This two-year project runs two weekly groups for refugees and people seeking asylum in the city of Nottingham, providing English as a Second Language (ESOL) classes, community meals and arts activities.

A participant of Refugee Roots sharing a meal with other participants

The group originally grew out of work with the community and participants have regular opportunities to shape the project’s ongoing development. The aim of the work is to enable people to come together to improve their wellbeing and social links.

Under the UK’s Asylum Seekers Dispersal Policy, asylum seekers who need accommodation are housed across the UK according to an agreed ratio, based on various regional factors. Nottingham is a dispersal city and so projects like Refugee Roots are particularly important here to support people in building relationships in the local community and gaining support to access statutory services.

Refugee Roots addresses the needs of refugees and asylum seekers through their project by focusing primarily on relationship building. The support staff which assist with the weekly groups and provide one-to-one support are bi-lingual and some have been through the asylum-seeking process themselves.

Some projects just provide services, but we really value the social connections we build. The way we’re involved with our participants is long term, our support doesn’t stop.

Adam Baker


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