Potted history of Refugee Resource
We secured new three-year funding from the Bromley Trust, as well as funding from Oxfordshire Community Foundation to launch a family therapy project within our counselling programme.
We partnered with local photographer Philippa James to launch the ‘We Cannot Walk Alone’ portrait photography exhibition at the Old Fire Station for Refugee Week. The exhibition was featured on ITV Meridian.
We secured new funding from A B Charitable Trust and the Garfield Weston Foundation.
We hosted an online training webinar for frontline staff and volunteers around Supporting Distressed Clients.
We hosted the ‘Imagine Oxford’ online webinar to mark Refugee Week, where we shared insights from our staff, volunteers, clients and supporters about refugee experiences in Oxfordshire.
We recruited a new role to support the entire RR team following several years of growth, a Finance and Administration Manager, supported by the Society of the Holy Child Jesus CIO.
We began circulating information about the COVID-19 pandemic in multiple languages, quickly transitioning services to be delivered remotely in order to protect staff, clients and volunteers and working closely with other local agencies to support the needs of refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants.
We celebrated our 20th anniversary, which included publicity on BBC Radio Oxford, 15 runners taking part in the Oxford Half Marathon and a fundraising concert in partnership with the Radcliffe Orchestra at the JR Hospital, Oxford.
The Women's Service created a campaign and film around Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) following a series of workshops between April 2018 and September 2019, covering topics such as the physical and mental health impacts of FGM, accessing medical and community support, safeguarding, partnership working between communities and professionals, and advocacy and campaigning.
We launched our social enterprise initiative, offering training and consultancy to other agencies working with complex trauma and how to effectively support refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants.
Across 2018-19 Refugee Resource reported supporting over 350 clients from across 43 nationalities.
4-year funding secured from the National Lottery Community Fund to support with core and project costs.
3 year funding from Children in Need secured to continue our in-school counselling service.
New 3 year funding secured from Comic Relief to start a new mental health project with young men, and continue the football group and counselling work with this group. Also received funding for 2 years from Oxford City Council for our Mentoring and Volunteering service.
New Service Development and Delivery Manager appointed to oversee our front-line services.
Funding secured from Oxfordshire Community Foundation Step Change Fund to extend our in-school counselling project beyond the successful pilot to become an established part of our counselling service.
Our Approved Provider Service (APS) quality mark was renewed through the Mentoring and Befriending specialists at the NCVO.
Belinda Coote appointed our new Chair of Trustees.
Launch of our in-school counselling pilot project with Oxford Spires Academy, delivered by a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist.
New Partnership Development Manger appointed to support our fundraising, marketing and communications.
New Social Inclusion Service launches, providing advice and advocacy support to our clients.
Successful 3 year funding secured from the Big Lottery for counselling and mentoring services, from Henry Smith towards core costs and from the Rayne Foundation for two years for our counselling and outreach work with young people.
Kate Hood took over as Chief Executive Officer.
Dr Antony Kingsley stepped down as Director.
Shortlisted for the Oxfordshire Charity of the Year Awards. A new service for men was piloted and a football club was formed.
Commencement of a pilot project in partnership with the Police and Crime Commission to undertake counselling for victims of crime many of whom are refugees.
Refugee Resource joined a Thames Valley wide consortium to deliver counselling services (initially in Oxfordshire) with the intention of expanding across Thames Valley.
We were accredited to mentoring and befriending foundation
Incorporating vulnerable migrants into our constitution as one of our key beneficiaries
Successful 3 year funding from Big Lottery and Comic Relief to continue the work giving stability to Refugee Resource
Dr Antony Kingsley took the Directorship with Amanda leading the Business Development Programme. Ray Fishbourne was appointed as the Chair of Trustees.
We began working in partnership with Reading Refugee Support Group with the aim of delivering services across the Thames Valley region.
We started to deliver specialist training services to transfer our skills in working with refugees and asylum seekers to wider migrants.
We won Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action’s 2010 Award for ‘Best practice in the use of volunteers’ for our Mentoring and Coaching service and the organisation was shortlisted for the Oxfordshire Charity of the Year Award.
Our database records show that we have now worked with over 1000 clients since our beginnings. We will be delighted to provide more details about the long lasting impact of what our clients have achieved with our support.
Our women’s group celebrated their 5th anniversary with a festive event, involving music, dance and testimonies of women.
We held an open day to celebrate the organisation’s 10th anniversary.
Our mentoring service was awarded ‘Approved Provider Status’ by the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation. This is a national standard for mentoring and befriending.
We secured a further three years’ funding from the Big Lottery Fund for the counselling work, and to expand both the mentoring service and the women’s service.
Moved to larger premises at the Old Music Hall on the Cowley Road.
The Counselling and Therapeutic Service won the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy’s 2006 Award for Excellence in the Practice of Counselling and Psychotherapy.
A long term evaluation of the counselling and therapeutic work was published.
We secured three years’ funding from the Big Lottery Fund for the counselling work and to set up a new mentoring service. We also secured funding from Comic Relief for a Women’s Counsellor and Women’s Project Coordinator.
We began a six-month project to improve the presentation of refugees and asylum seekers in the media. This included training refugees and asylum seekers and those working with them in interviewing skills and writing news releases.
As a result of the employment services being used far less by women than by men, Refugee Resource held a consultation with refugee women to find out what support they wanted. As a result, the women’s group was set up.
Refugee Resource won a National Information Forum ‘Getting the message across’ national award for the first edition of Asylum Seekers and Refugees – Directory of Services in Oxfordshire.
The employment service was funded jointly by Jobcentre Plus and the European Social Fund.
The European Social Fund contract for Access First ended. Of 72 people enrolled, 64% secured jobs. Independent evaluators of the Access First Employment and Training project identified it as one of the most successful projects they had evaluated.
Refugee Resource was registered as a charity by the Charities Commission.
Refugee Resource was set up as a charitable company limited by guarantee in October 2002. The Trustees transferred the assets and liabilities held under the charitable trust into the company limited by guarantee and since April 2003 the organisation’s activities have been conducted through the company limited by guarantee.
In response to requests from refugee doctors, Refugee Resource helped to set up the Oxford Refugee Health Professionals Support Project.
The Oxford Refugee Support Project changed its name to Refugee Resource.
We were successful in a bid to the European Social Fund, in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council’s Community English School, to extend Access First to offer a work preparation course, including work placements with local employers.
Three years’ funding was secured from the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund for a counselling and therapeutic service for young refugees and asylum seekers, and a training and consultancy service for service providers.
East Oxford Action agreed to fund the first year of a training and employment project. ORSP initiated setting up the Oxfordshire Refugee and Asylum Seeker Training, Education and Employment Partnership (ORASTEEP), and the Access First Employment and Training Project was launched on World Refugee Day in June 2001. Refugee interviewers were employed to survey the skills, experience and aspirations of refugees and asylum seekers living in Oxfordshire.
In consultations, refugee and asylum seeking men, women and young people said that as well as therapeutic support they also needed help to access work and training opportunities.
The Oxford Refugee Support Project (ORSP) was constituted as a charitable trust.
Amanda started a therapeutic gardening project with a small number of asylum seekers.
Amanda Webb-Johnson started discussions with statutory and voluntary organisations about how best to meet the mental health needs of local refugees and asylum seekers.