This two-year project brought together isolated refugees, mainly from Kurdish, Iranian and Afghan backgrounds, and provided community befriending/cohesion opportunities by delivering cultural-cooking workshops, arts/crafts workshops and multi-cultural events.

Participants enjoying a meal together at the Derby Refugee Befriending Project

Migrating to Great Britain as a refugee or asylum seeker can be an incredibly isolating experience. We know that creating opportunities to reduce isolation can have a big impact on health and wellbeing.

This befriending project was formed as a direct response to a need expressed by the community. Food and Education Enterprise CIC spoke with over 300 people in our community and found they wanted to tackle isolation and other challenges through community-based activities.

Sessions include cooking, language and IT classes, and craft workshops. At these sessions people form bonds in the community so they can be more active outside of the project. Participants also develop skills such as cooking different cuisines and learning or strengthening English language skills.

I feel like I am an accepted member of the community. I wouldn’t be able to do this before but thanks to this project, I have a place to mix with other people and learn more from them.

Bushra Shah

Project member

Funded by People’s Health Trust using money raised by Health Lottery East Midlands