We provide psychological, social and practical support for refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants to help them heal from trauma and suffering, and to build new lives as part of Oxfordshire’s diverse community.
How we do it:
A holistic approach: Our range of therapeutic services works holistically together to relieve mental and emotional distress, improve well-being and empower people to connect with the local community and resources. Our services include counselling and psychotherapy, mentoring, specialist services for women, men and young people, advice and advocacy support, a hardship fund for destitute clients and an employment service, including bursary funding, so people can access training and employment.
Client-centred: Our clients’ needs are at the centre of all decision-making. We achieve this through regular consultation with clients to shape our ways of working and service provision and via external evaluations. In 2016/17, we re-established our Refugee Advisory Board to give us feedback on our services.
Partnership working: We work with, and through, other organisations to provide the best possible end-to-end service for vulnerable people. We take time to plan our services and talk to other providers to avoid duplication and ensure join-up. In the past 12 months, we have worked with multiple partners including: Oxford City Council, the British Red Cross, Oxford Spires Academy, Social Services, EMBS, CAB, Oxford University Museums, Emmaus, Shelter, Oxfordshire MIND, Abingdon and Witney College, Crisis, Asylum Welcome and Oxfam.
Sharing our expertise: We provide training for other organisations on mental health, and effective ways to work with refugees and migrants, to ensure our clients are treated with understanding and compassion when trying to establish themselves in the UK. In 2016/17, we trained up staff teams from the Oxford Job Centre and Oxford City Council Housing Office, as well as professionals from educational and mental health bodies.