Association of Visitors to Immigration Detainees

Supporting visitor access to immigration detention

We are raising funds to ensure volunteers can have access to support people in immigration detention in the UK. Detention in the UK is indefinite, isolating and harms people's mental health. We advocate for access for volunteers in detention to visit people who are facing detention alone.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from 12:00 PM, 30 November 2021 to 12:00 PM, 7 December 2021

Registered Charity in England and Wales (1156709)

Check mark Match funded

Campaign target


Amount raised




Championed by Human Rights Fund


  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment
  • Human Rights/AdvocacyHuman Rights/Advocacy
  • Mental HealthMental Health


  • Minority GroupsMinority Groups
  • Refugees/Asylum SeekersRefugees/Asylum Seekers
  • OtherOther


United Kingdom


Detention in the UK is indefinite, so people are cut off from friends and family and do not know when they will be let out, causing extreme mental distress. We advocate for volunteer access to places of detention, so that voluntary groups in our network can visit people, support them emotionally and signpost them to other forms of practical support, like legal advice. As well as being advocates for individuals, visitors act as informal monitors of conditions in detention on behalf of the public.


Volunteer visitors provide emotional and practical support and are often the only non-official someone in detention can speak to about their case or how they feel. We advocate to ensure visitors groups have independent access to places of detention across the UK and regularly bring local groups together to monitor conditions and treatment of people in detention nationally. We also raise awareness of conditions of immigration detention nationally, speaking out against injustices we witness.

  • "I knew I was in the place which is really, really terrible, it became terrible afterwards, but I knew I had a friend."

    — Ruth, who was previously detained at Yarl's Wood IRC

  • "When you go for the first time, it is a bit of a shock to see the fence, the razor wire, all those locked doors that open in a rather sinister way. The whole paraphernalia of detention is a bit of a shock, and I think most people have no idea that this goes on in their name."

    — Sylvia, volunteer visitor to immigration detention