Refugee and asylum seeker information and signposting advice

Last updated: 13/03/2023

Gov.UK Visas and immigration 

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

How to claim Asylum in the UK, return home if you are a migrant in the UK, or appeal against a visa or immigration decision.

A guide for adults who have been granted asylum in England to access public services and make the most of the opportunities in the UK.

Read additional information on Support for asylum claimants and refugees

Apply for a GOV.UK Refugee Integration Loan if you're over 18 and you're either a refugee, you've been given humanitarian protection or you're the dependant of a refugee or someone who's been given humanitarian protection. 

You can apply for a refugee integration loan to pay for:

  • a rent deposit or rent
  • household items
  • education and training for work

Contact your local Jobcentre Plus before applying for this loan to see if you can get help with training, education, work, living or childcare costs - you may be able to get this help for free.

Local support in West Berkshire:

Citizens Advice West Berkshire

The things that Citizens Advice can help refugees with are:

Rights regarding benefits, housing, family members, work, education, medical treatment, travel, travel documents, nationality and applying for British Citizenship, money and debt problems etc, covering any issues that refugees might face in day to day life. Citizens Advice West Berkshire can also signpost to a wide variety of local organisations if the refugees have specific needs – eg Home Start, Reading and West Berkshire Carers Partnership.

Contact 0300 222 5941

2nd Floor, Broadway House, 4-8 The Broadway, Newbury RG14 1BA

For opening hours see Citizens Advice West Berkshire website

Reading Refugee Support Group

The Reading Refugee Support Group offers support to both Reading and West Berkshire residents.  It's vision is for an inclusive society where refugees and asylum-seekers of diverse cultural backgrounds are treated with respect; where their essential needs are met; where they can find access to their legal rights and where they are enabled to play a valuable role within the wider community.

The group also run English classes, children's homework club and participate and contribute to various cultural events throughout the year.

The group provide Advice and information, clothes and food distribution.

Visit the website for further information using the following link:  

Contact: 0118 950 5356   Email: 
35-39 London Street, Reading  RG1 4PS

National Help for Refugees:

British Red Cross

The Red Cross offers short-term support in a wide variety of ways to help refugees and asylum seekers adapt to life in a new country by:

  • offering emergency provisions to those facing severe hardship
  • facilitating access to essential services
  • providing practical and emotional support
  • giving expert advice on accessing whatever limited resources are available to them.

Red Cross also provide a Family Tracing Service to help restore contact between family members separated as a result of conflicts and disasters.

Contact: 0300 333 5393, Refugee Support and International Family Tracing Services, British Red Cross, Berkshire, 90 Eastern Avenue, Reading RG1 5SF.

Refugee Council

The Refugee Council works with refugees to help them build lives in the UK offering:

  • Advice for people who have recently been granted refugee status

Contact: Freephone 0808 196 7272

The Children’s Society

The Children's Society is a children's charity which wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy.

We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including safeguarding children in care and young runaways.  We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers.

For general enquiries:  0300 303 7000  There are various contacts depending on your enquiry, visit the webpage for further information.
Edward Rudolf House, Margery Street, London  WC1X 0JL

Children’s Legal Centre

Migrant Children's Project FREE legal advice line

Offering one-to-one advice from a dedicated solicitor on all issues affecting migrant, asylum-seeking and refugee children and young people, whether they are separated or in families. This includes:

  • immigration, asylum and nationality law and policy
  • legal representation
  • trafficking
  • support and accommodation
  • age assessment
  • education
  • work and training
  • healthcare.

Advice to anyone with a query about these issues - frontline practitioners, advocates, parents and carers, and children and young people themselves.

General enquiries: 020 7520 0300 you will not be given legal advice or a referral through this number.


Contact: Coram Children's Legal Centre, Coram Campus, 41 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AZ

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 worldwide.

Call: +41 22 739 8111

Migrant Helpline  

Migrant Helpline is a non-government organisation that provides advice to asylum seekers and refugees, promotes awareness of asylum issues and works towards the integration of asylum seekers and refugees within the community.

Tel: Free 0808 8010 503 

Asylum Aid

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

General enquiries: (020) 7354 9631 

West Berkshire Council do not promote or endorse any of the services listed in this Directory. For more information on this please read our disclaimer.

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