious times – Turkish

Coping strategies for anxious times – Urdu

Children & young people

Younger children https://www.mindheart.co/descargables

Older children/young people https://www.bigleaffoundation.org.uk/covid-19-advice.html Includes audio files which can be sent as a text if young people do not have internet and may be useful for those with limited literacy.

Parenting https://www.covid19parenting.com/

Domestic abuse

Women’s Aid translated COVID-19 safety and support resources https://www.womensaid.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-safety-and-support-resources/

Avoiding scams & fraud

K International translated information about scams and fraud https://k-international.com/free-translation-scams

Infographics & videos

Infographics about coronavirus symptoms and MythBusters in different languages https://covid19graphics.info/

Scientific Animations Without Borders handwashing videos in different languages https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmTwTd7uI8WMYlcxAWeOVcgfLQds-YyA7

Odils Learning Foundation translated advice on COVID-19 and IT support on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRIAQxKolHKqazgUPF-krpw


Asylum, immigration & citizenship | Official communications

Rules in place from 8 June 2020 for entering the UK because of coronavirus (also applicable to residents) https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control

Guidance on who will be exempt from the new rules for entering the UK https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules

Guidance on getting support if you’re a migrant living in the UK

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-get-support-if-youre-a-migrant-living-in-the-uk

The Home Office has produced an asylum factsheet for Strategic Migration Partnerships (SMPs) dated 29.04.20. The Home Office has told SMPs that this document has been cleared for publication on SMP websites but should not be published anywhere else unless cleared by the Home Office.

The Home Office has introduced temporary regional locations where people can claim asylum rather than having to travel to Croydon. One of these locations is in the West Midlands: Solihull.

See also Home Office asylum factsheet for SMPs (29.04.20).The Home Office has  told SMPs that this document has been cleared for publication on SMP websites but should not be published anywhere else unless cleared by the Home Office.

The Home Office’s Midlands Intake Unit (MIU) emailed WMSMP on 25.04.20 to say that the temporary process to claim asylum at Solihull- by calling the Asylum Intake Unit appointment line- does not apply to UASC. Local authorities that would ordinarily refer UASC for welfare interviews at Solihull should continue to refer them to the MIU Minors inbox.

Reporting as a condition of immigration bail is temporarily paused https://www.gov.uk/immigration-reporting-centres

See Home Office asylum factsheet for SMPs (29.04.20). The Home Office has told SMPs that this document has been cleared for publication on SMP websites but should not be published anywhere else unless cleared by the Home Office.

The Home Office has shared the template of the letter that will be sent to those on section 95 or section 98 support who receive a positive asylum decision. The letter states:

[D]ue to the current restrictions on movement as a result of Covid-19 you will not be required to leave your accommodation (…)

Your accommodation provider has been made aware that you will not be leaving your accommodation for the time being. We will review the situation in June and will notify you if there is any change to this decision.

While you are living in your current accommodation, you will continue to receive cash payments to allow you to purchase food, toiletries and other essential items. You can access this in the normal way using your Aspen card.

As you have now been granted leave to remain in the United Kingdom, you can apply for jobs or claim benefits provided by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). It is very important that you apply for these benefits without delay. Information about how to apply is included with this letter or you can contact Migrant Help (…)

It is very important that you inform us as soon as you receive the first payment of any DWP benefit so that your Home Office payments are stopped, otherwise you will need to repay the Home Office payments awarded to you.”

The Home Office emailed Strategic Migration Partnerships on 28.04.20 setting out the process Migrant Help follow if they receive a complaint of domestic violence:

Process in place to respond to DV calls:

Once a call is received and we discover domestic violence has taken place our advisers will:

  • Make a team leader aware.
  • Call the emergency services if there is a concern for safety.
  • Complete a request for assistance with a safeguarding hub referral attached.
  • We advise the service user to call the national domestic violence helpline for specialist advice which we understand is optional.
  • We offer assistance to the service user with calling the national domestic violence helpline if they would like this.
  • Complete our own incident report.
  • Refer to Migrant Help outreach to follow up and offer further support if required.

In cases where the service users already lives in NASS accommodation:

  • We will call the provider to make them aware of the issues (following the call to the police if needed, safeguarding hub referral and request for assistance).

