The Home Office announced last week funding of £500,000 in
each of the next three years to help integrate refugees into the
community. The money will be made available through the new
Challenge Fund, established as part of the Refugee Integration
Strategy launched last November.
The strategy is being taken forward by the National Refugee
Integration Forum, chaired by Home Office minister Barbara
The forum will consult with refugees, local authorities, faith
communities and voluntary organisations to develop the
The money has been welcomed by Refugee Action, a national
charity that leads one of the forum’s sub-groups. “What is
important is that it marks the beginning of including refugee
interests in local authority and statutory sector policy and
planning,” said Refugee Action’s chief executive Sandy Buchan.
Organisations and projects addressing the needs of refugees have
been invited to register an expression of interest for the funding
by 12 April.
In addition, a further £350,000 per year will be available
through the Refugee Community Development Fund, which was
established to help small, community-based groups wishing to
develop their work with refugees.
“Refugees have contributed enormously to our national life,
often overcoming great difficulties to do so,” said Roche. “We need
to dismantle and minimise these difficulties as far as