RCO e-news - Refugee Council
August 20, 2010

RCO e-news

Special Announcement

Supporting Refugee Community Organisations’ (RCOs) role in integration in London
27 September 2010

The Basis Project is delighted to announce that Richard Barnes, the Deputy Mayor of London, will speak at their upcoming London Region Conference. This event seeks to encourage dialogue among representatives of RCOs, funders and policymakers, to generate practical responses for long-term sustainability of the RCO sector in the current policy and funding climate. For further information or to register, please contact Alain Munyangabe on 0207 346 1297 or alain.munyangabe@refugeecouncil.org.uk


Refugee Council and Community Links research about informal working

RCOs are invited to complete a questionnaire on informal working in refugee communities. The findings will help the Greater London Authority implement their ‘London Enriched’ strategy. Completed questionnaires will be entered into a prize draw for your organisation. The deadline is 10 September and your answers will be confidential.

Ministry of Justice plans to cut legal aid for asylum seekers

The Refugee Council responded to reports this week that the Ministry of Justice is planning to slash legal aid for asylum seekers appealing against negative decisions. Refugee Council Chief Executive, Donna Covey, said “this is unacceptable”.

Settlement Protection: five year reviews and indefinite leave to remain

Refugees granted refugee or humanitarian protection status after 30 August 2005 will need to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the month before their limited leave expires. The first cases of these will reach the end of their leave on August 30 2010, and it is extremely important that people submit their application before their existing leave expires.

Voice your concerns about government spending cuts now

RCOs face an uncertain future following the public funding cuts announced by the government. The more we know about the difficulties facing RCOs, the better positioned we are to respond. Is your RCO facing tough times as a result of public funding cuts? If so we would like to hear your anecdotal evidence. Please email your evidence or any queries to Jean-Pierre Mafutala at Jeanpierre.mafutala@refugeecouncil.org.uk


West Yorkshire Police Community Trust – Main Grants Programme (Yorkshire & Humberside)

Voluntary and Community groups can apply for grants of up to £2,500, for projects and activities which help address local priorities. Local priorities are identified and agreed by members of the community at local PACT (Police and Communities Together) meetings.

Closing date for applications: 10 September 2010

Funding for Young People Who Want to Make a Difference (London)

The Opportunity Fund will be open to young people between 13 – 19 years (or up to 25 with a disability) living in Lambeth who want to improve their local community. Young people wishing to apply must be supported by a voluntary or statutory group (host organisation) with a bank account. The grants available range between £2,500 and £18,000.

Closing date for applications: 27 September 2010

Learning in Communities Award (England)

UnLtd and NIACE are offering one individual the chance to receive a Learning In Communities Award, to establish a project to engage adults in learning. An Award of up to £5,000 and a complete support package – to help get the project off the ground, is available. To be eligible you must have an original and innovative project that engages adult learners.

Closing date for applications: 3 December 2010

The Wave of Friendship Volunteering Bursaries (London)

The Wave of Friendship has announced that volunteers can apply for bursaries of up to £500 to cover travel, accommodation and other costs incurred as part of a volunteering activity. Volunteers can choose any opportunity that takes place between now and September 2012 that demonstrates one or more of these values; Friendship, Respect, Courage, Determination, Equality and Inspiration.

Training and resources

The ‘Big Conversation’: Event for RCOs and development workers in the North East
9 September 2010, 9.30am – 3.30pm, Newcastle

Basis, Regional Forum North East and NERS invite you to this ‘Big Conversation’ to share and exchange experiences, perspectives, challenges and ideas about what works in supporting the development of Refugee RCOs. No speeches, no presentations – just RCOs and development workers talking together, listening, sharing, learning and problem solving. If you would like to attend, please contact Herbert Dirahu at herbert.dirahu@refugeevoices.org.uk or call 01642 232446

Coventry: Train the Trainer
13 September 2010, FREE (travel costs will be reimbursed on production of receipts) with lunch provided

This Financial Literacy Project Train the Trainer seminar aims to give attendees the skills, experience and confidence to deliver training in their communities. The seminar will relate to delivering financial literacy training, but could also be applied to other topics. For more information or to book contact Karla McLaren on karla.mclaren@refugeecouncil.org.uk or 020 7346 1094.

Birmingham: Financial Literacy Project (FLP) workshops
October 2010 (various dates), FREE (travel costs will be reimbursed on production of receipts) with lunch provided

The Refugee Council FLP provides support and advice on financial literacy to individuals with refugee backgrounds, and their communities. These FREE workshops aim to tackle financial exclusion. Workshops will cover Budgeting, Business Start up, Cash Management and UK Banking Services. For more information or to book contact Karla McLaren on karla.mclaren@refugeecouncil.org.uk or 020 7346 1094.

Refugee housing, volunteering and training project

reachin is a HACT project for refugees interested in a career in housing. The project will provide support, volunteer work placements and credits towards the CIH Level 3 Certificate in Housing. Places are available in Birmingham, Blackburn, Bolton, Bradford, Broxbourne, Leeds, London, Manchester, Norfolk/ East of England, and Stoke on Trent. For more information contact devan.kanthasamy@hact.org.uk

Sign up for London ICT e-bulletin

Lasa’s FREE monthly London ICT e-bulletin is aimed at smaller voluntary and community organisations, managers, circuit riders and accidental techies and contains news, events, training and learning, funding and more.

The Solid Foundations programme

If you have a refugee background and worked as an engineer in your home country, the Solid Foundations programme can offer support, skills training and work experience. The programme is for those who have been unable to find support, employment and training through mainstream services, and is managed by Olmec, a dynamic community investment foundation. For more information contact Michael Duncombe, on michael.duncombe@olmecec.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.

Refugee Council: Evidencing need for funding applications
15 September 2010, FREE

One of the challenges RCOs face when fundraising for their projects and programme activities is to demonstrate that there is a need for the organisation/community to carry out their activities. This course will include sources from official statistics, methods for carrying out your own research, and ways of effectively using information to make your funding applications stronger. For more information or to book a place email karla.mclaren@refugeecouncil.org.uk


Asylum Aid Volunteers

Asylum Aid is currently recruiting for two volunteers for its Women’s Project: Women’s Asylum News volunteer and Women’s Charter volunteer. Each volunteer should be able to commit 1 day per week for a minimum of 6 months. Interviews will be held on Thursday 16 September 2010.

Deadline for applications: 3 September 2010