Early Action

The Case for Early Action

People seeking asylum in the UK have told us that they need help to avoid crisis situations by understanding:

  • the complex asylum system and how to engage with it effectively
  • how to escape crisis after key statutory decisions on their claim

However, at present, too many people remain unaware and ill-prepared to deal with or avoid these crises.

Frontline organisations across the country are doing incredible work to help people in crisis by addressing their immediate needs (food, shelter, clothing, and advice); however, few are currently able to deliver preventative services.

We have drawn on the Early Action Taskforce’s The Triple Dividend and The Deciding Time reports, to shape our understanding of early action. From intervening earlier – preventing crisis and enabling ‘readiness’ to deal with challenges and grasp opportunities – to intervening promptly and effectively at critical points to avert or de-escalate crises that people face throughout the asylum system.

We are aiming to increase investment in early action interventions, which aim to tackle the causes of crisis rather than simply treating its symptoms. We have been putting this thinking into practice by pioneering early action work through our Asylum Guides and Asylum Info Group projects.  We are now working with partner organisations to champion early action approaches within the asylum sector and share best practice and learning.

The Early Action Charter for People Seeking Asylum Programme

In July, with over £850,000 of National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund, the UK’s largest funder of community activity, along with our own investment, we launched an England-wide programme to help prevent people in the asylum system living in crisis.

Over the next three years we are working in partnership with asylum and refugee support organisations to test preventative approaches and transform current ways of working, the programme aims to help more than 3,000 people to better understand the system and avoid crisis.

The eight Early Action Charter Partnership organisations

Together we are developing an Early Action Charter to demonstrate our shared mission of increasing access to justice and ending poverty and homelessness for refugees and people seeking asylum; and defining best practice ways of achieving this.

We are working with researchers from the Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) at the University of Birmingham to evaluate the impact of our work.

The emerging learning and evaluation of the Early Action Charter Programme will be documented here.