We believe every person seeking asylum should be supported to navigate the asylum system.
Asylum Guides are trained volunteers who provide that support. 

Need support from a Guide?

What is the Asylum Guides programme?

Asylum Guides is a programme aimed at organisations working with people seeking asylum. Our toolkits and resources enable volunteer Guides to meet with and help clients to understand the asylum process.

Why was the Asylum Guides national programme set up?

The programme emerged from Refugee Action's access to justice work, rooted in the principles of Early Action. It supports people early in their asylum journey to address the causes of crisis or prevent barriers to justice. Since 2016, we've delivered programmes across the UK. Here's a case study of our work with Birmingham's Brushstrokes.

What does an Asylum Guide do?

Asylum Guides are trained volunteers, matched up with asylum seekers to provide legal information about the asylum process. Over the course of a few meetings, they explain the asylum system in a way that is accessible and easy to understand.

"Before the session, what I knew about the asylum process was like a small door, but after the session it became a great gate through which I want to lead others like me."
Male client from El Salvador
Waiting for a decision on his asylum claim and training to become an Asylum Guide volunteer
"I hope many people can get the same help in the future. Many people misunderstand the process, so it would be very good for them to have the same support. Thank you again."
Male from Sudan
Supported by an asylum guide across 8 meetings and granted refugee status in February 2019

A growing partnership

Asylum Guides is a collaborative programme. We partner with organisations across the UK and provide guidance, toolkits and knowledge sharing. Our partners deliver front-line support tailored to local needs. Please send us an email if you'd like to find out more.

Growth and Impact in 2019

Asylum Guides is a new programme getting traction across the UK. Asylum Guide volunteers supported over 800 people in 2019!


Number of nationalities supported


Average age of client supported


Cities where Asylum Guides is available

Increased understanding via Asylum Guides

'Do you understand what will happen to you in your asylum claim?'*

2.1 out of 5
4 out of 5



Do you understand what a solicitor does?

1.9 out of 5
4.1 out of 5



* Clients attending an Asylum Guide group session were asked to rate how they feel out of 5 before and after the session.
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