The Refugee and Migrant Centre (RMC) opens offices in city centre

The Refugee and Migrant Centre (RMC) opened its offices in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter on Monday 4th July 2016.

RMC is very pleased to report that we have secured start-up funding for a three year project which replicates our current core work in Wolverhampton. We are extremely grateful to Barrow Cadbury Trust, Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Tudor Trust for funding this initiative and we look forward to continuing our valued relationship with them on this new venture.

RMC in Wolverhampton and the Black Country was founded in 1999 by asylum seekers to meet the needs of asylum seekers. For nearly seventeen years the organisation has developed and adapted to the evolving needs of all new and emerging communities and now supports clients with over 20,000 enquiries a year. Initially funded solely by charitable trusts our funding sources have expanded to include a range of Black Country local authorities, Wolverhampton CCG, Big Lottery and an increased range of charitable trusts and foundations. Core work is delivered by Office of Immigration Standards Commissioner accredited, (levels 1 and 2), experienced caseworkers who support over 125 drop-in clients a day. One hundred volunteers a year assist the delivery of the service and complement the provision of over 40 client languages. Alongside core casework, which includes support in the areas of immigration, accommodation and destitution, welfare, health, education, training, employment and citizenship, RMC offers a wide range of other services including: a comprehensive health and wellbeing programme, employability support, preparation for social housing tenancy, a rough sleeper project and citizenship/’Life in the UK’ test tuition, all aimed at supporting clients in overcoming barriers to integration. A huge strength of the project has been the fact that it is delivered largely by staff and volunteers who are refugees or migrants themselves; they can therefore bring an empathy, cultural awareness and not least client languages to the service.

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RMC Head of Support Pam Gill, Senior Caseworker Hasson Bayle and New Projects Coordinator Beth Mobey at the recent opening of RMC Birmingham

Whilst RMC will always prioritise the needs of the most vulnerable and protect its service to them, we hope to build a comprehensive service offering professional, timely advice to a wide and inclusive client group, including: asylum seekers, refugees and EU migrants. Beneficiaries in Birmingham will access free, face to face, seamless, expert advice and support at crucial times in their lives. Initially priority will be given to the areas of immigration, destitution and housing, health, education and welfare issues.

This Birmingham initiative was prompted by an ever increasing number of Birmingham residents accessing our services in Wolverhampton, but whose needs we were not funded to meet. We have worked with funders who know us well and were reassured by colleagues who know Birmingham well that there is a need for our services in the city.

We have deployed experienced, well qualified staff to the Birmingham office and they together with many volunteers are very much looking forward to working with friends and partners, old and new in Birmingham, and to complementing each other’s work to effectively and efficiently address the needs of these most vulnerable individuals and communities.

RMC, Unit 2, 57 Frederick Street, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, B1 3HS

                      Phone: 0121 374 0140,    www.rmcentre.org.uk

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