The Refugee Council have recently published a new report ‘A bridge to life in the UK: Refugee-led community organisations and their role in integration', on the vital role refugee-led community organisations play in integration. Two former LCF employees, Tom Flynn and Sophie Blank, fed in to the research.
The findings of the report make it clear the invaluable role refugee-led community organisations have in supporting their services users by using their reach, insight and solutions. However, despite their vital work, they are often underused, unrecognised and under-resourced. The report discusses these challenges they face and makes recommendations on what can be done to overcome these challenges.
Maurice Wren, the Chief Executive of the Refugee Council, sums up the findings and the importance of refugee-led community organisations in the most impactful way:
At a time when refugee integration is finally back on the Government’s agenda, it’s a deep concern that the voices of refugees – the experts by experience - are largely and noticeably absent from the debate especially when they have so much of value to offer. Refugee-led community organisations (RCOs) and their networks have a long and impressive track record of supporting the inclusion and participation of their members and are active in almost every locality across the UK where refugees have settled. Despite this RCOs are routinely overlooked, taken for granted and excluded from integration policy discussions, when they obviously need to be are part of the solution. This must change and we urge policy and decision makers to take heed of the recommendations based on this research.Maurice Wren, Refugee Council