Annual Reports

Northern Refugee Annual Report 2013-14

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

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.

Message from the Chair

This year has been a major turning point for NRC, and the coming year will see a new name for Northern Refugee Centre.

The mergers which took place have progressed in the most positive way, enabling services to continue and expand their support for our clients. Some existing services like OISC level 2 Advice have been rolled out into other areas and for new groups of clients. NRC has also recovered from the significant income reduction a few years ago, but is still far short of the resources required to deliver what is needed in the region.

The new management structure and the mergers have brought greater depth and experience to the region. This in turn has enhanced our ability to bid for funding for new and vital services. This year NRC Senior Management Team has said Adieu to Raymond Hadley, Nigel Webster and Charlotte Cooke, who were all valued and long standing members of staff. On behalf of the Board I should like to publicly thank them for the work they did, especially in enabling the organisation to flourish and for all the sound advice that they gave to the Chief Executive and the Board. We also made two new appointments to replace Senior Management Team: Catherine Rodgers as Finance and Contracts Manager and Charlene Fernandes as HR and Resources Manager

The Board suffered the loss of Mary Clifton in October who was a staunch supporter of the Board and gave her time advising us, even when she was quite ill. Her calm and soft voice of reason will be missed. Chris Davies retired from the Board in April and we would like to thank her for her contribution to the Board and work on the HR sub committee.

Every year brings new challenges with changes in funding and national priorities. Last year was no exception with the introduction of the new Advice arrangements nationally and the impact it has had on the region. The coming year will bring other challenges and we with other similar organisations are making preparations to try and shape the future services to refugees and migrants across the North.

NRC has been fortunate to have dedicated staff and dedicated volunteers. They all contribute 110% of their time and energy and integrity. A very big thank you to them all. 

It is with much sadness we record that Mary Clifton, a very committed Board member, passed away recently. She had been a long-term Refugee New Arrivals Project Board member, prior to their merger with NRC and she remained on the Board to ensure that the new organisation reflected the values of RNAP. We will miss her valuable insights and humour. 


1. Sylvia Anginotti

Sylvia Anginotti
Northern Refugee Centre (Chair)

Introduction from the Chief Executive

Northern Refugee Centre has obviously had another eventful year, along with the rest of the voluntary sector, compounded by massive challenges faced by all of us working in the refugee and migrant environment.

Last year, we were embarking on a rolling programme of four mergers with agencies from within the Yorkshire and the Humber region: ARKH, BafR, RASA, and - most recently – RETAS. All have now been completed. These mergers were part of a consolidation of the refugee voluntary sector across the region, where it had been recognised that, otherwise, the sector may simply not survive in the longer term, and that some agencies would inevitably close in the short term. The mergers were part of a move to a more robust organisational structure, capable of maintaining and possibly improving a level and quality of service, identifying and successfully bidding or tendering for new funding streams and reducing running costs.

In my view, and that of many others, we have succeeded in this, and I would like to pay tribute to all the managers, staff, volunteers and board members of those merged organisations, who made the transition possible.I believe that we have ended up with a more sustainable range of agencies across Yorkshire and the Humber, where not only the merged agencies have been strengthened, but also the other agencies in the sector are operating in a more rational environment in terms of potential and existing funding opportunities. We are also looking at a series of partnerships with some of those agencies in funding bids, service delivery models and some shared functions. This can only benefit those individuals and communities, who we are in existence to support.

We have also benefited from moving towards some colocation of related agencies in all our service bases across Yorkshire and the Humber. Over the last year, we have successfully moved into far more appropriate buildings in Hull and Wakefield, which mean better quality and more effective services, not only for NRC as a whole, but also for those agencies who have colocated  and those that use our building as a service base.

We have continued to recognise that the exploitation and needs of migrants within the North need to be addressed more, and we continue to be very public about that. 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 times when there is such hostility to these groups.

And finally all this points to the renaming, rebranding and restructuring of Northern Refugee Centre, which we will be introducing at the end of this annual report.

As ever, I am inspired daily by the managers, staff, volunteers, board members 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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