RCO e-news - Refugee Council
October 15, 2010

RCO e-news

Special announcement

London’s Voluntary Sector Forum objects to proposed London Boroughs Grants Scheme changes

London Councils is currently undertaking a consultation exercise to assess its grant resources, and the programme’s future role and scope. London Voluntary Sector Forum has attacked the consultation process for its “haste, lack of transparency and fundamentally its central premise that up to 80 per cent should be cut”. The Refugee Council will also be responding to the consultation and will be seeking RCO input and views. Watch this space for more on this.

Birmingham City Council announce withdrawal of housing for asylum seekers

Birmingham City Council will not renew its current contract with UKBA to provide housing for asylum seekers. The council cited a sharp increase in homelessness and the need to “help the citizens of this city first and foremost” as their motivation. Refugee Council Chief Executive, Donna Covey, said “We know these are hard times…but this is no reason to let some of the most vulnerable people in our society suffer.” For the full story visit the BBC.


Brutal UKBA cuts will target child asylum seekers and asylum support

In a briefing document sent to ministers UKBA has proposed to cut its budget by £346m and its staff by one third. Unaccompanied child asylum seekers will be removed before they reach adult age and can make a fresh claim as an adult; and entitlement to support will be “tightened”. Emma Ginn of Medical Justice said “To [deport vulnerable unaccompanied children] to save money is indecent.” To read the full story visit the Independent.

Refused Zimbabwean asylum seekers to be returned

After a four year ban on deporting refused asylum seekers to Zimbabwe, Immigration Minister, Damien Green, has announced that “improvements” in the situation mean enforced removals will resume. Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council, said “We are concerned the Government plans to resume forcibly returning Zimbabwean asylum seekers to their country”. To read the full story visit the Guardian.


Make a Positive Difference to Your Community (London)

Islington Giving is seeking to award grants of between £2000 and £2500 to individuals for initiatives that make a positive difference within the borough. Eligible applicants must be over 11 years old and the initiative must relate to either young people, poverty or isolation.

Closing date for submitting an Expression of Interest: 22 October 2010

Business Support Grant Scheme (South East)

The Business Support Grant Scheme provides grants of up to £1,000 to support businesses to gain additional skills and obtain external expertise and advice. Small and medium social enterprise businesses in the South East with a business opportunity or a problem that could be assisted by outside specialist, can apply.

Deadline for applications: 15 December 2010

Funding to Support Social Entrepreneurs (UK)

UnLtd’s Millennium Awards provide practical and financial support to social entrepreneurs in the UK to develop their ideas and projects. £15,000 grants are available to support people whose ideas are already developed. Additionally, grants of £500 – £5,000 are available to help people develop new ideas into real projects.

Co-operative Membership Community Fund

This funding from the Co-operative group is available for community groups wishing to carry out positive work in the community. Eligible projects must address a community issue, provide a good long-term benefit to the community, support co-operative values and principles and ideally be innovative in its approach.

Training and resources

Free health clinic for refugees and asylum seekers in central London
Every Thursday, 2 – 5pm

A new, free health clinic for refugees and asylum seekers has opened to provide specialist support for French-speaking refugees and asylum seekers in Central London. The service is provided by Notre Dame Refugee Centre in collaboration with Doctors of the World UK (Médécins du Monde), the international humanitarian organisation.

Free supplementary classes (Extra Curriculum Support) for children and young people
Sundays and Mondays

These free supplementary classes are being offered by the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association. Support will be given in Maths, Science, Literacy and GCSEs. For more information and to register email info@afghanistan-asian.org.uk or call 020 7277 6242.

Sexual violence and BAMER women
21 October 2010, 10am – 4.30pm, £45 per delegate

This Imkaan training looks at definitions of different aspects of sexual violence, the effects of sexual violence on survivors, do’s and don’ts when responding to a disclosure, good practice and risk assessment. By the end of the course participants will have a deeper understanding of the prevalence of sexual violence and its effects on survivors. Training is £45 per delegate. For more information email admin@imkaan.org.uk

Refugee Council: Business Start up
02 November 2010 – Coventry
24 November 2010 – Birmingham
FREE (travel expenses and child care costs reimbursed and lunch provided)

This Financial Literacy Project training will provide an introduction to setting up in business and to becoming self-employed for refugees and asylum seekers. The training will be delivered by Angela McLean, highly successful and experienced entrepreneur and trainer. For more information or to book a place email karla.mclaren@refugeecouncil.org.uk

Refugee Council: Social Enterprise for Communities
4 November 2010 – Coventry
26 November 2010 – Birmingham
FREE (travel expenses and child care costs reimbursed and lunch provided)

This Financial Literacy Project training will provide practical information for individuals and refugee community organisations interested in setting up a social enterprise, in particular: organisational models; sources of revenue; planning and setting up a social enterprise. This training will be delivered by Social Enterprise London. For more information or to book a place email karla.mclaren@refugeecouncil.org.uk

Voluntary Action Islington Autumn – Spring training programme

Voluntary Action Islington are offering a range of training sessions, free to organisations with up to three full-time members of staff. Many courses are run in the evening and reasonable child care costs can be covered. Examples include Bite-sized budgeting and full cost recovery and A crash course in cash flow.

Launch of website on housing rights for refugees and migrants

This newly revised Migrants Rights Network website gives clear guidance on the housing rights of new migrants. The website has now been completely rewritten and relaunched to provide an even better guide to housing and housing benefits rights for refugees, migrants and other new arrivals to England. For more information visit their website.


LEP Roadshow: Ensuring Equality in a Changing London
21 October 2010, 9.30am – 1pm, London EC4Y 8EQ, FREE (lunch provided)

This Changing London workshop event will look at the changing priorities of the Government and how to ensure equality and diversity stay at the top of the agenda. Speakers include Elizabeth Henry, chief executive of Race On The Agenda; Vivienne Hayes, chief executive of the Women’s Resource Centre; and Sarah Crowther, director of Refugees in Effective and Active Partnership. For more information or to book a place email claire@londoncivicforum.org.uk or call 020 8709 9781.

Birmingham: Discover your roots
18 – 24 October 2010, FREE

This Black History Month event includes a colourful and attractive display on discovering Your Roots and finding out more about your ancestors.

Manchester: Support Options for Refused Asylum Seeking Women
3 November 2010, 10.30am – 4pm, FREE for women’s groups

This Asylum Support Appeals Project training is FREE for women’s groups and will cover: introduction to the asylum support system; support for refused asylum seekers; criteria for support; how to apply for support; appealing against Refusals or Withdrawals of support. The course is particularly aimed at advice workers who are advising women who h
ave been refused asylum. For more information contact Gerry or Oliver on 020 8686 1888.


Asylum Aid Administrator
£22,150, full-time

Asylum Aid is a vibrant and influential charity providing asylum seekers and refugees in the UK with free legal advice, representation and support. As an administrator you will provide comprehensive and efficient administrative support to the organisation and be the initial contact point for callers and visitors.