Migrant Help was founded in 1963 by Helen Ellis (MBE) and was originally known as the 'Kent Committee for the Welfare of Migrants' (KCWM). Helen, a leading figure in the provision of welfare support to migrants, established our charity to give support to the high number of distressed migrants arriving at the Channel Ports. At that time there were roughly 77 million migrants in the world, a figure which more than tripled to 244 million in 2016. Over the last 50 years, we have developed projects and services based on our core vision of supporting, respecting and protecting vulnerable migrants in the UK.

In the 1990s, events around the world prompted an increase in the number of people seeking asylum. In 1994 we received a significant grant from the Home Office to deliver support services to newly arrived asylum seekers and refugees. Shortly after, the working name 'Migrant Helpline' was adopted.

In the new millennium, we proactively worked towards expanding our advice and support services. We established our first Induction Centre in 2002. Here, we delivered briefings to asylum seekers about their rights and responsibilities, and the asylum process. Our operation quickly expanded to London and we opened a reception service for asylum seekers in Croydon. We also began to manage the London accommodation centre for newly arrived asylum seekers, known as 'Emergency Initial Accommodation'. Alongside expanding our services, we established a number of projects to help new refugees integrate into life in the UK.

We continue to create new services where and when they are needed. In 2008, the United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre approached us to provide support for victims of labour exploitation. Our Victims of Slavery Support Services team was established and they continue to support victims of modern slavery across the UK. This work is vital as there are more slaves in the world today than any other time in history.

Throughout our existence, we have also provided community engagement services. These included EU migrant advice services in Kent and East of England, foreign national prisoner and immigration detention centre advice sessions and multi-faith pastoral care.

Clear Voice, our trading arm, was established in 2008 to provide high quality, cost-effective and socially aware language services. Their profit comes back to us and goes towards supporting the continuation of our charitable services.

In 2010, we adopted our current name, Migrant Help.

Following a successful tender, we started delivering government funded advice and support to asylum seekers across the UK in 2014. This service is delivered through our offices across the UK and our free national telephone helpline (0808 8000 630). Every year we assist tens of thousands of asylum seekers.

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