Montage of people - Kirklees.  © Brian Cross - artimedia

Local refugee forums

Supported by Leeds Asylum Seekers' Support Network and the Northern Refugee Centre

Local Refugee Forums bring together Refugee Community Organisations (RCOs) in local areas across Yorkshire and the Humber to provide a collective voice and to ensure that RCOs can access the support they need. Group of refugees in a meeting
Refugee Community Organisations:

  • are run by and for refugees

  • act as a vital bridge between the refugee community and wider communities

  • are one of the key elements of ensuring integration by acting as intermediary, interpreter, advocate and campaigner

  • work together to highlight key issues, for example through Refugee Week and Black History Month.

In November 2009 Northern Refugee Centre hosted an event for 40 RCO leaders from around Yorkshire and the Humber. This event allowed participants to develop coordinated approaches to key issues relating to housing, destitution, women’s issues and links with local authorities. It strengthened the capacity of RCOs to represent their Forum members at local level.

“Acting collectively to lobby authorities and service providers to review their policies and practices applicable to asylum seekers and refugees must be a top priority for all Refugee Forums. Coupled with this is the unavoidable need for smart  partnership working to achieve wanted results.”

Abraham Mdlongwa, Chair, Doncaster Focus Group

Northern Refugee Centre is a regional charity working with refugees, asylum seekers and new migrants to provide services and influence policy.
Leeds Asylum Seekers’ Support Network is a small local charity that makes a positive contribution to the lives of refugees and asylum seekers in Leeds.
Supported by Cultures United, Bradford Action for Refugees, St Augustines
and Voluntary Action Wakefield District.

This case study is part of a series, published in Building links: why support and development organisations matter for Yorkshire and the Humber.

Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network logo

Northern Refugee Centre logo

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