McKenzie Friends

What is a McKenzie Friend?

A McKenzie Friend is a member of the public, without legal training, who assists an appellant when they have no legal representative, at a time that is often bewildering and full of anxiety. A McKenzie Friend is a volunteer, independent of the court system and the Home Office. Our volunteers work as a team to assist asylum seekers who have neither legal representative nor access to legal aid by:

  • providing moral support
  • attending court hearings with the clients
  • helping clients to submit appeals and fresh claims
  • liaising with other agencies as appropriate to ensure clients’ different needs are addressed

At no point are clients asked for any kind of financial contribution.


McKenzie Friends hold appointment sessions every other Friday, from 10.00 am. If you know someone who may benefit from the support of McKenzie Friends, or have any other enquiries, please get in touch. Referrals can be taken either by phone or email:

0330 113 7644 or 07531 576330

Get Involved

Please download and consider this role description for becoming a McKenzie Friend before applying.

Volunteers will attend a two day training session, an observation of a full asylum appeal hearing at Phoenix House and complete a period of shadowing at meetings and drop-ins. We currently have a wonderful team of volunteers from a variety of backgrounds and with a range of experience. Wherever possible it is our policy for volunteers to work in teams of two. Please see our Volunteering page for further information and to download an application form.

More information on McKenzie Friends can be downloaded here.