The People Who Need Our Help

Nottingham Arimathea Trust (NAT) provides housing and support to destitute asylum seekers and newly recognised refugees.

Destitute Asylum Seekers

When an asylum seekers case is refused by the Home Office and there are no further appeals that can be heard on the case, they are evicted from their Home Office funded accommodation, with no right to work or to claim any benefits. They are then forced to choose to either return to their homeland or to become destitute. For many asylum seekers, they are still terrified of the prospect of being returned, so they ‘prefer’ to become destitute. NAT can offer some people in this situation a room in a shared house, so they can have the safety of shelter and then focus energies on gathering new evidence and working with an immigration advisor or solicitor to develop further submissions on their case or a fresh asylum claim.

Whilst living with NAT, destitute asylum seekers receive £10 a month (£20 for people with health difficulties or disabilities) and a weekly food parcel from our partner charity, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum. 

Currently we have 8 bed spaces for men in 2 houses and 5 bed spaces for women in another 2 houses. However, we know this is not enough and we are trying to secure more housing to be able to help more people facing destitution. Please contact us if you have any property you would like to partner with us on to provide for destitute asylum seekers or could invest in a property for NAT.

When our residents have been able to submit their further submissions or fresh asylum claims to the Home Office, we support them in applying for ‘section 4’ accommodation, which is accommodation provided by the Home Office with £35 per week topped up on an ‘Azure Card’ which they can use at local supermarkets. We try to move people onto Home Office accommodation as soon as possible, as this means a bed space becomes available to another destitute asylum seeker.

Newly Recognised Refugees

When an asylum seeker is recognised as needing protection in the UK, they become a refugee. They are then also evicted from their Home Office accommodation but they have the right to work and the right to claim benefits. However, when they were supported by the Home Office they had very little money to live on, their rent and bills were paid by their accommodation provider, which means they have no experience of managing a tenancy in the UK.

Our housing for refugees is in 9 one bedroomed flats that are based around a courtyard garden. These refugee flats are classed as “supported housing”. All flats are refurbished and furnished before being let to a new refugee. All residents of the flats are given ongoing support from the NAT staff team, as well as have events promoted to encourage social integration and workshops are organised and delivered to help them develop skills for independent living. Once residents have progressed with their support plans, we move onto focusing on moving them into employment, setting up their own business or progressing with education. Then when they are ready we provide resettlement support, helping them to the private sector or social housing, therefore enabling this property to be used for another newly recognised refugee.

We also have a 3 bedroomed family home for a refugee family. This is majority furnished by NAT and helps provide a stable environment for a family who are rebuilding their lives in the UK.