Learning from each other with Union Chapel


illustration of a substantive asylum interview taking place at a Home Office centre, with an interpreter present

On Thursday 10 August, Esther and Yumna headed to The Kings Cross Baptist Church in the sunshine to deliver a Toolkit workshop for residents of asylum hotels in the surrounding area. The workshop was hosted by the incredible Union Chapel who support people seeking asylum in Islington.

Facilitating this workshop was a small step in the direction of shifting our efforts ‘upstream’ to support people earlier on in their asylum journey, as we promised in our Reflection report of July 2023

This serves two purposes: firstly, the earlier we meet people and are able to introduce them to our resources (like the Toolkit), the more helpful our resources can be in assisting them through the process. Secondly, it enables us to gauge what key needs or issues people are facing, and in turn helps us to address these things in our resources. In other words, it actually helps us to do our job better – and this workshop was no exception. 

After we went through how to use the Right to Remain Toolkit and the importance of sharing it with others, and how best to prepare for and tackle the Asylum Substantive (big) Interview, we had a big Q&A and discussion session with the participants. Key concerns that were raised included the significant increase in the number of people receiving Streamlined Asylum Processing Questionnaires, and how to respond to the questionnaire when one does not have a lawyer. 

We also learned, for the first time, that some people have started to receive a ‘Continue Your Asylum Claim’ invitation to complete an online form, which seems to mirror the Streamlined Asylum Processing Questionnaire (except it’s online). As we learn more about how this is unfolding or impacting people, we will keep our community updated. 

Much of our recent work has been centred around empowering organisations who support people seeking asylum, which helps to increase education around legal support in the face of the lack of legal advice. By contrast, this workshop allowed us to work directly with those in the system, to understand first-hand how the twists and turns of the system are impacting them first-hand. 

We look forward to further supplementing our empowerment work with assisting people earlier on in the process. Though we are currently fully booked, if you would like to state your interest in receiving a Right to Remain workshop, please do use the form below.

2 comments on “Learning from each other with Union Chapel

  1. Melanie Ferreira on

    Hello my friends have either not recived the questionnaire yet or the questionnaire has been sent to the WRONG email address so people are not being notified that they even have the questionnaire issued to them in their names. This is VERY serious.. Can you please advise my friends on what they need to do? When they ask their legal reps, they tell them just to wait. They have little faith in them. One friend does not yet have a lawyer. Any adivice you can give my friends will be most gratefully received.

    • right-to-remain on

      Hello Melanie, thank you for your message and I am sorry to hear of the distress your friends are facing. We are not lawyers so we cannot provide direct or specific advice. However, we have a detailed blog post about the Streamlined Asylum Questionnaire which includes answers to some frequently asked questions and may be of help to your friends. You can access it here: https://righttoremain.org.uk/what-we-know-so-far-about-the-streamlined-asylum-processing-questionnaire/

      Regarding the friend who does not have a lawyer – this is very difficult but unfortunately a position that many people are in. It is still possible to get through the questionnaire and the asylum system without a lawyer. They can use our Toolkit which a step-by-step guide to the asylum process, to help as well: https://righttoremain.org.uk/toolkit/


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