Project information

Drop-in Support Service

We aim to improve the level of support asylum seekers and refugees receive both from our organisation and from other local organisations. We aim to reduce the isolation of asylum seekers and refugees and increase integration/participation into the local communities they are living in.

Ongoing, we estimate support is needed at current levels for at least the next two years

Charity information: Refugee Support (Devon)

Refugee Support (Devon) logo
  • Need


    We aim to fill the gaps in support for asylum seekers and refugees by complementing existing services providing direct support to aid integration and participation in the community. The need for the project has arisen from the number of asylum seekers and refugees living in Exeter and Devon, the lack of other accessible services in the area, the marginalisation of the group of clients and the barriers to accessing support. 212 individuals made a total of 2459 visits last year alone.


    We provide a safe and welcoming environment where refugees and asylum seekers can seek information and support on issues such as living in the UK, accessing local services, education and training. We can signpost individuals to mainstream services and we promote general well-being. We provide emergency funding to help those in extreme need. This is the only immediate financial support available to destitute asylum seekers. However highly skilled or educated, they are often not allowed to work.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Provide access to information about other local services.


    » By keeping regularly updated information banks about other services.
    » By providing referrals.

    What success will look like

    Success will be refugees and asylum seekers going straight to other local services, so our referral pathway is no longer needed.

    Aim 2

    Local organisations will be better equipped to work with asylum seekers and refugees.


    » By providing information and support to other local organisations working with refugees and asylum seekers, by phone, email and contact in person.

    What success will look like

    Success will be refugees and asylum seekers being welcomed into other local services and feeling confident to utilise mainstream services.

    Aim 3

    Increase overall participation and integration of asylum seekers and refugees in the local community


    » By developing the confidence within a marginalised group to work with local organisaitons to solve their problems and to build a stronger community.

    What success will look like

    Success will be more involvement in other community initiatives from local asylum seekers and refugees, with a greater understanding of their issues among the general public.

  • Impact


    Refugees and asylum seekers can find themselves marginalised and isolated due to misinformation.The project will allow for better participation and integration based on increased understanding of the issues that they can face as a group, along with information geared to help set them up for success and enjoyment of life in the UK.In the long-term this will lead to increased involvement and will be monitored through statistical data on referrals and successes in the Drop-in Support Service.


    The main risk is losing client trust and confidence to access our service. This is dealt with by employing a Support Service Coordinator to collect and respond to client views on the service. Years of experience have allowed us to adapt our service to fit the needs of our clients. We have also established good relationships with other local services to ensure that we can offer the best service possible in making referrals and addressing any barriers that clients face in accessing other services.


    We compile yearly statistics published in our reports that all donors receive. Our Project Manager is also able to write reports to donors that explicitly cover the areas that each financial donation is used for, so that donors can see how their funds have helped us to ensure our success.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £61,174

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      Amount Heading Description
      £22,241 Staffing costs Salary of Support Service Coordinator
      £8,940 General running expenses Heat, light, telephones, photocopier, computers, stationary, meetings,postage,cleaning,interpreting
      £17,603 Overheads 50% of salaries - Project Manager and Financial Administrator
      £3,440 Volunteer expenses Travel and training
      £8,950 Rent and rates Building and water
  • Background


    Our office is in the centre of Exeter, which provides an easily accessible base for our service to work with clients across Devon.There is no other organisation in Devon (other than in Plymouth) that is able to provide support specifically for asylum seekers and refugees. Plymouth is governed by a unitary authority (rather than Devon County Council) and has several organisations supporting asylum seekers and refugees.However, it is an hour away by train and not easily accessible for our clients.


    Approximately 200 refugees and asylum seekers per year across Devon,including destitute asylum seekers with no access to other financial support.Many of our clients have received refugee status, are in employment and have brought their families here to live with them and they will be helped to overcome the barriers they encounter when trying to fully participate in society.Other local organisations and the general public will also benefit from better information and a stronger community.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are best placed to deliver our project due to our experience, existing knowledge of the key areas in which we are working,links with other local organisations,our locality and the versatility of our service. We also have already established the trust and confidence of our clients,who can be a hard to reach group due to the nature of being marginalised in society,combined with past trauma and often negative experiences of authority. We believe our good reputation is key to our ongoing success.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Emma Marshall LLM

    Support Service Coordinator. Emma has worked with us for 2 years and has a Masters in International Human Rights Law, specialising in Refugee Law.

    Annette Hughes

    Project Manager. Annette has been responsible for the project since 2003 and is a well-known contact for both our clients and the wider community.


    We have a pool of around 60 volunteers who we rely on to deliver our services and who bring a diverse range of experience, knowledge and skills.