01 MR Conference

Launching ‘Responding to Covid-19: Leadership development programme for the UK Migration and Refugee Sector’

“As someone with lived experience, I’m hoping that the programme will give me skills and confidence to advocate for myself, my families, and my community [...] and create space for us to grow and connect as leaders and in turn, become sources of support for others.” - Applicant for Responding to Covid-19: Leadership development programme for the UK Migration and Refugee Sector

We are delighted to announce the launch of ‘Responding to Covid-19: Leadership development programme for the UK Migration and Refugee Sector’. Delivered in partnership with LEx Movement (Lived Experience Leaders Movement hosted by the Centre for Knowledge Equity), the programme is designed to support the UK’s migrant and refugee communities’ vital effort during these challenging times by strengthening their leadership, organisations, and the sector.

Demonstrating a great need for support and development in the sector, the programme received an overwhelming number of applications from fantastic leaders working for a diverse range of organisations across the UK Migration and Refugee Sector.

The programme recruitment prioritised Lived Experience Leaders*, leaders working in small and medium-sized organisations, and leaders based outside London. We obtained 60% of applications from Lived Experience Leaders, around 80% from small and medium organisations, and over 80% outside of London.

*Lived Experience Leaders are those who have direct, first-hand experience, past or present, of immigration systems and who have activated these experiences to inform, shape and lead their social purpose work to directly benefit the communities they share those experiences with. For further information, visit www.lexmovement.org.

We are thrilled to be able to support a cohort of participants of such diverse demographics, and to work in partnership with LEx Movement, in collaboration with Migration Exchange and with support from a coalition of funders whose commitment to this sector has made it possible to deliver the programme free of charge.

Writing about what has motivated them to apply for this programme, participants have said:

“I see this as a unique opportunity that will help me connect, learn and develop with others to support and advocate for migrants (including refugees) in the UK. Specifically, I believe this is needed in these unprecedented times when collaboration and strategic thinking and action are crucial to support migrant communities in the UK.”

“The pandemic has highlighted many of the injustices that are faced by our migrant communities including, data/tech poverty, food poverty, and health inequalities. I hope that through the learning on this course and gaining in confidence I will be better equipped to help fight some of these injustices at a more strategic level. I also hope that I will feel better able to communicate the needs of our centre users and advocate for change where it’s needed."

Plans for future programmes designed for the UK Migration and Refugee Sector have been put on hold because of Covid-19 and will be revisited in 2021.

A list of the 2020 successful participants’ organisations can be found below.

Successful participants' organisations

  • ACH (formally Ashley Community Housing)
  • Action Foundation
  • Afghan Community and Welfare Centre
  • African Equality Foundation
  • African Health Policy Network
  • Afrocats
  • Akwaaba
  • Asha North Staffordshire
  • Asylum Research Centre
  • Asylum Welcome
  • AWP Partnership Mental Health Trust
  • Baobab Women's Project
  • Baytree Centre
  • Bearwood Action for Refugees
  • Believe in Me CIC
  • Black Butterfly
  • Borderlands
  • Bread & Roses
  • Bristol Hospitality Network
  • Bristol Somali Resource Centre
  • British Red Cross
  • British Refugee Council
  • CARAG (coventry asylum and refugee action group)
  • CARAS
  • Chinese In Wales Association
  • Citizens Advice Bolton
  • Community Integration and Advocacy Centre
  • Coram Children's Legal Centre
  • Coventry City Council
  • Coventry City of Culture 2021
  • Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre
  • Croydon Community Against Trafficking (CCAT)
  • Decolonising Contraception
  • Detention Action
  • Development and Empowerment for Women's Advancement (DEWA Project)
  • Devon & Cornwall Refugee Support
  • DIPACT
  • Displaced People in Action
  • English+
  • Essex Integration
  • Europia Charity
  • Freedom from Torture
  • Glasgow Night Shelter for Destitute Asylum Seekers
  • Govan Community Project
  • Governance and the Local Integration of Migrants and Europe’s Refugees (GLIMER)
  • Help Refugees (Choose Love)
  • Hestia
  • Home of Justice Community Interest Company
  • HostNation
  • Inspiring Grace
  • Islamic Relief Worldwide
  • Kirklees Council
  • Kurdistan Art & Culture (KAC)
  • Law Centres Network
  • Leeds Asylum Seekers' Support Network
  • Maison Foo
  • Majic Sport and H&H Family Centre CIC
  • Manchester City of Sanctuary
  • maokwo
  • Maryhill integration network
  • May Project Gardens CIC
  • Mental Health Foundation
  • Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Community
  • Migrant Action and RETAS
  • Migrant Help
  • Migrant Support
  • Migrants Organise
  • Migrants Organising For Rights and Empowerment
  • Migrateful
  • Migration Asylum Justice Forum
  • Migration Yorkshire
  • Mojatu Media
  • Multi-cultural Family Base
  • NESTAC
  • New Routes Integration
  • NHS
  • Nigeria Community Association
  • Nilaari Agency
  • No Evication Network
  • North East Law Centre
  • Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum (NNRF)
  • Nottingham Refugee Forum
  • Open Doors Project
  • Open Rights Group
  • Our Second Home
  • Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers
  • Public Health England
  • Rainbow Railroad
  • Red Cross
  • Redzebra Community Solutions
  • Refugee & Migrant Centre
  • Refugee Action
  • Refugee and Migrant Centre
  • Refugee Council
  • Refugee Rights Europe and Scottish Refugee Council
  • Refugee Solidarity Summit
  • Refugee Survival Trust
  • Refugee Tales
  • Gatwick Detainee Welfare Group
  • Refugee Week Leader
  • Refugee Women Connect
  • Refugee Women's Centre
  • Refugees at Home
  • RETAS
  • Rethink Rebuild Society
  • Right Up Our Street – A Creative Peoples and Places Project
  • Sanctus St Marks
  • Scottish Refugee Council
  • Simon Community Scotland
  • SINGA
  • Slough Refugee Support
  • SLRA - South London Refugee Association
  • SolidariTee
  • Soundmix
  • South Asian Health Action
  • South Yorkshire Housing Association
  • SpringAid
  • St Francis Employability
  • St Augustine's Centre
  • Sunderland Partnership
  • Surrey Heath Borough Council
  • Survivors Speak Out
  • TERN - The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network
  • The Boaz Trust
  • The Bridge Plus
  • The No1 Befriending Agency
  • The Refugee Buddy Project, Hastings, Rother, Wealden
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • The Welcoming Association
  • the3million
  • TUC
  • United Nations Population Fund
  • Upbeat Communities
  • Voluntary Action Sheffield / New Beginnings Project
  • Welsh Refugee Council
  • Woking Borough Council
  • Women and Democracy Association
  • Work Rights Centre
  • Young Roots

