Learning from Lived Experience Campaign

Download our 2021 report: Improving outcomes for destitute migrant families in Lambeth: Learning from lived experience – Briefing and recommendations on access to support and specialised immigration advice for families with ‘No recourse to public funds’ (NRPF)

In August 2020 SLRA started regular sessions with a group of migrant women with lived experience of destitution as a result of a ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF) condition on their leave to remain or because their immigration status is irregular. This means they are unable to access mainstream support, such as housing and child benefit or free school meals and many of their struggles have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Too often the hardship experienced by these families is compounded by additional barriers in trying to access advice and support, such as domestic violence, poor mental and physical health and other intersecting forms of discrimination.

“I felt like they didn’t believe my experience of domestic abuse. I wanted to ask the social worker – is it my partner or me who you are assessing and supporting?”

Helen

SLRA Community Leader

This report looks particularly at access to emergency support for destitute migrant families by the local authorities and access to information and immigration advice in the borough of Lambeth. The group of women come together to improve access to justice, not only for themselves but for others facing similar forms of discrimination. Their voices are at the heart of this report.

Our report was launched on 17/06/2021 in an online launch event with contributions from our community leaders, our Streatham MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy and Lambeth Councillor Sonia Winifred (Lambeth Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture).

“This report showcases the damaging and discriminatory impact that No Recourse to Public Funds is having on people in our area. It is absolutely vital that the lived experiences of those who struggle with the condition are taken into account if we’re going to put justice and compassion at the heart of our local policy response. I’m proud to support SLRA in their ongoing efforts to make Lambeth a more welcoming borough for everyone.”

Bell Ribeiro-Addy

Streatham MP

Our report and ongoing organising work in Lambeth have been in collaboration and with the invaluable support of: Lambeth Citizens, Project 17, and Southwark Law Centre. We are excited that Lambeth Council has committed taking some of our recommendations on board and will work alongside SLRA and our community leaders with lived experience of the UK’s discriminatory immigration policies to make Lambeth a truly welcoming borough for everyone. If you want to find out more about our the work that is already happening in response to our report, download our postscript with updates, feedback and reactions to our Learning from Lived Experience report.

If you are interested in our local campaigning work, please get in touch with us!