RCO e-news - Refugee Council
July 30, 2010

RCO e-news

Special announcement

Refugee Council to support refugees to attend political party conferences

The Refugee Council has secured funding to support two delegates who are active in a refugee community organisation to attend each political party conference. There are 6 places available in total and refugee delegates will receive all expenses along with support from our policy and public affairs team. For more information and an application form contact karla.mclaren@refugeecouncil.org.uk


Supreme Court ruling on permission to work restricted by Home Office

The Supreme Court has ruled that an asylum seeker who has submitted fresh evidence should be given permission to work after waiting 12 months for a decision. Immigration minister Damien Green responded by proposing to bar asylum seekers from the majority of available UK jobs. Refugee Council’s Jonathan Ellis said “the government should not limit this right to a small number of asylum seekers”. To read full Guardian article visit www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jul/29/restrictions-sought-asylum-seekers-jobs

Refugee Council calls for renewed action on Let Them Work campaign

The recent Home Office response to the Supreme Court decision on permission to work highlights the need for all asylum seekers to have the right to work. You can help us build support in parliament and put pressure on the government to let asylum seekers work by emailing your MP. Ask your MP to support permission to work for asylum seekers here: www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/work

Lambeth Council announce 30% cuts to cut voluntary sector funding for young people’s services

Lambeth has announced that over the next five years it will cut voluntary sector funding for young people’s services by £90m. The council said “we are committed to keeping any reductions to an absolute minimum.” However they also plan to make some voluntary organisations reapply for existing contracts so the terms can be renegotiated. For the full story visit www.thirdsector.co.uk/news/rss/article/1018089/Lambeth-Council-cut-voluntary-sector-funding-young-peoples-services-third

The Basis Project calls for RCOs to respond to Big Lottery fund consultation

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has proposed to reduce the amount of funding directed from lottery proceeds to the Big Lottery Fund (BIG). BIG funds many voluntary sector organisations, including RCOs. The Basis Project plans to respond to the consultation and is calling for RCOs to feed in views, or respond directly themselves. For more information see the Basis blog http://refugeecouncil.typepad.com/basis_project_blog/2010/07/government-consultation-on-the-big-lottery-fund.html

Sheffield’s Northern Refugee Centre faces huge cuts

Northern Refugee Centre Chief Executive, Jim Steinke, said “We are significantly funded by the UK Borders Agency…and cuts to the Department of Communities and Local Government have also affected us.” Consequently the centre will lose up to half its staff and be forced to reduce services significantly. For full BBC story visit http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/sheffield/hi/people_and_places/newsid_8864000/8864065.stm


Grassroots Grants – London

Grassroots Grants aim to bring people from different backgrounds together and empower them to achieve change, building thriving local communities. Grants of up to £5000 are available. To be eligible your group must have been active in your local area for at least 1 year, and have an annual income of less than £30,000. For more information visit www.capitalcf.org.uk/grants/grants_available.php

Deadlines for applications: 13 August 2010 or 8 October 2010

Rayne Fellowships for Refugees

This is a fantastic opportunity for refugees living in the UK with a Big Idea. Each year, five people will be selected for a Fellowship. They will be able to draw upon a resource fund of up to £15,000 to be spent on personal development, further training or education, resources, expert advice, one-to-one mentoring or attending networking events. For more information and to apply visit www.praxis.org.uk/index.php?page=2_28

Deadline for applications: 3 September 2010

Help The Homeless (UK)

This national Charity aims to help homeless people throughout the United Kingdom to resume a normal life. Grants of up to £3,000 are available towards capital costs to support projects that assist disadvantaged individuals in their return to mainstream society, through residential or training facilities. For more information visit www.help-the-homeless.org.uk/Grants.htm

Deadline for applications: 30 September 2010

The London Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund

This fund aims to support communities across London and invites Not-for-profit voluntary and community groups to apply for grants of between £250 and £5000, to address various themes, including training and education. For more information visit http://applications.communityfoundations.org.uk/EveningStandardEntry.aspx?DeliveryAgentID=206&FundName=Grassroots&FormName=Large

The Archer Trust (UK)

This UK Christian charitable grant-making trust aims to support small UK charities that help people with physical or mental disabilities or people facing disadvantage. Preference will be given to those organisations working in areas of high unemployment and deprivation. The grants available range from £250 – £3,000. For more information visit www.archertrust.org.uk/

Applications can be made at any time

Training and resources

FREE NCVO guide to campaigning for Trustees

This free guide outlines both what is required by the law and what is good practice in the development and implementation of effective campaigns. It’s relevant whether you are involved in a large organisation looking at the strategic overview or in a small organisation and are more directly involved in the day-to-day delivery of activities. For more information and to download the guide visit

Women’s Therapy Centre taster sessions

Women’s Therapy Centre provides information and taster sessions on mental health and psychotherapy to the refugee organisations. It is a free service, in a place of your choice. If you are interested to arrange a session for your clients (women only) or staff please contact Seda Sengun at s.sengun@womenstherapycentre.co.uk or on 020 7263 7860.

New guide to UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities

A new guide to the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons (UNCRDP) has been published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The guide will help disabled people to know what their rights are and how to use them, and will help people to improve services for themselves and others. Copies of the Commission’s guide are available to download from www.equalityhumanrights.com/UNCRPDguide

Media Trust and The Sun launch Column Idol competition

Media Trust and The Sun are giving 16-21 yr olds who have strong opinions the chance to write a column for The Sun. Six shortlisted entrants will be mentored by a Sun journalist and the winner chosen by a judging panel including editor Dominic Mohan. The winner will have their column printed in The Sun. For more information and to apply www.mediatrust.org/column-idol/?dm_i=46N,7H2T,RCX37,IRM6,1


Refugee Council: Meet the funder seminar
19 August 2010, FREE

This Development Team funding seminar will give refugee community organisations (RCOs) the opportunity to talk to funders and also provide funders with the chance to promote their funding programmes, explain their selection criteria, define their funding remit and outline their funding priorities. Four charitable trusts and foundations will speak at this event including Trust for London. For more information or to book a place email karla.mclaren@refugeecouncil.org.uk

City of Sanctuary National Conference
13 September, 10.30am-4pm, Birmingham City Centre

This year’s national conference will feature inspiring stories from City of Sanctuary initiatives across the UK, including Swansea, which has recently become Wales’ first official City of Sanctuary. Guest speakers, including Dr Ibrahim Shaw from the UWE ‘Refugee & Migrant Support Hub’, will explore ways of creating ‘Universities of Sanctuary’ – opening up access to higher education for people seeking sanctuary. For more information visit www.cityofsanctuary.org/conference


Refugee Council Interpreter (x2)
£21,753 pro rata, 21 hours per week

The Refugee Council is recruiting a Dari/Pashtu and a Tamil Interpreter to join its Support and Advice section. The post-holder will be required to provide quality interpreting services between the Refugee Council staff and service users in accordance with the organisation’s code of conduct and other relevant policies and procedures. For more information and to apply visit www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/about/jobs

Deadline for applications: 9 August 2010

Medact Refugee Health Network Project Worker
Part-time (four month fixed contract)

The Refugee Health Network (RHN) focuses on ensuring vulnerable migrants have access to the health care they need. The postholder will consult current users on their present use of the RHN; consult the members of migrant health organisations; assist the Project Co-ordinator with the design, update and launch of the updated RHN & website. For further information visit www.charityjob.co.uk/Jobs/180148/Project-Worker#

Deadline for applications: 12 August 2010

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?