If accommodation is needed we:

  • Ask the service user to speak to the national domestic violence helpline for advice including refuge availability.
  • Make either a S98 or S4 application as necessary depending on eligibility in relation to their asylum status (as below). 

If the service user advises they will not call the helpline and need help with accommodation we:

  • Apply for S98 if there is an ongoing asylum claim / tried or will try to make a new claim.
  • Apply for S4 for failed asylum seekers.
  • Direct to social services if not eligible for any of the above and they potentially meet the SU meets SS criteria (has children / is pregnant).”

Migrant Help provides a number of services including delivery of the Advice Issues Reporting and Eligibility (AIRE) contract for the UK. This  means they advise and support asylum seekers across the UK.

Migrant Help’s general Coronavirus Service Update is here  https://www.migranthelpuk.org/news/coronavirus-service-update

Migrant Help’s Asylum Services Update is here https://www.migranthelpuk.org/news/asylum-services-update

Migrant Help have collated online sources of support for service users during the pandemic here https://www.migranthelpuk.org/Listing/Category/coronavirus-support

The Home Office emailed Strategic Migration Partnerships on 28.04.20 setting out the process Migrant Help follow if they receive a complaint of domestic violence:

Process in place to respond to DV calls:

Once a call is received and we discover domestic violence has taken place our advisers will:

  • Make a team leader aware.
  • Call the emergency services if there is a concern for safety.
  • Complete a request for assistance with a safeguarding hub referral attached.
  • We advise the service user to call the national domestic violence helpline for specialist advice which we understand is optional.
  • We offer assistance to the service user with calling the national domestic violence helpline if they would like this.
  • Complete our own incident report.
  • Refer to Migrant Help outreach to follow up and offer further support if required.

In cases where the service users already lives in NASS accommodation:

  • We will call the provider to make them aware of the issues (following the call to the police if needed, safeguarding hub referral and request for assistance).

If accommodation is needed we:

  • Ask the service user to speak to the national domestic violence helpline for advice including refuge availability.
  • Make either a S98 or S4 application as necessary depending on eligibility in relation to their asylum status (as below). 

If the service user advises they will not call the helpline and need help with accommodation we:

  • Apply for S98 if there is an ongoing asylum claim / tried or will try to make a new claim.
  • Apply for S4 for failed asylum seekers.
  • Direct to social services if not eligible for any of the above and they potentially meet the SU meets SS criteria (has children / is pregnant).”

The Home Office has suspended all in-person substantive asylum interviews. See Home Office asylum factsheet for SMPs (29.04.20). The Home Office has  told SMPs that this document has been cleared for publication on SMP websites but should not be published anywhere else unless cleared by them.

Service of asylum decisions by email- email from UKVI Asylum Operations to the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (30.03.20) http://www.ilpa.org.uk/resources.php/36077/update-from-ukvi-asylum-decisions-by-email-30-march-2020

UKVI Asylum Operations emailed WMSMP on 22.04.20 to say: “We will pause decision making on any case where medico-legal reports (MLR) are delayed due to medical professionals who complete them being asked to work on the Covid-19 response for the NHS.”

UKVI Asylum Operations emailed WMSMP on 30.04.20 to say:

 “Asylum Operations are continuing to make and serve decisions on cases where there is enough information to do so. We continue to review them on a case by case basis, ensuring those with significant safeguarding concerns or vulnerabilities are only served if appropriate to do so. Decisions that may be affected, and therefore on hold include;

  • Where a recipient may be vulnerable to destitution as a result of our decision.
  • Where an individual is particularly vulnerable, an example being someone with mental health conditions, and also those with disabilities.

