Manchester Refugee Support Network are proud to be able to support across Greater Manchester and are proud to be partnered with organisations across Greater Manchester who do great work supporting refugees and asylum seekers.
We are specialists in welfare and immigration, and offer a number of projects however we aren’t able to meet all needs. Therefore we have compiled this directory so that you can find the relevant support you need.
Please note, we only review this directory once every 6 months. Therefore if you are an organisation or individual who would like your services to be advertised on here, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your website, key contact information and what service you offer. Our next date for reviewing this directory will be 28/04/2023
If someone has lived in Manchester for six months, then Manchester City Council will accept them as a Manchester resident and they can phone the Homelessness Prevention Team on 0161 234 4692 (Out of hours number: 0161 234 5001) and arrange for an assessment. Be prepared to wait 2+ hours on hold. In theory, the client should be housed in temporary accommodation until they are offered one permanent house which they have to accept or the Duty of Care ends and they are classed as ‘intentionally homeless’. Temporary accommodation may be a hotel or temporary house. It will not be a permanent council house residence.
If a client is from outside Manchester and has no way of staying in Manchester for six months, the best advice is usually to return to wherever their local authority is, in order to be guaranteed some form of support. There are various dedicated housing and homelessness charities, but the advice is likely to be the same after you refer the client on.
- Shelter – a national charity with housing advice on a range of issues.
- The Booth Centre – a community centre run with people affected by homelessness. They also have links to the council’s homelessness assessment.
- Citizen’s Advice – impartial advice and information about housing, benefits, debt, work and more
- Cheetham Hill Advice Centre - local support with housing, benefits, debt problems and more
- Centrepoint - help and support for young people aged 18 – 25
Evictions, House in Disrepair, Landlord Issues
If a client is at risk of eviction then they should probably first contact the Homeless Prevention Team on 0161 234 4692 (Out of hours number: 0161 234 5001) before seeking further legal help. Be prepared to wait 2+ hours on hold. It’s best to refer clients with complex housing issues onto dedicated and legally qualified services such as
If you want to move to Manchester from another city:
If you have been placed by the government in housing in another city, but want to move to Manchester, we strongly recommend you stay in the city you have been placed in. The local council there will be responsible for providing accommodation for you, however if you move to Manchester, Manchester City Council will not take responsibility for housing you in a council property until you have been living in Manchester for 2 years, which could mean you may be homeless for 2 years unless you have people to stay with. Even after 2 years, you may still struggle for housing.
If you are a Manchester resident but can’t get council housing
If you are struggling to obtain council housing through Manchester Move, then we can provide a list of private landlords as recommended by Manchester City Council. Just email email@example.com to request it.
For further questions regarding housing please book an appointment at our General and Welfare Advice session on a Monday or Thursday from 10am -1pm. Please book an appointment here using the button below.
Support for LGBTQI+ Community
MRSN is a safe place for the LGBTQI+ community and we can provide help through any of our services.
If you are looking for more support and want to meet with other LGBTQI+ individuals the following organisations are worth contacting:
- The LGBT Foundation based in Manchester.
- Conversation over Borders offer support groups as a place to make friends and get support for problems you might be facing. The LGBT group meets on Thursday from 5pm – 6pm. To register to attend click here.
- Rainbow Migration are based in London, but lists services for LGBTQI+ refugees or asylum seekers.
- Trans Refugee Initiative
These charities and communities will not just put you in touch with people going through very similar struggles to yourself, but also support you in making hate crime complaints, as it is important that these things are recorded.
Another charity in Manchester that supports you in reporting hate crimes is SASCA. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Asylum Seeker Support
We provide support through our Immigration Advice sessions and our Asylum Guide Project. However we do not have the capacity to assist with every issue. Below are a list of organisations who also assist with issues we don’t help with.
Asylum support and Aspen card issues:
For people seeking support with a Fresh Claim, please refer them to a solicitor or to Manchester Free Legal Help for a free 30 minute assessment of their situation over a Zoom call. Again, every client and every issue is different.
Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit can also assist however they do not always have the capacity to assist on every case.
Other organisations who provide support
Other organisations who provide advice include:
- Migrant Help page of asylum services has lots of information and email addresses for more specific issues.
- Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit Advice Line
- Rainbow Haven
Mental Health Support
We are not mental health specialists so we cannot provide counselling.
Please contact a GP to make a referral to the adult mental health service.
For additional organisations who provide mental health support please see:
- Manchester Mind – Manchester Mind are here to support better mental health for everyone in Manchester. They have been doing this for over 30 years.
- Yaran Northwest – provide excellent quality service to support people with a wide range of psychological needs, many of these people also experience social vulnerabilities and disadvantage who wish to integrate and strengthen their confidence and self-esteem.
- Freedom from Torture – The centre offers therapy and other support to adults, children, young people and families, as well as medico-legal reports.
- CAHN and African Caribbean Mental Health Team – Their vision is to eradicate health inequalities within a generation for Caribbean & African people.
- Barnardos Boloh Helpline – They offer to support the mental health and wellbeing of adult asylum seekers across the UK. The Helpline will offer advice, signposting, emotional support and 8 free sessions of therapy by qualified Barnardo’s therapists.
- Football with MRSN – On a Sunday we run adult football sessions, you can find more details by clicking here.
- If your client is elderly and living in North Manchester, we also run activities for elderly people, you can find more details about that by clicking here.
