The No Recourse, North East partnership was set up at the end of 2014 with the aim of sharing case studies and learning with partner agencies, focusing on cases where agencies have tried to support clients with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF). Many people from outside of the UK have ‘no recourse to public funds’; this could be a visa stipulation or an EEA National whom has lost their right of residence. This prevents these individuals from accessing most housing, homeless and welfare benefit assistance. Often these cases show the very difficult circumstances people find themselves in, usually with a significant impact on young and/or vulnerable people.
The partnership’s aim is to ensure that individuals affected by no recourse to public funds, and threatened with homelessness, domestic abuse and/or destitution, receive appropriate and good quality advice and support throughout the North East of Scotland.*
*If you are affected by any of the above issues please see the bottom of this page for details on how advice and support can be accessed.
Who are we?
The partnership is made up mainly of third sector organisations as well as representatives from the public sector, e.g. the Housing Access Service and Financial Inclusion Team.
We meet quarterly to discuss ongoing and emerging issues relating to NRPF, share case studies and good practice, increase knowledge, offer support for challenging and complex cases. The group is facilitated by four members (from Shelter, GREC and Aberdeen Cyrenians) who take forward action points on behalf of the partnership.
Under areas identified by the partnership our facilitators have met with both local and national organisations to raise concerns and highlight good practice, learn from established services experienced working with destitute migrants and feed into strategic development at both local and government level.
This has led to the partnership meeting with the likes of JustRight Scotland, Scottish Refugee Council, COSLA Strategic Migration Partnership, local MPs and MSPs.
Local development work
The partnership operates a group mailing list with which individuals and organisations can sign up to. (see Get Involved section below) This keeps members up to date with up and coming meetings, training opportunities and latest case law and policy developments in the area of NRPF and EEA Nationals.
An additional focus of the partnership has been to develop informal training and resources on the topic of No Recourse to Public Funds and EEA Migrants. Two of our facilitators Iona and Vikki deliver the informal training to organisations throughout the City and Shire giving an introduction to challenges faced by those whom are subject to NRPF and to basic responses to assist with such cases. If any agencies are interested in accessing this training Iona and Vikki can be contacted via the details in the “Get Involved” section.
The partnership has produced a leaflet explaining the meaning of NRPF and what support is available to people in emergency situations including a glossary of what support is provided by agencies in the North East. Click here to access the resource.
Similar problems to accessing public funds can extend to EEA nationals who have lost their right to reside. Having no right to reside effects an individual’s entitlement to housing, homelessness assistance and welfare benefits. The partnership has further published a leaflet explaining the relevant definitions and restrictions that apply to this group of individuals, and the support available to them in emergency situations. Click here to access this resource.
Get involved in the Partnership
The partnership meet quarterly. Should any organisations or individuals working with groups affected by no recourse issues wish to join us please contact Vikki_duncan@shelter.org.uk or Iona_rennie@shelter.co.uk to be added to the mailing list and receive details of our next meeting.
Are you affected by these issues?
If you are an EU national who has recently been told you have “No Right to Reside” and that you are unable to receive benefits or any help from the council.
If you are from outside the EU you may have had a change of circumstances which has left you in need of financial or other support. However, your visa may state that you have “No Recourse to Public Funds” and therefore you may have been told that no one can help you.
Rules and laws around these issues are very complicated and there are many exceptions. The No Recourse, North East partnership promotes ways in which people in great need can be supported. Click here for leaflets which include support services that may be able to advise you on your situation.
A weekly drop in advice clinic is run on Thursday mornings at the Citadel for any Non-UK National requiring assistance with housing, homelessness, benefits, money and debt, or employability issues. You do not have to be expressly NRPF to attend. Translation is available via Language Line for those who require it.