Who we are

Information last updated on December 14, 2018

Founded in 1993 and originally known as London Detainee Support Group, Detention Action exists to support people held in immigration detention and to campaign for fundamental reform.

We provide practical and emotional support for people who are detained at Colnbrook, Harmondsworth and Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centres, and for people detained under immigration powers in London prisons. We are completely independent from the government and from the detention centres.

We campaign for radical reform of the detention system, including the introduction of a 28-day time limit and the expansion of community-based alternatives.

We work with the Freed Voices group of experts-by-experience to ensure that the voices of those affected are included in any debate about detention.

“The UK has become addicted to enforcement. In 1994, it was exceptional to put someone in detention. In 2017, it is exceptional as a migrant in this country to not experience detention, in one way or another, directly or indirectly.”
Kasonga, Freed Voices

You can support Detention Action by joining one of our campaigns, becoming a  volunteer, or making a donation.

For any other information, please get in touch.

Bella Sankey


Bella joined Detention Action in 2018, having previously worked at Liberty and Reprieve. She oversees our work in providing support for people in detention and in campaigning for fundamental reform.

Sally, Sophia and Sophie

Advocacy Coordinators

Detention Action’s Advocacy Coordinators oversee our casework support for people being held indefinitely in detention. They help provide emotional and practical support for people in detention and coordinate our network of volunteers.



Izzie ensures the efficient functioning of the Detention Action office and works with the casework team in providing support for people held in detention.


Communications Coordinator

Simon works on our public-facing communications and helps coordinate the Freed Voices group of experts-by-experience.


Community Support Coordinator

Tony runs our Community Support Project, which supports people who have experienced, or are at risk of, long-term detention to live in the community.

Detention Action is registered charity (no. 1065066) and is funded by a range of individuals and organisations including: A B Charitable Trust, Allen Lane Foundation, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Bromley Trust, Eleanor Rathbone Charitable Trust, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, European Programme for Integration and Migration, Henry Smith Charity, Jill Franklin Trust, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Lloyds Foundation, the Oak Foundation, Odin Charitable Trust, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Trust for London, and the Tudor Trust.

Are you in detention? / 0800 587 2096 / How we can help