CLEAR exists to help those seeking refuge in Southampton to build new lives in the UK by providing a uniquely powerful blend of free advice and practical support to asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants, and a wide range of courses in English language and life in the UK.

With a part-time staff of 12 and a volunteer base of 78 people, CLEAR has continued to play a role in the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) in Southampton, bringing families displaced by the civil war in Syria from refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

CLEAR also runs weekly drop-in sessions in partnership with other agencies where asylum seekers and refugees can meet up, get advice, practise their English and learn new skills in a safe, friendly environment.

CLEAR helps refugees into employment by encouraging fluency in English and through directed coaching in internet skills, college enrolment, and in job applications and interviews for paid and voluntary positions.

Key achievements during 2018 were:

  • Our Advice service completed 3400 pieces of work for a total of 867 different clients.
  • For the academic year to September, 300 learners followed 42 CLEAR courses and passed a total of 137 exams. Many of these courses provided a crèche, allowing women with young children to access education. Many were short introductory courses designed for hard-to-reach groups.
  • 126 learners made progress with ICT and other fundamental skills.
  • Our Employment service and the Employer Engagement Project assisted 193 people, 45 of whom gained job interviews, and at least25 found employment.
  • CLEAR won a third round of National Lottery funding – £494,000 over 3 years – to support our work.
  • The charity EU Welcome was absorbed into CLEAR in January, expanding our client group to include European Union citizens living in Southampton.