About Clear Project
The CLEAR project was set up in 2001 by City Life Church in response to the Government’s dispersal policy on asylum seekers and refugees, which led to high numbers arriving in Southampton. Many of those who were dispersed here chose to make Southampton their home and our services have developed around the needs of this client group. Our beneficiaries are asylum seekers and refugees in Southampton. Due ue to a lack of English language and literacy skills and unfamiliarity with the UK system, they need help to deal with the complexity of the UK system in order to integrate into society.
Southampton City remains a dispersal centre with 120 spaces for Home Office assisted asylum seekers. There are also many more asylum seekers and failed asylum seekers who are not supported by the home office but are still in great need of specialist advice and help. Over the past few years other agencies have had to close their services in the city. In response to this CLEAR has sought to increase the services we offer.
Building a new life as a refugee in the UK is a long and difficult process. When an asylum seeker is given refugee status, their situation completely changes and they are expected to look after themselves very quickly. Finding somewhere to live, learning English and seeking work are just the first challenges. They often face disadvantages such as:
- Economic and social deprivation
- Poor housing and homelessness
- Difficulties accessing services
- Community tensions
- Racial and cultural discrimination and hate crime
- Poor physical and mental health
Why are we effective?
CLEAR offers a friendly and welcoming advice service open for beneficiaries to drop in. We know that many clients really appreciate the way in which we assist them. By offering English courses and other adult learning, employment advice and volunteer opportunities we are able to provide joined up services which both deal with the immediate issues that people face and help them to progress.
How do we know it works?
How do we know it works?
We obtain user feedback to confirm we are meeting community needs. In our survey users valued CLEAR’s good professional advice about benefits, immigration and citizenship issues and housing. It found that in addition they need support making phone calls to statutory agencies, help filling out forms and an explanation of the content of official letters. The reasons they used CLEAR were; “good advice, good service, approachable staff, appropriate opening times and advisors who speak clients’ own languages”.