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Survive and Thrive worked on integration and training with refugees and asylum seekers in Derby and the surrounding area, supporting them to deal with crises and isolation. The project was led by the British Red Cross, partnered with Upbeat Communities and Multi-Faith Centre.

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Survive & Thrive project was a unique project between the British Red Cross, Upbeat Communities and the Multi-Faith Centre.

There are around 800 asylum seekers supported under asylum support in Derby at any one time, 225 newly arrived asylum seekers in the new initial accommodation centre, and an equivalent number accommodated in local hotels. The project supported the most vulnerable with over 700 people supported in each year of the 4-year project.

The project provided advocacy, life skills, advice, mental health support and leadership skills to help refugees and asylum seekers rebuild their lives and thrive in Derby. The project also helped to build networks of mutual support and created opportunities for people to find belonging and purpose in the community.

The project achieved four outcomes:

  1. Refugees and asylum seekers were better able to cope when confronted with immediate material crisis.
  2. Refugees and asylum seekers were better equipped to find sustainable routes out of crises.
  3. Refugees and asylum seekers experienced reduced isolation and increased self-sufficiency.
  4. Refugees and asylum seekers had increased opportunity to belong and to find purpose within the community.

British Red Cross led the delivery of outcomes one and two. Upbeat Communities led on outcome three. The Multi-Faith Centre led on outcome four.

To help refugees and asylum seekers find belonging and purpose in the community, the Multi-Faith Centre:

  • Recruited and supported a network of Ambassadors to speak about issues that affect refugees and asylum seekers and contributed to the national VOICES network.
  • Delivered 30 awareness raising activities of the needs of refugees and asylum seekers to local authorities and public sector stakeholders each year.
  • Provided 8 training sessions to support Ambassadors to speak about the issues that affect refugees and asylum seekers, share their own experiences, advocate to change policy and help improve services and policy.
  • Supported 10 community organisations to celebrate the positive contributions and potential of refugees and asylum seekers.
  • Engaged 6 diaspora communities in community activities with refugees and asylum seekers.
  • Facilitated 4 advocacy forums.
  • Enabled refugees and asylum seekers to understand their UK rights and responsibilities by providing UK Democracy Rights training.

Funding for the project ended in May 2020.

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