What We Do

Refugee Action – Colchester work to improve the lives and prospects of two key groups of people; Asylum Seekers and Refugees.

Our overall aim is to help refugees and asylum seekers to integrate into and become part of their new community.

We help individuals and their families through four core strands of work – these strands include working with other like-minded agencies and individuals.

Employability

Employability is key to the long-term well-being, stability and integration of individuals into their host communities – it also provides maximum benefit for those communities.

The route to employability depends on a host of individual factors, from learning English to aligning professional qualifications gained abroad to those that apply here in the UK.

The goal for our employability work is defined as; to prepare individuals living in the UK, who have gained refugee status, to start a new meaningful and fulfilling work life, based on previous experience and qualifications or to assist them in finding a new career.

Activities in which we are engaged in the pursuit of employability include

  • Mentoring
  • Micro-credit loans
  • Debt management
  • Working alongside Community 360
  • Provide links to corporations and business partners

Education

Education is key to our aims for long-term integration and employability, educational needs also depend greatly on individual needs, so we are involved in education on many levels…

  • English Lessons
  • University Scholarships
  • Driving Theory Classes
  • Driving Lessons
  • Food Hygiene Classes

We also provide guidance on access to funding for education and provide training for Befrienders and other groups (including training the trainers) working in a similar field.

Advocacy

Newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers need lots of help and assistance navigating the plethora of institutions and agencies that we all take for granted.

Registering with a GP, at the Job Centre, signing up for adult education – all of these things can be both daunting and confusing when encountered for the first time, often in a new language.

We are able to help by providing advocacy, guidance and sign-posting by attending meetings and reviews in a friendly, supportive capacity.

Outreach

There a real risk of experiencing loneliness and isolation as a refugee or asylum seeker – both a real threat to fast and effective integration and to longer-term well-being and happiness.

We are able to help individuals through befriending, home and hospital visits.

More widely we encourage social integration though our Community Evenings which aim to engage and inform while providing an opportunity for the migrant communities to meet and interact with each other and the long-term local community.

Because we work closely with those in need and the vast number of individuals and organisations wishing to help, we are also very well placed to match the support that is offered to the needs that exist.

Day to day work…

We have active Facebook and  twitter accounts and a webpage. We have a regular newsletter and a Whats app Group for the Arabic community.

We run stalls, pop up cafes, one off catering events.

We are often asked for comments by radio and newspaper regarding local and national events involving refugees. 

We are an active part of the Borough of Sanctuary group. We liaise with our MP, councillors and council officers regarding policy and practice.

We attend Regional and District Migrant Forum meetings, Multi Ethnic forum and Independent Advisory Group meetings, speaking on behalf of the people we represent.