Inevitably, from time to time, an article appears criticising Migrant Help and its work. The pieces are often littered with wilful mischaracterisations and mistruths about how our charity is run and the work we do to assist thousands of vulnerable people each year who are facing very difficult circumstances.

Migrant Help is not a corporate entity as is sometimes suggested. We are a charity with a record of nearly 60 years of giving support to vulnerable migrants. We are fully regulated by the Charity Commission, with transparent and published annual accounts which are available for all to view.

More than 80% of our staff provide frontline support – speaking every day to some of our 60,000 clients in more than 100 languages.

Any donations that we receive are used to provide a more holistic support to our clients, via projects unconnected to the Home Office contract. We actively identify gaps in provision, and look for ways to address these, whether that is through partnership working or by funding additional services such as community hubs and youth support workers.

We do not ourselves run or manage any asylum accommodation, but we assist people seeking asylum in reporting any issues with their accommodation.

Articles often point to times when our helpline has seen unprecedented demand, such as when the third-party payment card provider changed last year, a situation completely beyond our control but with huge negative effect on people seeking asylum. These occurrences serve to highlight how vital support services for people seeking asylum are, and show the importance of continued funding from government. We believe that it is also important that this service is being provided by a not-for-profit organisation, such as Migrant Help.

It also sometimes suggested that Migrant Help is an enabler and supporter of all government policies on migration. This is simply not true. Over the past 60 years of our existence, we have helped hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people navigate the complex immigration processes, find safety and establish new lives in the UK. This is our mission and what we exist to do. During 2021, our asylum services supported nearly 58,000 clients and we submitted over 28,385 applications for asylum support.

Any organisation can expect to receive criticism from time to time, particularly one that operates in such a complex environment. We are continuously working to improve our services to be the best we can be for our clients. But we will set the record straight when presented with an egregious misrepresentation of facts and the undermining of our hard-working and dedicated staff, many of whom are motivated by their own personal connection to these issues.