About us

What we do

Rainbow Home provides specialist support for people who are seeking asylum who are LGBT+ and live in the North East of England. Our aim is to walk the asylum journey with our members from the moment they are accepted into the service until after their asylum case has reached a final decision, and beyond.

How we work

Our specialist support workers carry out welfare casework based on the needs of the individual. Our members come from a range of countries and have been through different and often traumatic circumstances. Our confidential one-to-one sessions allow us to support them with their claim as well as providing emotional and practical support.

Meeting with our members allows us to write reports for their asylum case relating to their LGBT claims as well as giving our professional opinion in Asylum and Immigration court. 

We also offer regular group activities where members can meet others in a safe space as well as signposting individuals to other specialist agencies where needed. 

Once they have a final result from their claim we ensure we support them with the next step of their journey.


Our mission

Our members are faced with the double discrimination of being asylum seekers/refugees and being LGBT+. These individuals come from places where there is stigma and discrimination if not legal consequences for being LGBT+. Part of our work is to break down this stigma, to support them in dealing with discrimination and assisting them in living proudly as LGBT+. Through community and group activities we bring potentially very isolated people together and help them build and enjoy wider social and community links.

We create a safe space run by those who really understand their challenges. Our service is centred around our members’ needs and voices and goes beyond just helping them to present their case to the Home Office. 

We want our members to feel safe, welcomed and respected, and to give them a voice to tell their own story.

Our impact

Making a difference

We currently support over 50 individuals in the North East of England but statistics show that there are many more LGBT+ people seeking asylum in this area.

We love seeing the many success stories of our members and seeing them leave us behind to start their lives gives us a huge sense of hope and pride. A successful claim however is not our only goal. Our work is complex and has an impact on many areas of our members’ lives including mental and physical wellbeing, integration with their communities, personal safety as well as day to day needs and challenges such as food and housing.

We measure our impact by asking for regular feedback from our members as well as staying in touch with those who have moved on, monitoring signs of positive growth and progress once people are granted refugee status. We look for evidence of members gaining in confidence, becoming active members of society, engaging with wider communities and developing their own potential.

We would be happy to give more detailed information on our current work and impact, please get in touch and let us know what you would like to know.

The Rainbow team

Rainbow home is run by a voluntary management group and board of trustees. As a team we bring professional skills/experience in fields such as immigration law, social work, mental health and trauma work, finance and project management, as well as in working with refugee and asylum-seeking communities. The majority of the board have lived experience of either being LGBT+ and/or going through the asylum system themselves. 

We are open to discussing board positions with those who share our experience and passions; please get in touch with us for more information.

We’re passionate about making things better for some of the most vulnerable people in our community, we hope you support our cause too.

Member Stories

Petrolina's story

I came to the UK in 2010 as a university student. In 2018, I moved to the North East. I had a very hard time at home in Nigeria. My step-brother abused me when he discovered I am a lesbian. My adoptive parents said to me not to ever come back.

My solicitor told me about Rainbow Home and I looked for it online, and then I contacted them.

Rainbow Home makes everyone feel safe. They understand what it means to be LGBTQ+. They listen and support you in so many ways – emotionally and practically. They bring everyone together and you are free to interact and have fun.

Now, I am finally happy and I can say I have a future.

I am overjoyed to belong to Rainbow Home. They supported me so much throughout my asylum case until I got my refugee status.