The NACCOM 2016-17 annual report, launched today at our national conference in Stoke on Trent, explores some significant areas of growth and change in the last year, both within the core work of NACCOM and the membership as a whole. Alongside highlighting the resourcefulness and resilience of members and service users in a challenging and uncertain environment, it draws attention to key flaws in the system which need to be addressed.
To download a copy of the report, click here.
A total of 38 projects (out of 41) took part in this year’s survey which is the main focus of the report. The results showed a rise in both provision and need. The majority of those accommodated had no recourse to public funds and therefore, without charitable support, would have faced desperate choices to survive. As one refugee explains in the report, ‘After I was refused, I stayed in a church… Then I stayed with friends… Sometimes I stayed in the bus station. One time I stayed in a phone box. It was a very bad time.’
Bed spaces are a crucial part of the solution to destitution, by preventing people from having to make such hard and dangerous choices. It is therefore encouraging to see that despite ongoing issues with capacity and resources, the number of beds available across the network has increased this year to 869, with an estimated 1,907 people supported in total.
This figure includes 840 refused asylum seekers, 824 refugees and 243 other migrants with no recourse to public funds.
Accommodation provision has grown primarily through the development or expansion of hosting schemes. There are now 24 hosting schemes within the network (a 14% rise since last year, and a 118% rise since 2015) that collectively engaged 833 guests and 691 hosts. To support such growth, we worked with members and Homeless Link in the development of the sector’s first ‘Hosting Toolkit‘, which was launched in July 2017 and has already been disseminated widely.
Of those refugees being supported by projects (rising from 29% to 43% of the total accommodated this year), members could identify that at least a quarter were known to be destitute when they came to their services for help. This is further evidence of the need for reform to a system which leaves many newly recognised refugees homeless and destitute. To read our response to the ‘Refugees Welcome?’ report which was published in April 2017 by the APPG on Refugees, click here.
Plans for the year ahead
At today’s conference we will be announcing the appointment of our new National Director, who will lead the charity from the beginning of 2018. This is a key development that will give us both the capacity, skills and experience required to continue the transition to a more strategic organisation and deliver our Vision and Strategy.
This will also release our current staff to have a greater focus on building the capacity of the network, supporting our members as well as developing our communications work and advocacy objectives.
To download a copy of this year’s report, click here.
Interested in finding out more? Follow us on Twitter today using the hashtag #NACCOM2017 to learn more about the conference, the report’s findings, our advocacy plans and wider partnership work.