New flagship project to help refugee communities - Refugee Council
April 14, 2008

New flagship project to help refugee communities

The Refugee Council and Refugee Action launch a brand new, five year England-wide project to help strengthen and develop refugee community organisations (RCOs) today.

It is estimated that there are up to 1000 RCOs in England. The Basis Project has been established to support RCOs with their valuable work with their communities, both serving and involving them. Basis will also work with mainstream voluntary sector organisations to improve the environment within which RCOs work.

The aim is to significantly increase the ability of RCOs to manage, develop and sustain their organisations, by offering advice, support and guidance. A new website has been set up to offer a wealth of free information for RCOs on all aspects of managing an organisation.

The project will also aim to address some of the problems experienced by RCOs in accessing funding, by working both with RCOs to help them identify funding opportunities, and with funders to develop a better understanding of these kinds of organisations and the vital role they play in community cohesion.

Emily Kippax, Project Manager for Basis at the Refugee Council said:

“Basis is a really exciting new project that we hope will reap huge rewards for refugee communities. RCOs play such an important role in the lives of refugees, supporting them, helping them access services, and, perhaps most importantly, giving them a voice. They also do much to promote integration within the wider communities in which refugees live. Our job is to provide the support and advice they need to grow, strengthen and become sustainable over the long term.”

Wondimu Yohannes, Director of Development at Refugee Action, said:

“Basis is an important project which will compliment the work that is already happening in local refugee communities and other organisations. It will address many of the needs of RCOs, which are often diverse and complex, and we will be working in partnership with these groups and the wider community.”


Notes to editor

1. For interviews with an RCO that Basis will be working with, please contact Hannah Ward.

2. For further information please contact:

Hannah Ward, Refugee Council: 020 7346 1213 /
Julia Ravenscroft, Refugee Action: 0161 233 1956 /