Refugees gain qualifications, employment and new skills


Find out about the success of HACT's Reach In programme.

The Reach In evaluation report, 'Building the Capacity of Housing Providers and Refugee Communities', published on December 13 by HACT, demonstrates the benefits gained by both the refugee volunteers and housing providers that took part in this project.

Of the 82 volunteers placed in 23 housing associations, for placements of up to 6 months, almost all gained a Level 3 housing certificate from the Chartered Institute of Housing. Many have gone on to employment following their volunteer placement. The volunteers have also reported they gained knowledge and skills from their experiences. One volunteer says:

“I have gained leadership, organisational, planning, recording keeping, and information technology skills. Also, I passed chartered housing training with merit. It was so surprising to me. I am more confident than I have even been. I am doing a very nice and well paid Job. I got many friends during my placement and I am still in touch with them.”

The housing providers also gained a lot from hosting the volunteer placements, in particular developing relationships with local refugee and BME organisations, and a number are going to roll out the model with other local community groups.

The project has also produced an online toolkit for housing providers to help them recruit and host refugee volunteers.

The project was funded by the European Refugee Fund, and also by JP Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, Trust for London, The Goldsmiths’ Company, The Beatrice Laing Trust and contributions from housing provider partners. The project held a celebration event in July, read the press release from the event.