In our 11th Information and Data Hub survey, we looked at three key themes; reopening of face to face services, the EU Settlement Scheme and access to services for EU Citizens and support for people affected by the Windrush scandal. This bulletin presents data collected from 42 organisations working with people in the immigration system across the UK.
Client Needs and Barriers
The top three areas of client need:
- Housing (57%) remains the highest areas of need, as across surveys 8, 9 and 10
- Social needs, including isolation and loneliness (45%)
- Legal support needs (43%)
The top barriers to support for clients:
- Language/communication difficulties exacerbated by remote service delivery (83%)
- Inability to access digital/remote service (83%)
- Reduction or closure of relied-upon services and inability to access emotional support or meaningful activities in their community (74%)
Organisational Needs and Funding
The main organisational challenges reported:
- Insufficient, inflexible or insecure funding (52%) was the most common organisational challenge, rising by 14% since Survey 10 in April 2021.
- Lack of staff/volunteers to meet increased client need (40%)
- Lack of physical space to adapt services/relocation issues at (36%)
Reopening face-to-face services :
- 29% of organisations are currently operating face-to-face services and continued to do so throughout the most recent lockdown.
- 38% of organisations are beginning to reopen their face-to-face services
- 24% are not currently reopening face-to-face services but preparing to do so.
- 63% of respondents told us that uptake of in-person services is the same as (26%) or greater than (37%) it was before the start of the pandemic.
- Organisations told us about which adaptations from the pandemic they intend to implement in the long term, including casework and advice, volunteer meetings and digital data storage.
“We did re-open for a couple of months last Autumn before lockdown came again. It’s confusing for staff and clients. With the remote service (phone/ zoom etc) we have changed clients expectations and reached new groups so we need to maintain this service, however, we have less capacity now as the emergency Covid-19 funds have ended.”
EU Citizens: EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and Access to Services
This section presents data from 24 organisations working with EU citizens and explores the key issues arising in light of the 30th June 2021 deadline for EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) applications.
- 54% of respondents are confident that most of their clients who are EU citizens will have applied before the EUSS application deadline
- 21% or respondents are concerned that over half of their clients will not have applied before the deadline.
- Most of these 24 organisations told us that alongside immigration advice, their EUSS clients also need welfare and benefits advice, employment advice and housing advice.
- 5 organisations told us they have clients who are EU citizens who have been asked to prove their immigration status when trying to access healthcare.
- The full Bulletin presents barriers faced by clients applying to the scheme and challenges faced by organisations offering EUSS advice.
“Publicity of the [EUSS] scheme has been catastrophically poor. Our local authority has no understanding of what will be the consequences for them and their residents if people don't apply. There is insufficient info about who is/isn't applying.”
People affected by the Windrush Scandal
- 41% of respondents were not aware that the Windrush Scheme is not just for people who came from the Caribbean before reading the Government eligibility criteria.
- 26% of respondents (11) are supporting people eligible for the Windrush Scheme, whilst 64% (27) are not working with this client group.
- The three main issues that people need support with are immigration legal advice,, support to apply for the Windrush Compensation Scheme and delays with the application process or compensation pay outs.
“Clients were not aware of the Windrush scheme. Most of those we have supported are pleased to receive the financial help they weren't expecting.”