The Refugees Support Refugees, 5 year Project funded by Big Lottery Fund's

This is an expansion project based on past work and a recent small pilot by The Derby Bosnia Hercegovina Community Association (TDBHCA) and partner organisation Derby Refugee Forum (DRF). Working in Derby, wider Derbyshire and Nottingham, it aims to help refugees from the former Yugoslavia improve their mental well-being following trauma caused by the conflicts of the mid to late 1990s, access appropriate services and/ or benefits and integrate into life in the UK.

As well as its formal partnership with DRF, TBHCA will work in conjunction with Derby City Council Housing and Social Services, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire LAs, housing associations, CAB, Derby Law Centre, local schools, Refugee Action, the Home Office, the Red Cross, and Refugee Council, with two-way referrals for beneficiaries. The project will act as a one-stop-shop for individuals, drawing on its experience and that of partners to offer culturally appropriate advice on welfare, immigration, budgeting, health and employment issues. It will also provide weekly food parcels and clothes to destitute asylum seekers, ESOL, provision of child-care and space for family meetings. Activities will also include a 24-hour helpline for psychological crises; producing a bi-monthly newsletter and personal advice on welfare rights will be given in DBHCA’s newly acquired centre. An outreach and advocacy service will support the less mobile, disabled people and isolated members of the targeted communities, offering support in areas such as the education of their children. It will start up lunch clubs and provide other opportunities for social gathering. One-to-one and group training will be provided on access, equal opportunities, records-keeping, financial management and responsibilities. Information will be provided in a range of languages, with access to meeting space and IT.

In terms of expansion, TDBHCA had no partnership management arrangements. This and a formal change in management structure will be implemented going forward. Previous work had no long-term development of community activists, assistance with job search or CV writing, individuals receiving counselling, food/ textile bank support or refugee volunteers trained to offer consistent support within their particular community group. This will all be incorporated into work going forward. The following areas have all had limited availability in past work: development support of individual refugee organisations; duration of support for individuals/ families; psychological support; support for victims of crime; interaction with constabulary, border agency, local multicultural networks and the NHS; enabling groups to have cultural events; the background and number of volunteers involved in project. This will all be expanded upon and developed in work going forward. Past work only had support in three languages, but this will be expanded to between seven and ten. It only saw 10 to 20 visitors per week, but with the new centre and additional funding, it is anticipated it will be able to accommodate 70 to 100 visitors weekly. Opening hours were 10am to 3pm Monday to Friday, but this will be increased to 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday, allowing it to see more people. Previously volunteers were only of Bosnian background, but this will be expanded upon, drawing from a wider range of ethnic backgrounds.

Expected Project Outcomes

  1. Refugee families from the former Yugoslavia will feel settled in the UK and have ongoing help on psychological or mental health related problems arising from earlier conflict and the ongoing opening of mass graves
  2. New peer group refugee organisations in Derby can deal effectively and sustainably with issues in their own communities
  3. Individual Asylum seekers and newly registered refugees coming into derby have early access to intensive support to help them settle
  4. Asylum seekers and refugees in Derby have effective strategic presence and operational structure to inform and influence key local stakeholders and strenghten other refugee organisations


All that you need to do is contact us:

  • By phone 01332294436, 07971057969
  • E-mail us
  • Visit us at our address: Bosnia & Herzegovina Centre, 99 Curzon Street, Derby, DE1 1LN

We will arrange our visit to you as soon as possible and at your convenient time