Research details

A safe place to be? The quality of life of asylum-seekers in Sheffield and Wakefield

Author[s] Craig, Gary; Dawson, Andy; Kilkey, Majella and Martin, Gill

Date 2005



To explore the feelings, hopes and experiences of asylum seekers' arrival, induction, access to services, contact with local residents and hope for the future.


The research, commissioned by Wakefield and Sheffield City Councils, included mapping asylum seeker populations, local agencies and refugee community organisations; interviews with 57 asylum seekers and seven discussion groups and interviews with local authority policy officers.

Key issues

The report provides an overview of the regional and local contexts of dispersal in Wakefield and Sheffield. Findings from asylum seeker interviews are presented on arrival and induction experiences - powerlessness, choice and control, services on arrival, and social relationships; and about accessing services including housing, destitution, health, legal advice; and on restrictions to work, good and bad experiences and press coverage. Feelings about safety and security; involving asylum seekers in policy and service development, and hopes for the future are also addressed.


Tendencies to treat asylum seekers as a homogeneous group can be dehumanising and disempowering.


Recommendations are aimed at central and regional government, local authorities, housing providers and the voluntary and community sector and relate to dispersal policy and practice, rights to welfare and to work, quality control, improving induction and involving asylum seekers in consultation.

Further details

Resource type
Published by
The University of Hull, Hull

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