NNRF: Experiments
Problem
Our clients do not understand the asylum system, the role of solicitors, how decisions are made and how to challenge them, the consequences of key statutory decisions and how to prepare and seek help in time. They are unprepared and ill-equipped to navigate their often-complex asylum journey.

We also see the long-term effects of the disempowering asylum process; even if refugee status is granted, people do not necessarily thrive and can become reliant on services and struggle to advocate for themselves through other statutory systems like job centre and housing processes.
Experiment 1
Research undertaken in partnership with Nottingham University and gathering the experiences of frontline workers, has helped us identify what would help people better understand and navigate the asylum system and key decision moments. We are delivering Asylum Guides through group briefing sessions tailored to our clients' needs and organisational context.

These sessions provide people with accurate legal education, the right information at the right time, in a way that they can understand. The scheme is delivered by trained volunteers, many of whom are refugees themselves; creating a skilled and empowering opportunity that we hope will also lead to better employment outcomes.
Impact
To be seen
Experiment 2
We are setting up a New Client Clinic to meet the needs of people who have been recently dispersed to Nottingham. This targeted service will enable us to assess the needs of new clients and put support plans in place, ensuring that key issues are dealt with in a timely manner and that everyone has the opportunity to access to legal advice, register with healthcare providers, apply for schools and education and wellbeing support. There will be a circular referral route between the New Client Clinic and the Asylum Guides sessions so all new clients have the opportunity to receive this support and issues identified through the Guiding process can be picked up and resolved at the Clinic.
Impact
To be seen
Experiment 3
As well as preventative work focusing on new arrivals, we want to strengthen our de-escalation practice. We have a new complex case conference system, when a case has the potential to reach crisis point, we bring together the relevant teams and key workers, to identify compounding issues, coordinate support, hold regular reviews and secure sustainable solutions.
Impact
To be seen
Experiment 4
Once the Asylum Guides model has been established within our services, we want to embed the approach across the whole organisation. We want to deliver more work in this way, for example tackling debt and homelessness experienced by our refugee clients, by providing information and training to prevent problems arising and reducing the demand on our crisis services.
Impact
To be seen
Being part of the Asylum Early Action partnership has given us time to step back and think about a more proactive way of working. It has given us the opportunity to meet with other partners and compare approaches.
Jill Jefferies, NNRF