The Home Office is again able to process statelessness applications. For further details see the Refugee Council’s website https://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/latest/news/changes-to-home-office-asylum-resettlement-policy-and-practice-in-response-to-covid-19/

The collection “Coronavirus (COVID-19): immigration and borders” includes Government guidance on UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents, the bereavement scheme for family members of health and social care workers, Tier 4 sponsors, migrants and short-term students, and Tier 2, 4 and 5 sponsors  and can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-immigration-and-borders

On 22 May 2020, the guidance on UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents was updated to state that visa extensions for those unable to leave the UK because of coronavirus have been extended to 31 July 2020 and the deadline for making an application from the UK to switch to a visa that would normally require you to apply from your home country has been extended to 31 July 2020 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents

There is useful commentary on the Government guidance on the Free Movement website https://www.freemovement.org.uk/coronavirus/

Some UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centres (UKVCAS) will reopen for existing customers on 1 June 2020. Service and Support Centres (SSCs) remain temporarily closed because of coronavirus https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents

You can check which UKVCAS centres are open here https://www.gov.uk/ukvcas

Further information about SSCs  is here https://www.gov.uk/visas-and-immigration-service-and-support-centres

Hearings in the Immigration and Asylum Chambers of the First-tier and Upper tribunals are now taking place remotely. For a summary of relevant Practice Directions, Presidential Guidance Notes etc, see the Free Movement website: https://www.freemovement.org.uk/coronavirus/#Immigration_tribunal_hearings

All asylum support appeals are being dealt with on the papers or by phone. For further details see the Refugee Council’s website: https://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/latest/news/changes-to-home-office-asylum-resettlement-policy-and-practice-in-response-to-covid-19/

Postal applications for refugee integration loans are no longer being accepted– email from Auffea Woodhall, SEO -Operations Manager , Global Resettlement and Integration Loans, UKVI (24.03.20):

“Due to disruption caused by Covid 19 (as of 23 March) postal applications for Integration Loans will no longer be accepted.  Please would you inform customers about this change in the course of your work with them.  

Fully completed Integration Loan application forms and supporting documents e.g. Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), Immigration Status Document and banking details should now be scanned and sent via email to integrationloan@homeoffice.gov.uk. Where scanning facilities are not accessible, photos of the signed application form and supporting documents will be accepted, also by email.  Customers must include their email address within the loan application so we can tell them when their loan application has been decided.

If customers have already sent to us a fully completed postal application in the last few days their application will be considered and they do not need to take any further action. “

The form and guidance on applying for refugee integration loans are here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-for-an-integration-loan

There are delays in the processing of applications for Refugee Travel Documents. There is a message from the Home Office’s Travel Documents Section, published on the website of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association on 30.03.2020 that says:

“If any customer is in a particularly difficult situation and needs their application to be considered as a matter of priority, we would ask that this request, along with scanned recent, acceptable evidence of the circumstances and confirmation that the customer is able to travel i.e. confirmation from the airline or ferry company, is sent to traveldocumentenquiries@homeoffice.gov.uk.

Following this, if it is agreed that the case meets the criteria for being expedited and an application has not yet been submitted online, then the customer will need to complete an online application.  If an application has already been submitted then the customer should not apply again as this is likely to cause confusion and may delay their application.”

For further details see http://www.ilpa.org.uk/resources.php/36078/update-from-ukvi-change-to-the-travel-documents-service-due-to-the-covid-19-situation-30-march-2020

Temporary suspension of in-person submissions to Further Submissions Unit – email from Refused Case Management (18.03.20):

“[A]pplicants wanting to make further submissions can send them in via post, or via e-mail to our inbox. They should not travel to Liverpool to hand them in.

Postal address:FSU, The Capital Building, Hall Street, Liverpool, L3 9PP

E-mail address: CSUCE@homeoffice.gov.uk

This new process will be a temporary measure due to the Coronavirus problems. We will notify you all when the temporary process is going to end.

We will be updating the messages on the website, on our phones and on our inboxes. We will send a message to all applicants who have already booked an appointment.”

Cessation of Assisted Voluntary Return Service – email from VRS Communications and Engagement Service (20.03.20):

“We are currently receiving a high level of interest in the services we offer, and we continue to work with people to try and fulfil their requests to leave the UK.

However, we are currently experiencing difficulties that mean that we cannot currently support assisted returns for people who require a level of assistance upon return from the United Kingdom. We are experiencing infrastructure and other issues that make it difficult to impossible to offer that level of support at this time.

We have therefore made a very difficult decision to cease offering assisted returns at this time.

