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The British Red Cross offers advice service for asylum seekers
The British Red Cross has opened a new monthly surgery for asylum seekers and refugees in Watford.
Trained volunteer caseworkers will be offering support and advice by appointment on one Friday each month at the Mind Well-Being centre on St Albans Road. Appointments can be made by calling 01582 589081.
The project will be run in partnership with Herts Aid, the HIV and sexual health charity, which will make referrals to the surgery.
The Red Cross will offer advice on asylum claims and adjusting to life in the UK, as well as packages of food and essentials for those who find themselves facing destitution.
Tayyaba Khan, Red Cross Refugee Service Manager for Beds, Herts and Essex, said: "The people who come to our centres have been through very difficult experiences and often have to deal with renewed trauma and extreme poverty when they arrive in the UK, so there is a lot we can do to keep them going and put them in contact with the right organisations.
"It’s great when we see someone come through the asylum process and join the local community - some even become volunteers or staff with the British Red Cross.
"In this area we have seen a lot of people who have fled from Zimbabwe, but there are also Iranians and refugees from across Africa. Our volunteers hear all sorts of painful stories, but they can make a big difference in the lives of our beneficiaries."