Charity helps Afghan refugees put down roots in Nottinghamshire with support from the Health Lottery
A refugee support charity in Nottingham has shared how recent events in Afghanistan has made support from money raised through The Health Lottery all the more crucial.
Refugee Roots has recently received £25,173 from People’s Health Trust using money raised through Health Lottery East Midlands which has helped fund one-to-one support, peer connection, language classes and therapy sessions for asylum seekers and refugees.
The US/NATO evacuation from Afghanistan had caused thousands of Afghans to leave their homes in search of safety and security.
Some, thanks to the two Home Officer resettlement schemes, have found their way to Nottingham.
Thanks to Refugee Roots, they can get vital support in setting up a new life and integrating with the community.
Adam Baker, charity director of Refugee Roots, said: “Refugee Roots is significant because we build relationships with participants.
"Our ethos is about belonging and encouraging people to feel like Nottingham is a place for them.
The way that Refugee Roots relates to participants is intended to be long term and sustained.
"For example, we worked with a participant to develop a trust and understanding of the health service, which ultimately encouraged him to get involved with English lessons.
"After months, he still maintains contact with the charity.
Refugee Roots have two support workers who came to the charity during lockdown, increasing their capacity since they are multilingual, and one is a law graduate.
Another is a Farsi and Dahari speaker who is helping with the recent influx of Afghans and Iraqis.
Local authorities and the Home Office have pledged to accommodate a large number of refugees, particularly Afghans, in Nottingham through resettlement programmes.
Referrals come from the local authorities and encourage refugees and asylum seekers to get involved.
Similarly, the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire refugee forum understand the type of individual support Refugee Roots can provide.
There is also an online presence which leads to a smaller number of referrals but normally this comes through a third party already in the UK.
This means self-referral and inter-agency referrals are both options.
Booklets are distributed through the companies which provide temporary accommodation for refugees.
Martin Ellice, managing director of the Health Lottery, commented: “The work of Refugee Roots is very inspiring and hope they continue their great work.”