Annual Reports

Northern Refugee Annual Report 2012-13

Northern Refugee Centre (NRC) - improving the lives of refugees, new migrants and people seeking asylum in Yorkshire and the Humber

We do this by:

Analysing need and providing services, either directly or through partner organisations

Working in partnership with other refugee agencies in Yorkshire and the Humber and elsewhere

Consulting, advising and campaigning to improve statutory provision and build cohesion between communities

Empowering migrant and refugee individuals, organisations and communities throughout our service provision and partnership working.

Note from the Chair

Dear friends and colleagues,

I should like to thank you all for your support over the last eventful year.

NRC has grown in size by joining with other refugee agencies across the region. As one organisation we can offer a more holistic service to our clients and ensure that more of our funding supports them, as the back room work is rationalised.

We have worked in partnership with 5 other Refugee agencies across the UK so that a national bid for the Asylum Advice service, tendered by the Home Office could be made. As you know this bid was unsuccessful and we are looking at how our advice services are shaped in light of that.

The new Asylum Advice service will be run by Migrant Help and more details about the shape and delivery of the service are yet to come. The merging of projects in Hull, Bradford and Wakefield worked well, and there are reports elsewhere in the annual report on progress.

We are saying adieu to our Finance and Resources Manager of 10 years, Raymond Hadley and our Finance Manager, Nigel Webster. They have worked hard for NRC, steering us into our new expanded service as well as doing the 'day job'.

Raymond was instrumental in the Jantela project and supported and enhanced many groups with their financial arrangements. Raymond also oversaw and delivered the first European Funding for NRC and we all learnt many lessons as to the thinking and delivery of such projects.

Nigel oversaw the day to day running of NRC as well as rolling out this work to our new network of services. His attention to detail is legendary and will be missed. So we wish them both a happy retirement from NRC and a wonderful future doing interesting and enjoyable things.

NRC now welcomes the new Finance and Resources Manager, Catherine Rodgers, who has just taken up her role, and will face many challenges ahead. Other new challenges are awaiting us, with new funding streams and working through major issues with the private sector. But as always we will put the client's needs at the centre of all our discussions and work to provide the best possible service.

NRC has fantastic and dedicated workers, both paid and unpaid. On behalf of the board of NRC I would like to say 'Thank you'. We could not function without you. Also a big thank you to all board members for their time, patience and knowledge which they freely give.

I wish you all great year and look forward to working with you all in 2014.

1. Sylvia Anginotti

Sylvia Anginotti
Northern Refugee Centre (Chair)

Message from NRC’s Chief Executive

Well what a year. And I say that every year. But this really has been!

The refugee voluntary sector within the UK has really been turned on its head with the CAGS Consolidated Advice and Guidance Service contract being awarded to Migrant Help. The Home Office put out a tender for this service for new asylum seekers. Although NRC has not previously been directly contacted to provide the One Stop Advice Service that it replaces in April 2014, we have undoubtedly felt the effects of it. We have significantly rethought the delivery of our advice services across the region, not only in terms of how we target our limited resources to those in greatest need, but also how we work most effectively in partnership with other advice providers. We look forward to a positive engagement with Migrant Help, who will be providing the CAGS service nationally, and would expect that our services in Yorkshire and Humber would be complementary.

NRC is continuing to lead on rationalising the refugee voluntary sector within Yorkshire and Humber, to ensure that it is as effective as possible in coordinating the various services across the region, particularly in the hostile environment, which all agencies are having to work within, and which is not going to get any better in the near future, whatever happens nationally. Part of this lead role involves working towards current or future mergers of agencies and services across the region. It is also a way of thinking. We will only survive as a sector if we work in partnership and recognise that not only may previous patterns of services not be appropriate for current circumstances, both financial and political, but also may not be in the best interests of the people who are using our services, or could be using our services in future.

NRC is continuing to recognise that the exploitation and needs of vulnerable migrant workers within the region needs to be addressed more, and we will be more public about this in future. This will not be at the expense of our work with Refugees and Asylum Seekers, including those who are destitute, but we are determined that our responsibilities towards ALL new migrant groups are addressed within the services we deliver, particularly in these challenging times.

As ever, I am inspired daily by the staff, volunteers and service users I work with and can only thank them for the dedication and imagination they all show in such times.

2. Jim Steinke

Jim Steinke
Northern Refugee Centre (Chief Excutive)

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