RCO e-news - Refugee Council
July 16, 2010

RCO e-news

RCO e-news is a weekly round up of news and resources relevant for refugee community organisations

Special Announcement

RCO Commissioning Opportunity


Refugee Council is taking forward the Basis Project’s national commissioning programme and would like to invite all RCOs to apply to deliver ‘resource papers’ and ‘RCO experience papers’ around the theme of ‘Sustainability and Survival’. Further information and application packs available online from 20 July at www.thebasisproject.org.uk or contact Helen on 020 73461084, helen.todd@refugeecouncil.org.uk

Deadlines for applications: 9 August 2010; deadline for pieces of work delivered: 27 September 2010


Have your say about government spending cuts


As part of the Government’s radical spending cuts plan, the government is consulting the public on what should be cut from the national budget. You can suggest areas in which money could be saved, or comment on others’ suggestions. Public opinion about spending on immigration can often be very negative, to voice your views visit http://spendingchallenge.hm-treasury.gov.uk/


Basis Project case studies of refugee community organisations


The Basis Project is continuing to showcase the excellent work being done by RCOs across England. You can see a range of films and case studies on the Basis website which bring to life the invaluable role of RCOs. Recently added case studies include Congolese RCOs in both Leicester and Liverpool, and an Iranian RCO in Bristol. To see the films visit www.thebasisproject.org.uk/casestudies

JCORE Refugee Oral History Project

The Jewish Council for Racial Equality is looking for people who have come to Britain as refugees to take part in a unique oral history project by British school students. 80 school children aged 14 to 16 will be involved in the project as part of their history, religious education or citizenship studies. The project starts in September 2010 and they would need your commitment for a few hours over a period of four months. All travel expenses will be paid. To find out more contact Talya on 020 8455 0896 or email talya@icore.org.uk

Citizens advice bureaux – tell us about your experience

Do you work with a local Citizens Advice Bureau? If yes, the Refugee Council would like to learn from your experience. Contact hana.graham@refugeecouncil.org.uk or ring 020 7346 6710 and tell us: the name of the Bureau, how you work together and how long you have been working together.


The Edible Estates Competition Is Now Open To Entries (London)

This competition aims to encourage residents of housing estates to start or enhance a community growing space. Space used for the project must be located in a London borough, be used for growing food and be at least 5 square metres. For more information visit www.capitalgrowth.org/edibleestates/

Deadline for entering the competition: 3 September 2010

2011 GlaxoSmithKline IMPACT Awards (UK)

These awards are an annual recognition of small to medium sized charities that work to improve people’s health. They are open to applications from registered charities that have existed for a minimum of three years. Prizes range from £3,000 to £35,000 (for the overall winner). For more information visit www.kingsfund.org.uk/current_projects/gsk_impact_awards/#inbrief


Deadline for applications: 24 September 2010


Cracking The Code (England)


This bursary scheme is available for infrastructure organisations based in England to support them to improve their governance, based on all or any of the principles of the Good Governance: a Code for the Voluntary and Community Sector. £500 per organisation is available. For more information visit www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/crackingthecode

Deadline for applications: 30 September 2010

Nationwide Foundation Small Grants Programme (UK)

These grants are available to registered UK charities which offer financial and / or housing related support to survivors of domestic abuse and older people. The maximum grant available is £5,000 and to be eligible charities must have an annual turnover of below £500,000. For more information visit www.nationwidefoundation.org.uk/grants.asp#

Applications can be submitted at any time.

Training and resources

Refugee Council FREE training for London RCOs

The Refugee Council’s Development team has announced its series of training and seminars for August – November 2010. Training sessions available will cover topics related to fundraising and applications; local area agreements; partnership working; community sports programmes. For more information and to download our leaflet visit www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/howwehelp/support/training

Coping with funding cuts

Due to the recession and government plans to reduce spending by billions of pounds, the voluntary sector is vulnerable to significant spending cuts. NCVO have put together useful information and resources to help voluntary and community organisations cope with these cuts. For more information visit www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/advice-support/coping-with-cuts

West Midlands: Hitting Walls or Building Bridges?
Ongoing dates, Birmingham

This is a new series of training programmes run by the Birmingham Disability Resource Centre, part of a 12 month project to increase disabled people’s awareness of the legislation that exists around equality and human rights. The training programmes are aimed at disabled individuals and organisations run by disabled people around the West Midlands. For more information contact Bob Williams-Findlay on bfindlay@disability.co.uk or 0121 789 7365.

