Small Places Close to Home: Projects led by Refugee and Asylum-Seeking Communities
£15 (5 to voluntary organisations)
Star Rating: 3/5
With information about 34 projects in England and Wales that provide services for asylum seekers and refugees, the aim of this book is to provide “a useful resource for practitioners”, writes Heather Pritchard.
Arranged in well-defined sections, the book offers thumbnail sketches of each project with contact details and web addresses. These provide invaluable information and links to other resources.
But the book is only partly successful; descriptions lack immediacy and are written in a language inaccessible to anyone whose mother tongue is not English. Many of them include short testimonials from service users that imply gratitude rather than development, growth and partnership.
In this respect the book misses the opportunity of achieving its second goal of countering “negative media stereotyping”.
The book could have done with service users and providers writing about and illustrating the projects to give less polished but more spontaneous descriptions. This would have given the book some of the vibrancy, energy and commitment that must have been involved in bringing these projects to fruition.
It would also have transformed what is essentially an expensively produced listing into an exciting and energising communication.
Heather Pritchard is an independent social work consultant and trainer.