Napier Barracks Support
In September 2020, the Home Office has signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense and started accommodating asylum seekers in the disused military barracks of Penally in Wales and Napier in Folkestone.
The use of these sites have been extensively covered in the media, and the sites have been inspected by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons and Chief Inspector for Borders and Immigration (see report here).
Penally camp was closed in March 2021, but Napier remains in use despite a recent High Court decision that the use of such sites is unlawful.
The main concerns of using the site are asylum seekers’ mental health and access to health provision in general, their welfare, access to legal and other kinds of advice, etc.
Samphire, together with other local and national organisations, have established weekly drop ins for Napier Barracks residents. The drop in is a safe and friendly place away from the barracks, where people can come in and receive advice, help accessing lawyers, receive aid and participate in activities such as arts, sports and English.
Samphire’s Napier Barracks support work also involves providing support on-site, such as Yoga Classes, and developing an on-site library.