Supporting Refugee Community Organisations - Refugee Council

Supporting Refugee Community Organisations

Refugee Community Organisations (RCOs) are essential in creating a welcoming society for refugees in the UK. Run for and by refugees, RCOs support their communities to become more integrated into their local areas. We work with them to ensure refugees have a strong voice in the UK.

RCOs play an important role in helping newly arrived refugees to settle in the UK. Their impact on the lives of refugee and people seeking asylum throughout the country is huge. As they are run by people with lived experience of the asylum system and refugee integration , they possess unique strengths:

  • Reach: links to their communities, community languages, cultural affinity and trust enable RCOs to engage with refugees in ways other organisations cannot
  • Insight: RCOs have direct experience of what life is like for refugees in the UK, enabling them to identify and communicate challenges and opportunities
  • Solutions: RCOs are innovative in finding solutions to barriers and challenges facing refugees and people seeking asylum

How we help

The Refugee Council’s vision for community engagement and development recognises that:

  • RCOs and the people active within them, have unique knowledge, skills and lived experience of issues that affect them, and that those assets should be used to address issues, develop joint solutions and strengthen community resilience and organisational capacity.
  • Individuals who carry out leadership roles within formal RCOs or at a community level should be empowered to develop skills and knowledge to work with their communities, to identify their needs and help meet them as far as is possible or to make a good representation in debates aimed at finding solutions to the identified needs.

The Refugee Council’s work with RCOs is designed to enable RCOs to shape the development and implementation of this vision. Therefore, we champion the role of RCOs in the UK by making sure they have a stronger voice in national and local debates and decisions that affect their members’ daily lives. We work with them to ensure our services and campaigns reflect the needs of their communities; and we help them to access  support and to secure resources they need to achieve their mission.

This means we are helping RCOs to:

  • Gain a stronger voice to express and meet their needs and speak directly to policy and decision makers
  • Access support to adapt, evolve and innovate in a more challenging funding environment to sustain their programme activities
  • Collaborate and share information, intelligence and best practice to address the issues facing refugee communities across London

Our support includes:

  • Free training, toolkits, information and other resources to help them adapt, evolve and innovate and sustain their programme activities
  • Free events to facilitate networking, sharing information and best practice, encouraging collaboration and increase impact.
  • Engagement opportunities for the development of a shared understanding of the needs of refugee communities amongst civil society, funders, the public sector and decision makers.

Get Support

Refugee Community Organisations can find out more about the support we offer below.


Support for RCOs

Information on working with Refugee Community Organisations. Find out about Support for RCOs

Find out more about RCOs in the UK

Read our report

‘A Bridge to life in the UK: Refugee-led Community Organisations and their role in integration’

Download the report

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