Commenting on the programme, Shaks Ghosh CBE, Chief Executive, Clore Social Leadership said: “It is a privilege to partner with the Lived Experience Movement on this online summer leadership programme. We want people in the Migration and Refugee Sector to know we are here to support their tremendous efforts in these challenging times. They have not gone unnoticed. And now more than ever, leadership is fundamental to how we respond to challenges. This leadership programme has been designed to extend beyond individuals, enabling them to act collectively to strengthen their organisations, communities and the sector.”

It is a privilege to partner with the Lived Experience Movement on this online summer leadership programme.
Shaks Ghosh CBE, Chief Executive, Clore Social Leadership

Baljeet Sandhu, Co-Founder, Lived Experience Leaders Movement & Chief Executive, Centre for Knowledge Equity: “Migrant and refugee communities across the UK are playing a vital role in the emergency and recovery response during the pandemic. This is evidenced by their heroic work within healthcare and other frontline services during this challenging time for us all. Britain sees you, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We must ensure that immigration systems are not impeding the survival and unity of all our communities as we walk, together, into a future of recovery and renewal. We are delighted to partner with Clore Social Leadership to offer this free summer leadership programme to a sector supporting valued members of our society – placing courage, compassion, generosity and resilience at the heart of social leadership.”

Migrant and refugee communities across the UK are playing a vital role in the emergency and recovery response during the pandemic.
Baljeet Sandhu, Co-Founder, Lived Experience Leaders Movement & Chief Executive, Centre for Knowledge Equity

Sarah Cutler, Director, Migration Exchange funder network: “We know that people in the immigration system are being hit hard by this pandemic, and that the leaders and organisations who support them are more vital than ever. People are already doing an amazing job but we know that there is an appetite to develop and support each other even during these pressured times. So we are really pleased to be able to work with Clore Social Leadership and the Lived Experience Movement so that this sector can access online opportunities to strengthen leadership skills over the summer.”

People are already doing an amazing job but we know that there is an appetite to develop and support each other .
Sarah Cutler, Director, Migration Exchange funder network

The programme is possible thanks to the support of Migration Exchange and funding from: Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Unbound Philanthropy, Social Change Initiative, Lloyds Bank Foundation, Metropolitan Migration Foundation and A. B. Charitable Trust.

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About LEx Movement (Lived Experience Leaders Movement hosted by the Centre for Knowledge Equity)

The Lived Experience Leaders Movement (also known as LEx Movement) is a national collective impact network connecting, supporting and strengthening the capacity of Lived Experience Leaders to help all our communities thrive. The leaders, innovators, and changemakers of the movement work across the UK and across industries including charity leads running support services, social entrepreneurs working on social and economic justice, academics leading community-orientated recovery practice, and many more.

For more information and to be part of the movement, please visit www.lexmovement.org and join the conversation on Twitter @LExMovement.

The Centre for Knowledge Equity is a ground-breaking social and environmental impact agency that values all forms of human wisdom to tackle pressing issues of our times.

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