We will continue to register an interest from people who wish to return, and to offer other levels of support to help as many people as we possibly can. Where we can arrange flights, get travel documents etc we will continue to do this, and we are very happy to talk to people to see what help we can offer on an individual basis.

We will also register those who need assisted support on our systems, and our caseworkers will be in touch with every person who registers an application with us on a regular basis to update on the travel situation, and to give them as much information as we possibly can.

Please help us by encouraging people to get in touch by phone (0300 004 0202), and to register their interest via the electronic portal on gov.uk (https//www.gov.uk/return-home-voluntarily/who-can-get-help).”

Immigration removal centres are now closed to visitors https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-and-immigration-removal-centres

IOM and UNHCR have announced the temporary suspension of resettlement travel for refugees (17.03.20) https://www.unhcr.org/uk/news/press/2020/3/5e7103034/iom-unhcr-announce-temporary-suspension-resettlement-travel-refugees.html

The Home Office has shared a Frequently Asked Questions document on resettlement to the UK (25.03.20).

The House of Commons Library published a briefing on 07.04.20 on ‘Coronavirus: Calls to ease No Recourse to Public Funds conditions’ that identifies what state support and concessions might be available for migrants with NRPF during the coronavirus crisis  https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8888/

Guidance on temporary extension of eligibility for free school meals to NRPF groups https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance  

The Ministry of Communities, Housing and Local Government wrote to local authorities on 26.03.20 stating that “it is now imperative that rough sleepers and other vulnerable homeless are supported into appropriate accommodation by the end of the week” (29.03.20) and highlighting that this included those with NRPF.

Shelter and support is available for rough sleepers in Birmingham with no recourse to public funds through Trident Group. Call 0800 800 7157 or visit 35-38 Washington Street, Birmingham, B1 1LB.

NRPF Network Factsheet for local authorities on ‘Supporting people with no recourse to public funds during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic’ (updated 20.04.20) http://www.nrpfnetwork.org.uk/Documents/coronavirus-factsheet.pdf

NRPF Network article ‘Entitlements for people with NRPF during the coronavirus pandemic’ (16.04.20) http://www.nrpfnetwork.org.uk/News/Pages/default.aspx

The Home Office’s Midlands Intake Unit (MIU) emailed WMSMP on 25.04.20 to say that the temporary process to claim asylum at Solihull- by calling the Asylum Intake Unit appointment line- does not apply to UASC. Local authorities that would ordinarily refer UASC for welfare interviews at Solihull should continue to refer them to the MIU Minors inbox.

Guidance for local authorities on children’s social care https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-childrens-social-care-services/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-local-authorities-on-childrens-social-care#unaccompanied-asylum-seeking-children-uasc This includes guidance on UASC and care leavers.

The Government is providing £2.9 billion in finding to strengthen care for the most vulnerable: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/2-9-billion-funding-to-strengthen-care-for-the-vulnerable  Annette Connaughton, Department for Education, has emailed WMSMP to say (25.03.20):

“This funding announcement includes a pledge of £1.6 billion that will go to local authorities to help them respond to other coronavirus (COVID-19) pressures across all the services they deliver. Although it mainly references adult social services, this funding is also intended to meet the cost of extra demand and higher business as usual costs of providing children’s social care – including as a result of school closures, to meet the costs of placements and to address the need for isolation, including for unaccompanied asylum-seeking childrenLocal authority CEOs and chief finance officers will have received a letter setting this out and providing more detail.”

Due to coronavirus, there are delays in the processing of citizenship applications. In addition, people have six months to book their citizenship ceremony after receiving an invitation from the Home Office rather than three https://www.gov.uk/citizenship-ceremonies

Further details are on the Free Movement website https://www.freemovement.org.uk/coronavirus/#Nationality_and_citizenship_UPDATED_17_April

The EU Settlement Resolution Centre telephone service had closed due to coronavirus but has now reopened https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-inside-outside-uk/y/inside-the-uk/eu-settlement-scheme-settled-and-pre-settled-status

The Home Office is advising people to email claims to the Windrush Compensation Scheme as applications by post may be delayed https://www.gov.uk/guidance/windrush-compensation-scheme

