National conference for refugee organisations to share success

Last updated January 12, 2012Press release

Representatives from refugee community organisations across the UK are invited to come together to share successes and learning, at the second Basis Project national conference in Birmingham on 24 January 2012.

At the ‘Looking to the future’ conference, refugee communities, funders, government organizations, and charities will join to discuss how best to ensure local communities continue to thrive and benefit from the contribution refugee community organisations make to the UK, in light of huge cuts to funding for refugee services in 2011.

The conference is the culmination of the Basis Project which was set up in 2008 led by Refugee Council and Refugee Action, helping hundreds of refugee community organisations (RCOs) England-wide, providing one-to-one support to help them manage, develop, and sustain their work. The five-year project is funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

Key speakers include Elizabeth Balgobin, Chair of Voice4Change England, and Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council. Workshops will explore topics such as how to engage the media in your work, using social media, improving income generation, and how to use a united voice to influence change.

Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council says:
“We are really looking forward to hearing from refugee communities at this conference about their successes over the past year and ideas for the future. The Basis project was developed in recognition of the work that refugee community organisations do, not only to support refugees to rebuild their lives in Britain, but also the role they play in bringing communities together. This work benefits everyone, particularly in a year when all government funding for integration services has been cut. Refugee community projects are innovative and diverse and the conference offers an opportunity for those ideas and experience to be shared and celebrated.”

Dave Garratt, Chief Executive of Refugee Action, says:
“The Basis Project has supported hundreds of refugee community organisations(RCOs) around the country to manage, develop and sustain their work. RCO’s play a too often overlooked role in supporting asylum seekers and refugees in the UK and in providing a vital platform for all communities to live and work well together. RCO’s have always been at the foundation of support for asylum seekers and refugees, and this is even more the case in the in the current context of local and national funding cuts. We hope that this conference will celebrate and build on the creativity of RCO’s, and so develop new ways for refugee organisations to support local communities.”

To reserve your place, either fill out this quick survey, http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DGY9NHW or to find out more contactbasis@refugeecouncil.org.uk or call us on 020 7346 1297.

ENDS

Notes to editors

  • The Basis conference will take place on Tuesday 24th January 2012, 11.00 – 16.30 Venue: Macdonald Burlington Hotel, Burlington Arcade, 126 New Street, Birmingham, B2 4JQ
  • Media welcome. To attend please contact
    Philippa McIntyre, Refugee Council
    020 7346 1214/ 07956 636 219
    Email: Philippa.mcintyre@refugeecouncil.org.uk
    Julia Ravenscroft, Refugee Action
    0161 831 5454/ 07771 748 159
    Email: juliar@refugee-action.org.uk
  • Key speakers include:
    Elizabeth Balgobin, Chair of Voice4Change England
    Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council
    Jan Crawley, Chief Executive, South West Foundation
    Nazek Ramadan, Director, Migrant Voice
    Atiha Chaudry, Chair, Greater Manchester BME Network
    Janice Marks, Head of Agency, Federation for Community Development Learning
    Fiona Sheil, Public Service Delivery Network Officer, NCVO
  • Case studies from refugee community organizations who have benefited from the Basis project are available for interview on request.