By suspending delivery we were able to focus on adapting our services to a remote model and understanding how to best meet the emerging needs of people from a refugee background during and after this crisis.
A key part of this work was asking our clients directly what support they needed through these difficult times and engaging with our partners in the sector to share information and resources.
We did this primarily to inform our own response to Covid-19, but once the results came back we found them so interesting that we decided to release them externally so that other organisations could benefit from the data.
You can access the results of our Needs Assessment – The Impact of Covid-19 on Refugees and People of Refugee Background in London – here.
This assessment indicates that Covid-19 is impacting refugees and people of refugee background more severely than the rest of the UK population. According to the study, people of refugee background are experiencing higher than average rates of job loss and furloughing as a result of Covid-19, as well as lower levels of technological access.
We are concerned that when recovering from this crisis we will see the same mistakes being repeated as in the 2008 recession, when minority ethnic groups were more acutely affected than the white population of the UK in the long-term.
We are therefore trying to adapt our programmes to minimise the long-term effects of the pandemic on people of refugee background. As well as adapting our existing programmes to remote delivery, we are also piloting and testing new forms of support, with a focus on digital inclusion.
For the time being we are only providing support over the phone and online. We will re-introduce face-to-face delivery when we are confident that we can do so safely. Over the coming weeks and months we will be resuming enrolments for new clients, re-introducing volunteer support into our Employment and Education programmes and planning new activities with our corporate partners.
Whilst we are delighted that we are able to re-open our services, we are doing so at a time when we know the demand for our support is growing. If you are interested in referring clients to our services, or in supporting our work, please e-mail us at [email protected].