Migrant Help is proud to provide essential services, which operated continuously throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.

Thanks to the hard work, resilience and dedication of our colleagues, we are pleased to provide a free 24-hour, 7 day a week telephone helpline supporting asylum seekers in the UK, delivered in partnership with Connect Assist. This service had an average wait time of 13 seconds between 1 March and 31 May, throughout the lockdown. As Figure 1 shows, in spite of call volumes remaining high throughout this period, call wait times have been kept under a minute on most days.

Calls requiring transfer to our specialist advisers have seen continually improving wait times over the period of lockdown. This service has had an average wait time of just under 16 minutes between January and May, but an improved 11-minute average wait time between 1 March and 31 May, throughout lockdown, despite an increase in call volumes. In May, we saw our lowest daily average wait time at just under 6 minutes and our highest ever single day call volume.

Staff at Migrant Help, Connect Assist and Clear Voice Interpreting Services mobilised quickly as it became clear that a lockdown was likely, to put arrangements in place to protect the health of our clients and our staff while maintaining availability of our services.

We also put in place changes to how we deliver our regional services to asylum seekers, victims of modern slavery, EU citizens and refugees, so these services could continue throughout the lockdown.

We are grateful to colleagues at Migrant Help and all of our partners for their compassion and commitment to our work to provide vulnerable migrants with the advice and support they need to feel safe and to lead successful lives in the UK.

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Read more about our asylum services

See our list of Covid-19 related resources for vulnerable migrants.