- Rainbow Haven offers different activities such as Mamma and baby groups, gardening etc. For more information please click here.
- Host Nation – Host Nation connect refugees with people local to them in order to build friendships.
- Growing Together Levenshulme – Growing Together Levenshulme runs therapeutic horticulture sessions for refugees and people seeking asylum.
- Conversation over Borders offer support groups as a place to make friends and get support for problems you might be facing. They run groups for Farsi speakers, Arabic speakers, women, men and LGBTQI+ individuals. To register to attend click here.
Support for Children
Food and Clothes Donations
We no longer run a food parcel project. However you are able to find a local food bank using the list here.
Cracking Good Food – Weekly drop-in Community Lunch & Learns Tuesday lunchtimes from 12pm to 1pm
Brunswick Church, Brunswick Street, M13 9SX. Free healthy, hearty meals (pay-as-you-feel option which will support extra provision for Christmas at last café session on 21 December if people do choose to contribute).
Social eating time; opportunity to meet other local people and strengthen local ties and Cracking Good Food team will share a skill or recipe over lunchtime, and take any questions on budget cooking, minimising fuel use and nutrition to support people to eat well.
Cracking Good Food – food delivery. Cracking good food will be cooking, packing, and delivering 80 meals each Wednesday from the kitchen at Brunswick Church, Ardwick starting Wednesday 5 October to 21 December. Meal priority will be given to hospital discharge patients. Remaining meals will be delivered to other referrals, including anyone experiencing food poverty or struggling to eat well
Please email email@example.com for a referral form or more information
We do not collect and store clothes donations as we do not have the space. However if you would like clothes, please contact our partners Refugee Aid Chorlton here.
- At MRSN we offer the Shared Routes Project, which is a 6 week online training course where clients are taught about British culture and administration. For more information please click here and contact Randa at firstname.lastname@example.org
- City of Sanctuary offer general and wellbeing activities as well as ESOL training. Please contact them for information on their sessions.
- Mustard Tree offer general and ESOL training. Please contact them here.
- For ESOL training please see Greater Manchester ESOL here.
- Conversation over borders provide 2 hours of one on one English lessons a week online. To sign up click here.
Please see the below organisations for debt advice:
- National Debtline – National Debtline give free and independent debt advice over the phone and online.
- Citizens Advice Manchester – It’s also worth noting that debt advice sessions are also held from 10am to 1pm every Friday in the Customer Service Centre at Manchester Town Hall.
- StepChange Debt Charity – They provide the UK’s most comprehensive debt advice service. They help people
with debt problems take back control of their finances and their lives.
- Debt Advice Foundation – At the heart of the charity’s philosophy is the prevention and cure of unmanageable consumer debt.
- Money Helper – free government guidance you can trust.
- Christians Against Poverty UK (CAP UK) – Debt and poverty drain hope from people’s lives. CAP UK want to put an end to UK poverty in partnership with local churches.
Divorce and Legal Matters
For legal support, please contact a solicitor or contact Greater Manchester Law Centre who offer free and independent legal advice and representation for people who could not otherwise afford it.
Family Reunion Cases
We are qualified to lead family reunion cases however we currently don’t have the capacity to assist with these cases.
However, if you would like help with family reunion cases please contact Rainbow Haven at email@example.com
Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit can also assist however they do not always have the capacity to assist on every case.
Other charities offering similar services
We receive a lot of requests for advice and support, however, this means we can often be fully booked for upcoming appointments and don’t have the capacity to offer more appointments.
Organisations within Manchester
Therefore you can find other projects offering similar advice services in Manchester here:
Rainbow Haven – Rainbow Haven is open on Tuesdays on Thursdays 9.30 – 2.30 at 113 Abbey Hey Lane, Gorton M18 8TJ. Please arrive early if you need advice, as they can see limited number of people.
SASCA (Somali Adult Social Care Agency) – The SASCA office is open on Monday-Wednesday 9am-1pm for drop in sessions. They are open on Thursdays 9am-1pm and 2pm-3pm for counselling session only.
Address: Somali Citizen Centre, 153b Princess Road, M14 4RE
Cheetham Hill Advice Centre – They have appointments available Monday to Friday along with sessions to make appointments or drop off documents on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 10am and 1pm. They can provide advice in ten languages and can also arrange interpreters when needed.
Address: 1 Morrowfield Avenue, Cheetham Hill, Manchester M8 9AR
Organisations outside of Manchester
If you would like to find support for refugees in your area please see the Jubilee Plus map of support here.
If you are in Bolton please see Bolton CVS here.
Cost of Living Advice
Cost of Living Advice Line, Manchester City Council
The advice line went live at 9am on 3 October
To support Manchester residents through the cost-of-living crisis, Manchester City Council will be providing an advice line that will offer:
- Support with benefits and help with your rent (this is an existing offer made available through the contact centre)
- Advice about debt and paying bills (this will be done in conjunction with Citizen Advice Manchester)
- Food support (residents will receive a call back to understand their needs and connected into a local food offer)
- Support getting online (residents will be linked in with the Council’s digital inclusion team)
Phone free 0800 023 2692.
Open 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
The person you speak to will have access to language line for residents whose first language is not English Sign Video will also be available online.
Look on manchester.gov.uk/helpinghands for advice on the cost of living crisis or complete the form on the website.
PIP is a very complex application form and we are not able to support with that. For support with that please contact any of the following organisations: