Advice and welfare support

It is impossible for a person to recover from torture if they are living in fear of being sent back to their torturers. Being allowed to stay in the UK (getting status) can give torture survivors the safety and stability they need to rebuild their lives.

Getting status, such as refugee status or leave to remain, can often take years. People usually need a lawyer specialising in immigration and asylum. 

People applying for status are generally not allowed to work or claim benefits like Universal Credit. This can mean people don’t have enough money to eat or a safe place to sleep. 

Sometimes torture survivors are locked up in immigration detention centres. Occasionally the government wrongfully remove people from the UK. 

Our Legal and Welfare Team can help people who are having therapy with us tackle these problems.

If you don’t have support, nobody tells you how these systems work. People are being let down. I was lucky to be referred to Freedom from Torture and I don’t know where I’d be without them, but unfortunately, this isn’t the case for everybody.

- Adira, survivor of torture

Our lawyers and legal team can help people in therapy with us:

  • Find a lawyer to take on their asylum claim
  • Understand and navigate the asylum system
  • Get released from immigration detention

Our welfare staff can help people in therapy with us with issues such as:

  • Housing
  • Education 
  • Asylum support payments and welfare
  • Health and social care
  • Other practical help, including finding a lawyer for support with welfare issues

How our Welfare Advisors support torture survivors

Portrait headshot of a young man

"As part of the Welfare team, I’m here to support survivors of torture in navigating housing in the UK alongside empowering them to understand their welfare rights. I work with survivors to ensure that they avoid destitution wherever possible.

"Many of our clients will be placed in sub-standard accommodation or housed in places inappropriate for their mental health needs.

"It’s a basic human right to have safe shelter, and when we help service users find somewhere where they feel safe it means they can focus on other aspects of their life that may need attention.

"It’s up to an individual to build a future for themselves. Our job as welfare advisors is to clear the road ahead for them as much as possible so their walk down the path is a bit safer."

Felix, Welfare Advisor

With your donation, we can support survivors to rebuild their lives.

£20 could pay for the cost of translating a vital Home Office document
£40 could pay to provide food and essentials for a destitute survivor of torture after they are suddenly cut off from asylum support
£70 could pay for a night's emergency accommodation for a homeless survivor of torture