RCO e-news - Refugee Council
October 8, 2010

RCO e-news

Special announcement

Archbishop of Canterbury raises concerns about protection of refugees

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, visited the Refugee Council in Brixton this week. During his visit the Archbishop spent a lot of time meeting asylum seekers and refugees in our Day Centre and raised his concerns about the protection of refugees in the UK, and not allowing asylum seekers to work.


Chief Inspector of Prisons report published on Dover Immigration Removal Centre

Published earlier this week, this report highlights that UKBA induction interviews in the centre were “poor [and] reviews of detention were uninformative and sometimes late”. Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council, said “This welcome report is further evidence that asylum seekers in detention are being denied access to justice.”

On 6 October 2010 new arrangements for making complaints about solicitors came into force. The Legal Ombudsman’s office replaces a number of previous complaints mechanisms for solicitors, barristers and other branches of the legal profession. For more information visit the legal ombudsman website.

Refugee Council half price book sale!

The Refugee Council E-shop is starting the new school year with a half price book sale. 50% off is available on a range of educational resources suitable for children with English as a second language. Examples include Words for School Use (General, Maths & Science) and Bilingual Folk Tales.


Social Enterprise Investment Fund (SEIF)

SEIF offers capital grants of £50,000 to £450,000 to social enterprises delivering services in health or social care in England. Eligible organisations have been unable to secure investment from a commercial bank. Grants can be used to purchase buildings or land, or to pay for renovations etc.

Deadline for applications: 1 November 2010

Grants for Growing Food (London)

Enthusiastic gardeners or organisations who want to grow food for themselves and the local community can apply to Capital Growth for a small grant. Capital Growth aims to identify suitable patches of land around London and offer financial and practical support to groups. Projects must involve at least five people and be at least five square metres in size. For more information visit the Capital Growth website.

Deadlines for applications: 8 November 2010

Community Radio Fund (UK)

The Community Radio Fund has been established to help fund the core costs of running a community radio station. Not-for-profit radio stations should have a social purpose and work to involve their target community in running the service. Core costs can include management, administration, financial management and reporting etc.

Deadline for applications: 9 November 2010

BIG International Programme Opens for Applications (UK)

The Big Lottery Fund’s £25 million International Communities programme aims to help disadvantaged communities overseas by supporting work that tackles the causes of poverty and deprivation. The programme will focus on improving education, health, access to natural resources, ability to exercise human rights and livelihoods. Grants of between £50,000 and £500,000 will be available. For more information visit the Big Lottery Fund website.

Training and resources

Free ESOL Classes
Weekly, various times

These free classes will support students with writing, reading, grammar, vocabulary, listening, and communication. The lessons will also cover: getting ready for work; how to apply for work; the UK workplace; customer service; negotiating and problem solving at work. For more information email info@afghanistan-asian.org.uk

Lambeth Voluntary Action Centre (LVAC) training
October – November 2010, some free

Voluntary and community organisations based in Lambeth can attend the following training sessions: Management and Leadership; Financial Controls; Fundraising for Beginners; Introduction to Commissioning and procurement; Sustainable Funding Strategies; Introduction to Social Enterprise; Working in Partnerships; Marketing and Communication – promoting your organisation; Meet the Commissioners Event; QuickBooks 2008 Beginners; Project Management. For more information call 020 7737 9464 or email cbm@lambethvac.org.uk

Voluntary Action Islington: Public Speaking
12 October, 9.45am – 3pm, FREE

This training for Islington community organisations is for people who find public speaking daunting, and struggle to handle difficult audiences and unexpected situations. The interactive session will cover simple tips and key tricks, to help you improve your ability to speak in public, no matter the size of your audience. For more information email development@vai.org.uk

Voluntary Action Islington: Bite-sized budgeting and full cost recovery
11 November 2010, 5.30pm-7.45pm, FREE

This Voluntary Action Islington training for Islington community organisations aims to ensure that everyone involved with budgeting in your organisation has a good understanding of how it works and how to do it better. It will cover budget preparation, budget headings and allocation of costs across projects. The session will also look at full cost recovery. For more information email development@vai.org.uk


Refugee and Ethnic Minority Television (RTV) Conference
18 October 2010, 3- 6 pm, House of Commons

This afternoon discussion will celebrate the launch of RTV, organised by the Afghan Council. This new online channel is dedicated to supporting refugee and ethnic minority communities by creating a space in which they can represent themselves. Guest speakers from UNHCR, Oxfam, British Arts Council, IOM, Refugee Council and MPs will attend. For more information and to confirm attendance please contact mayvand@afghancounciluk.org

Northampton: Black History Café
28 October 2010

The Council for Ethnic Minority Communities and Northampton College will be celebrating Black History Month 2010 in the form of the Black History Café. The Café will take place in Northampton College and the exhibition will be open all day; the evening celebration will take place between 6pm-8pm. The exhibition consists of Black Historical figures, BAME Organisations, Artists and BAME art forms. For more information email caroline.bain.cemc@northamptoncollege.ac.uk

Parliamentary Meeting on Detention Reform
8 November 2010, 4pm – 6pm, Grand Committee Room, House of Commons

This meeting has been called by the Association of Visitors to Immigration Detainees, Gatwick Detainee Welfare Group and London Detainee Support Group. Julian Huppert MP will chair. For more information or to book a place please email Eiri Ohtani at asylumrights@gmail.com

Inspiration Activation Workshops
Various dates across the UK, 10am – 4.30pm, FREE

These workshops are a great opportunity to develop ideas about how you can increase the impact of your Link in the UK and overseas, network with other organisations and plan how you can make the best use of an Action Grant.


Refugee Action Kingston Director
£31,766, full-time, permanent

This established and successful organisation provides information, advice and support to asylum seekers and refugees across the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. As an enthusiastic director you will manage the day to day running of the organisation and will have significant experience of developing services, monitoring and fundraising for refugees and asylum seekers. For more information and to apply email admin@refugeeactionkingston.org.uk

Closing date for applications: 18 October 2010