Maternity Action: Your Rights

If you or someone you support is pregnant or thinking about pregnancy, you can find a range of information for ‘Parents from abroad’ from Maternity Action, who have published information sheets entitled Parents who are migrants, Parents who have claimed asylum and Entitlement to free NHS maternity care for women from abroad. For more information visit www.maternityaction.org.uk/yourrights.html

Housing options for refugees in London

The Refugee Council has produced a new booklet for refugees who have been given permission to stay in the UK and who need advice on homelessness, housing options and welfare benefits. It provides detailed information about hostels, day centres and law centres available throughout London. Download the booklet for free at http://languages.refugeecouncil.org.uk/pdf/English/Housing%20options%20for%20refugees%20in%20London.pdf

Useful website: Rightsnet

Rightsnet is a Lasa (London Advice Services Alliance) service and a great resource for advice workers working in welfare across the country. It provides welfare rights news, discussion forums, toolkits and job information. You can also find out about available training and subscribe to receive summaries of benefits and case law developments. For more information visit www.rightsnet.org.uk/


MPA Equality & Diversity Sub-committee
22 July 2010, 2pm, SW1

During this meeting, the sub-committee will receive a report on the Metropolitan Police Service’s (MPS) service delivery to asylum seekers and refugees. The report will examine how the MPS identifies the particular needs of asylum seekers and refugees; and how it engages with asylum seeker and refugee community groups in order to identify their needs. For more information visit www.mpa.gov.uk/publications/metforward/

Evelyn Oldfield Unit’s Special Celebration
23 July 2010, 6pm – 9pm, Holloway Road

This evening has been planned to celebrate Tzeggai Yohannes Deres, former EOU CEO, and a highly respected figure in the refugee sector and beyond. Tzeggai will attend in order to reflect on his work with the Unit. In addition, EOU’s annual State of the Sector report will be launched. For more information email administrator@evelynoldfield.co.uk

Diversity and Wellbeing
6 August 2010, 12pm – 4pm, Holloway Road

Islington BME Forum is holding a summer festival in the newly renovated green space of St Mary Magdalene Church Gardens. This fun filled day will promote wellbeing that is reflective of diversity, to support all communities to live healthy happy lives. There will be arts and crafts activities, and workshops such as drum therapy, Cuban salsa and Tai Chi! For more information contact Aisha.forbes@vai.org.uk or phone 020 7832 5818


Getting to grips with the coalition Government
Various dates and locations across the country


Urban Forum invites representatives from voluntary and community sector organisations to FREE half-day sessions to help understand the implications of the new Government’s policies and approach. The sessions will cover: government priorities, the ‘Big Society’ and what the Emergency Budget means. For more information, dates and places visit www.urbanforum.org.uk/our-events/getting-to-grips-with-the-coalition-government


Service Coordinator
£25,520-£27,007 p.a. (depending on experience), maternity cover

You will be responsible for the smooth running of the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Initiative, including supervising the FGM advocates, liaising with schools, community organisations, partners and health services, and coordinating delivery of activities. You will also have overall responsibility for the smooth running of our interpreting, health advocacy service and health education activities. For an application pack visit www.manorgardenscentre.org

Basis Project Administrator
£21,753 pro-rata, 21 hours per week

The Basis Project was created with the support of the Big Lottery Fund, and is delivered in partnership with Refugee Action, aiming to enhance RCOs’ financial sustainability, organisational efficiency and their ability to deliver services to clients. You’ll need experience of providing effective administrative support in an office environment and have worked to tight deadlines. For more information visit http://apply.refugeecouncil.org.uk/fe/tpl_refcouncil02.asp?s=ngpRoUZwJhYKpMmYhe&jobid=51864,8212542369&key=25842299&c=715298233545&pagestamp=sepfolqqvxptwyyhjq

Closing date for applications: 23 July 2010

Congolese Refugee Women Association Trustees

Congolese Refugee Women Association is a small but growing community organisation looking for up to five enthusiastic individuals to join their board. They are particularly keen to recruit members of the local community who have experience, skills or knowledge in various fields. Board meetings are held every two months. For more information contact Marianne Fimbo on 0208 534 4222 or 07961345437, or email mariane@crwa.gov.uk

Show refugees you believe in them this winter

This winter thousands of refugee men, women and children are rebuilding their lives in the UK, will you show you believe in them?