Consonant helps you achieve your ambitions. Whether you want to improve your English, get a job, secure your immigration status, or get more involved in your community, we're here for you. Our offices are CLOSED- please see our latest press release below.

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Consonant Update: Consonant Closing; Asylum Aid Reborn

Consonant (the merged organisation of Migrants Resource Centre and Asylum Aid) launched a Crowdfunder emergency funding appeal in April as we had found ourselves in significant financial difficulties which were exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis.

The reaction was amazing, not just the money raised, but also the comments and wishes posted on our Crowdfunder appeal site which clearly demonstrated from the heart how the work that Consonant does has touched so many people’s lives for the better.

The bad news is that, while throughout this period the staff and the Board have continued to strive to maintain the support and services to the beneficiaries of our charity, we are unfortunately now at the stage where, despite the generosity of our supporters, we have determined that the organisation does not have the resources to continue to deliver all the important advice, support and services we provide. Consonant will therefore shortly be closing.

But the good news is that the Board have been determined that, while Consonant itself may come to an end, its most important work will not. The Board have therefore been working tirelessly to, where they can, find a home for our teams and services within other organisations in order to continue that vitally important work. Where that was not been possible we have been seeking to protect our most vulnerable clients in other ways and working with other service providers to seek to ensure that we can signpost or refer clients directly to them.

The really good news is that we have secured the future of the Asylum Aid entity and brand, because we are pleased to be able to inform you that the Board have reached agreement for the transfer of Asylum Aid to the control of the Helen Bamber Foundation (HBF). This will allow the continuation of:

  • Asylum Aid’s legal aid advice and representation on behalf of asylum seekers and refugees
  • as well as our groundbreaking work in taking on legal cases to secure the status of those in our country who are currently stateless, and
  • also an important part of the welfare and advice services which we currently provide to migrants.

Control of Asylum Aid will be transferred to HBF which intends to keep Asylum Aid as a separate operating organisation but under HBF’s umbrella. Any Consonant staff who currently primarily support the services to be transferred and who wish to transfer to will be able to do so and thus the Consonant legal team will therefore form the main body of a substantially expanded legal team and capability at HBF.

As a result of this we have also been able to go out to all those who so kindly donated to our Crowdfunder emergency funding appeal to also ask them if they are happy to have their donations applied to securing the future of Asylum Aid.

While it is immensely sad that Consonant is to close, and not all of our services can continue and not all of our staff kept on, we are immensely proud that Asylum Aid will live on, and are confident that in the Helen Bamber Foundation it has found a worthy home.

The Board of Consonant

 

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