Refugee Women Connect is excited to announce our participation in the Early Action Charter for People Seeking Asylum Programme, a three-year partnership between frontline organisations, that has received over £850,000 of National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund, the UK’s largest funder of community activity.

The funding, together with capital raised by Refugee Action, will bring together eight refugee and migrant sector organisations to test preventative approaches and transform current ways of working.

Over the next three years, the programme aims to help more than 3,000 people seeking asylum to better understand the system and avoid crisis.

Too often people seeking safety in the UK end up homeless and unable to feed and clothe themselves and their families.

Cuts to legal aid often mean they are unable to access vital legal advice. Voluntary sector organisations step in to help people in crisis by providing food, shelter, clothing and advice about the support they are entitled to. But few are working to prevent people falling into poverty and homelessness, or to de-escalate these crises, before they happen.

Our part in this programme will see a continued focus on early actions with asylum-seeking women. The outreach service we provide is already engaged with early action work such as striving to increase the social networks of all women who attend the drop-ins to reduce their social isolation. This new charter will allow us to explore different ways of which to undertake early action across all our services.

Alison Moore, Director of Refugee Women Connect, says:

We were delighted to have been chosen as one of the partners on this project.  As an organisation, we want to embed early action within all our projects as we know this will help to reduce the level of crisis work and will have a greater impact on the women we are here to support.  We are excited to work with Refugee Action and all the partners to help design a way of working that will improve the lives of women asylum seekers.

Along with Refugee Action, Refugee Women Connect is partnered with Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum, Action Foundation, Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Southwark Day Centre, Bristol Refugee Rights and Brushstrokes to deliver this programme.

James Harcourt, England Grant-Making Director at the Big Lottery Fund, said:

“Thanks to National Lottery funding, a large number of organisations will come together to design and implement changes that will improve the lives of people seeking asylum.

“We are proud to be supporting a project that brings key organisations together, encourages co-production, and challenges current ways of working.”