accessibility & help

Greater Manchester Refugee Service

A volunteer at the refugee service.© InfoGreater Manchester Refugee Service

This project provides assistance to over 1,400 asylum seekers and refugees in crisis, helping them access vital services and adjust to life in the UK. It was launched in October 2008 with a five-year grant of £400,541 from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund.

What the project offers:

  • Refugees are each given a caseworker, who works on a one-to-one basis with them, making sure that their needs are met.
  • The service directs individuals to local support organisations, which provide emergency food vouchers and toiletries. Asylum seekers often cannot afford these items because they are not allowed to work and receive limited support.
  • Volunteers help people find vital services, and then escort them to those services. Because refugees often cannot speak English or use local transport at first, this helps them become more independent.
  • The service runs women’s and men’s groups, so that refugees can meet other people and settle into their communities.
  • The women’s and men’s groups also run workshops on English, first aid and volunteering, letting individuals develop their skills and improve their employment prospects.

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