Victims of modern slavery may be approaching and accessing different support services during the pandemic. With this in mind, the Home Office’s Modern Slavery Unit has produced a flyer for people who are not First Responders on ‘spotting the signs’ of modern slavery and the action they can take, and a flyer for First Responders on their responsibilities:

The NHS has produced Covid-19: Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking Rapid Read:

On 6 April, the government announced that individuals supported through the modern slavery victim care contract would be allowed to stay in government-funded safe accommodation for the next three months, as part of measures to protect the vulnerable from coronavirus. News story here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/support-for-modern-slavery-victims-affected-by-coronavirus. Further details here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/modern-slavery-how-to-identify-and-support-victims

The Home Office has developed an up-to-date resources pack for staff in NGOs and other services who may come across modern slavery cases during the COVID-19 outbreak, which includes information on how to refer suspected cases of modern slavery https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-support-for-victims-of-modern-slavery  


Official COVID-19 Guidance

NHS.uk – Overview: Corona virus (COVID-19) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Gov.uk Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Gov. uk– Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance

People who have medical conditions that make them extremely vulnerable to coronavirus can get government support such as deliveries of food https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable

This includes asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants. People can register themselves or others can register on their behalf including those working for local authorities, the third sector and accommodation providers.

NHS England at risk patient letter in English, Arabic, Bengali, French, Gujarati, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Simplified Chinese- Mandarin, Traditional Chinese- Cantonese and Urdu https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/guidance-and-updates-for-gps-at-risk-patients/

Guidance on getting support if you’re a migrant living in the UK https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-get-support-if-youre-a-migrant-living-in-the-uk

NHS entitlements: migrant health guide https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-entitlements-migrant-health-guide

Message that COVID-19 testing & treatment is free of charge, irrespective of immigration status, translated into 40 languages https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-entitlements-migrant-health-guide#main-messages

GP registration. Extract from letter from NHS England and NHS Improvement to GPs and their Commissioners (27.03.20):

Practices should continue to register new patients, including those with no fixed address, asylum seekers and refugees. Practices should agree how they can most effectively connect and support locations that are accommodating people who are homeless. More detailed guidance on registering patients is being developed. We would like to remind GP practices that the absence of photo identification or a fixed address is not a reason to refuse a patient registration.  Homeless patients should be registered either at a c/o address where one is available (eg a shelter/ support service) or the GP practice address. We can assure practices using the GP practice address as a c/o does not place responsibility on the practice to repatriate correspondence (eg hospital letters). Homeless patients should be encouraged to keep in contact with the practice at regular intervals where they have ongoing health and care (primary and secondary) requirements.”

The collection “Coronavirus (COVID-19): immigration and borders” includes Government guidance on: UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents; the bereavement scheme for family members of health and social care workers; Tier 4 sponsors, migrants and short-term students; Tier 2, 4 and 5 sponsors; entering the UK; travellers exempt from UK border rules; right to work and right to rent checks; and immigration removal centres; and can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-immigration-and-borders

There is useful commentary on this Government guidance on the Free Movement website https://www.freemovement.org.uk/coronavirus/

Guidance for health professionals https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/wuhan-novel-coronavirus

Includes (amongst other guidance) guidance for first responders https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-interim-guidance-for-first-responders  (First responders include professionals and members of voluntary organisations who, as part of their normal roles, provide immediate assistance to a symptomatic person until further medical assistance arrives.)

Guidance for schools and other educational settings https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings

Includes (amongst other guidance) free school meals guidance including guidance on the temporary extension of eligibility for free school meals to NRPF groups https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance

Guidance to employers, employees and businesses https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19

People receiving benefits do not currently have to attend jobcentre appointments.

National Insurance Number interviews are not currently taking place.   DWP are attempting to contact all customers to advise them not to attend their offices and confirm that individuals do not need a National Insurance Number to apply for benefits or a job. Individuals can start work without a National Insurance Number as long as they have the right to work in the UK and employers have information to allow them to do this.

