Refugee Week 2024 - a recap!

21 Jun 2024

Our teams attended a wide range of events across London and the North East, celebrating the contributions and resilience of refugees, and informing individuals about how the Refugee Employability Programme can help them to settle into their new communities in England.

Below we have detailed some of the activities that we attended:


Our London was proud to co-host the Central London Refugee Job Fair in Islington! 28 employers with open roles across London met with refugee job seekers to help break down barriers to employment and share information about open roles. We were pleased to be joined by our supply chain delivery partners Catch-22 and Shaw Trust who also attended the day to provide support to attendees.

We’re proud to have worked in partnership with the London Borough of Islington, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Ingeus, Refugee Employment Network, Renaisi, Tent UK and Westminster Employment Service to bring this event to life as part of the Greater London Authority’s No Wrong Door programme.

In the North East, our team hosted daily breakfast sessions throughout the week to celebrate with our Service Users and connect them with Refugee Week events in their local areas. On Monday our team attended the Walk of Sanctuary, marching in a colourful display from Sunderland Minster to Barnes Park where a picnic took place allowing refugees in the local area to socialise and feel a part of their local community.


The North East team attended the ‘Work Smart, Live Well’ event hosted at the Cramlington Hub. The drop-in was specifically designed to support refugees, providing them with resources, networking opportunities, and connecting them with local services.

We are pleased to have attended alongside representatives from the National Careers Service, Northumberland College, B2W Training, Tedco, Northumberland Recovery College, and Reed in Partnership’s Work Routes service which supports individuals into sustainable employment.

We also visited the Sanctuary Form event - an opportunity for people to learn, share and explore the issues related to migration and seeking sanctuary in Newcastle. Presentations were made by colleagues from Newcastle City Council, Newcastle United Foundation, Newcastle University, Baltic Art Gallery, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, Company of Others and Curious Monkey Theatre Company.  
Senior Operations Manager for REP, Adam Clemerson, said: "We were pleased to attend the Sanctuary Forum to hear about the trailblazing role colleagues from Newcastle have played in the City of Sanctuary movement, and marvel at the inspirational stories shared by a number of the sanctuary-seekers who have settled in the city."

In London, our supply chain partners Shaw Trust hosted a ‘Celebrating Refugees’ event in collaboration with NCL Health & Social Academy, and the NHS. This event gave attended the opportunity to connect with local healthcare providers, meet potential employers, discover learning and training opportunities, and access specialist advice to support them with their resettlement.


Our London team hosted a local support event in Croydon.

We were pleased to welcome a variety of services who provided valuable advice and guidance to our Service Users, including representatives from Croydon Council, the local Jobcentre Plus, CALAT (Croydon Adult Learning and Training), and Croydon College's team delivering the Department for Education’s Multiply scheme, who held a budgeting and financial advice session.

In the North East our team has been busy attending a variety of events around the local area to raise awareness of the support on offer through the Refugee Employability Programme. These events included a drop-in hosted by FODI Sunderland, and a breakfast event held by Back on the Map.

Supporting this year’s Refugee Week theme of ‘Our Home’, our North East team also attended the ‘Home is a shared meal’ event at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, and the ‘Our body is our home’ event hosted by the Comfrey Project.

We were pleased to be joined by Rail Futures at our breakfast event this morning. They have many opportunities for people to get free training which results in a work trial.


On Thursday,our North East team attended a variety of events hosted by local refugee support services

Walking With in North Tyneside held a ‘Happy to Chat’ drop-in session which allowed attendees to gather information about local support available to refugees, such as our Refugee Employability Programme, housing support, and more.

Later in the day, members of the team accompanied Service Users to an all-women ‘Voices of Home’ event in St Mary’s Heritage Centre which was centred around women and their experiences as refugees. The event had a range of insightful speakers, live music and poetry, and a networking session where attendees could seek advice and guidance.

The team also went on a tour of the Baltic Gallery of Sanctuary and the surrounding quayside.

In London, our supply chain partners Catch22 set up a stall at a World Refugee Day event at Highway Vineyard Church in Newham, to speak with attendees about the support on offer through the Refugee Employability Programme - such as support with English language skills, finding a job, securing housing, and more.


For the final day of Refugee Week in Bermondsey, we hosted a second local support event to help our Service Users to access advice and guidance from local and national services.

We welcomed representatives from the local Jobcentre Plus, Migrant Help, and National Energy Action who provided a wide range of advice around housing, benefits, and reducing energy bills.

In Barnet, our supply chain delivery partners Shaw Trust attended a refugee employment event hosted by Boost, giving refugees the opportunity to meet with employers face-to-face and ask questions about open vacancies.

After hosting the morning’s breakfast event, our North East team accompanied local Service Users to an event organised by International Community Organisation of Sunderland (ICOS) which celebrated the food and culture of different communities across the globe.

We are proud of the impact the Refugee Employability Programme has on the lives of refugees beginning their new lives in England. Thank you for celebrating with us.