Due to coronavirus, new parents can now claim child benefit without registering their child’s birth https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dont-miss-out-claim-child-benefit-by-phone-or-post-hmrc-tells-new-parents

For further information around DWP Services and coronavirus see https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/

Letter from Lord Greenhalgh, Communities Minister, to local authority chief executives to highlight the support needed by some members of Gypsy and Traveller communities (30.04.20) https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/882564/COVID-19_-_mitigating_impacts_on_gypsy___traveller_communities.pdf


Updates and resources from the migration sector

UNHCR UK’s Legal Protection Unit can be contacted at any time via email on gbrlo@unhcr.org or via their switchboard at 0203 761 9500 from 09:00-17:00 Monday to Thursday and 09:00 – 15:00 on Fridays: https://www.unhcr.org/uk/unhcr-uk-faqs-on-covid-19-in-relation-to-refugees-and-asylum-seekers.html

For details of support being provided by the Independent Child Trafficking Guardianship Service (ICTGS), run by Barnardos, see here:

Please note that the ICTGS only covers the following areas: West Midlands Combined Authority/Police area (Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, Wolverhampton), the East Midlands, Greater Manchester, Croydon, Wales, and Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Migration Policy and Practice has collated information on the operational status of its partners in Birmingham and the Black Country: http://migrationpolicy.org.uk/covid-19-support/ Organisations included are:

General support for refugees & migrants:

Immigration & asylum system:

Resettlement & community sponsorship:

Housing & benefits:

Children & young people:

Other regions:

Information, Advice and Guidance regarding UASC in the West Midlands (commissioned by West Midlands Children’s Services from the International Organization for Migration) https://wmcs.learningpool.com/login/index.php (You need to register to access)

The International Organization for Migration is delivering a range of webinars. Email infosessionsUK@iom.int for further details.

Coram Children’s Legal Centre online courses for professionals working with refugee and migrant children and young people https://www.childrenslegalcentre.com/childrens-rights-training/courses-at-coram/

British Red Cross SAFE project e-learning on UASC for family-based carers and care professionals http://safeproject.eu/elearning-course/

Connect Futures online course on safeguarding against violent extremism (£30) https://www.connectfutures.org/training-courses/courses/online-course-safeguarding-against-violent-extremism/

Free ESOL resources:

  • ESOL Study at Home guidance
  • List of IT resources compiled by East of England SMP
  • Little Bridge (www.littlebridge.com) is offering free online ESOL training. thatis aimed at children but may help adults working with their children or for their own learning. Anyone interested should email: hello@littlebridge.com, putting  ‘English Language Support’ and ‘Home Office’  in the subject line. Little Bridge will then set up a free account and offer free online training, if requested.

General learning resources

  • Code Your Future are offering free online training on computer programming to refugees, asylum seekers and people from other disadvantaged groups. They can offer support with WIFI, laptops and childcare. Once in-person classes in Birmingham start again they can also offer support with transportation for those in the West Midlands Combined Authority area. Those from outside that area can still access the Birmigham training, just not the transportation support. Check the website and apply to access the training here https://codeyourfuture.io/become-a-student/ You can also contact aaishah@codeyourfuture.io for further information.

National

The British Red Cross are acting as a single point of contact between the Home Office and NGOs/charities that support refugees and people seeking asylum. For more information about this process and to sign-up to receive updates, please contact Jon Featonby jfeatonby@redcross.org.uk.

The British Red Cross and UKLGIG have also set up two dedicated Google Groups to coordinate action, raise issues and share ideas around the sector’s response to Covid-19. You can request to join the Groups at the links below: 

Policy Google Grouphttps://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/covid19policy

Operations Google Grouphttps://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/covid19operations

Local

Andy Hoole (Migration Policy & Practice) hosts a Friday dial-in on Covid-19 and migration issues for 3rd sector organisations in the Birmingham and Black Country area. For further information email andy@migrationpolicy.org.uk

The University of Birmingham has published a report on “Forced migration, SGBV and COVID-19”, presenting findings from a project led by the University’s Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) in partnership with Refugee Women Connect https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Documents/college-social-sciences/social-policy/iris/2020/sgbv-covid-19.pdf

The European Public Health Association has issued a statement on “Reducing the impact of the coronavirus crisis on those ‘left behind’ – Disadvantaged Migrants and Ethnic Minorities”:

[This page was last updated on 31 May 2020]