In 2016 NACCOM’s trustees and staff undertook a review of the network’s activities and developed a strategic plan and vision for the next four years. Below are the details of this vision and activities and the values that underpin them.
At the same time the combined effect of poor administration of the asylum and immigration system and frequent legislative change by successive UK Governments since the nineties has resulted in a rise in destitution. Policy has increasingly sought to create a hostile environment for asylum seekers and migrants who have no clear documentation to prove their right to remain.
Trustees and staff recognise the need for NACCOM to develop capacity to support its growing network of members.
This strategic plan sets out our vision, aims and objectives for development, and outlines a process for the organisation to become more effective and sustainable in the short, medium and longer term.
It also sets out staffing and resourcing requirements and a timescale for development including succession planning for the founder and current coordinator, Dave Smith.
NACCOM is committed to bringing an end to destitution amongst asylum seekers, refugees and migrants with no recourse to public funds living in the UK.
NACCOM exists to promote best practice in and support the establishment of accommodation projects that reduce destitution amongst asylum seekers. In addition, they may also support migrants with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) and / or refugees facing barriers to accessing affordable housing.
It does this by:
- Providing networking opportunities to encourage, empower and connect members
- Sharing knowledge and promoting best practice to provide pathways out of destitution
- Working with others (including those with lived experience) to raise awareness of destitution and campaign for a just and humane asylum system
- Gathering and disseminating data on the scale of destitution and positive outcomes achieved by members
- Enable members’ capacity to increase in order to accommodate more clients, and encourage growth of NACCOM membership, particularly in dispersal areas where there are no NACCOM members. We aim for members to be collectively housing at least 1,000 refused asylum seekers a year who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF) by 2020 and at least 2,250 homeless asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants with NRPF a year by 2020.
- Develop support to member organisations, to become more sustainable and professional, by encouraging and sharing good practice as well as promoting and supporting partnership working.
- Improve data gathering from members to provide key stakeholders, influencers and decision makers with information that highlights the extent and effects of destitution, as well as the success of NACCOM members in achieving routes out of destitution.
- Empowering members’ clients to tell their story so that, working in partnership with other organisations, the human face of destitution has a raised profile.
We will achieve these objectives by engaging in the following activities;
- Encouraging and supporting the set-up of new / small projects or organisations to increase provision of bed spaces and support for asylum seekers and migrants with NRPF.
- Identifying and promoting good practice standards across the NACCOM membership, by producing and sharing resources, including via the member’s area on the website, and running training and capacity building events for member organisations.
- Supporting members to gather data on the extent of destitution and on their work. NACCOM will compile this data, ensuring it is robust and ready to be used to influence public opinion and policy making.
- Commissioning evaluation, advice or other work for the benefit of member organisations and their clients.
- Running an annual UK national conference as well as regional focus group meetings.
- Developing and implementing a communications strategy to promote the work of NACCOM and its members, disseminate case studies and good practice.
- Building relationships with sympathetic funders/social investors to channel capacity into NACCOM and its members.
- Engaging with strategic partners and networks to ensure collaborative working where appropriate and shared learning across the wider homeless and refugee/migrant sectors.
A thirst for justice
Collective working within and beyond the network
Shared resources, knowledge, ideas, expertise and best practice
Commitment to excellence
Openness and transparency
Empowerment for refugees and asylum seekers with lived experience of destitution
NACCOM is committed to being an anti-racist organisation. Our anti-racism statement is below;
The Black Lives Matter protests of the last few weeks have been a rallying cry for us all to pause, reflect on, and take action against, the structural, political and institutional racism that is endemic in the UK.
As an organisation that exists to end destitution amongst those seeking asylum and migrants with no recourse to public funds, and to challenge Government policies that make destitution an inevitable and intended consequence of immigration policy for certain groups, NACCOM stands in solidarity with those who fight against racism in all its forms. We hope this statement goes some way in setting out our values and commitments in relation to tackling racism.
We understand that the UKs immigration system is born of racist and colonial legacies that continue to oppress people of colour today. We recognise that the basis for the governments ongoing hostile environment policy which includes enforced destitution is firmly rooted in our colonial past and the structural racism which permeates throughout our politics, economy, legislation, society and even the organisations which are set up to prevent injustices. It is this structural racism which re-affirms and legitimises the unequal treatment of people of colour.
The real world impact of this is all too apparent today in the racial inequality that the current Covid-19 pandemic has exposed, evidenced by the disproportionate number of deaths from Black and ethnic minority communities, and the recent Windrush scandal that subjected Black people to wrongful detention and deportation at the hands of the Hostile Environment.
We also recognise that as an organisation we have much to learn, develop and improve upon, and that this is an open-ended process. At times as an organisation we have lacked the courage to tackle this issue head on. As a charity working in the refugee and migration sector, neither should we be complacent that the nature of our work makes us exempt from actively looking at ways in which we can do better at tackling racism.
Over recent years we have been working to ensure that people who have experienced destitution have their voices elevated, can be part of our advocacy work and ultimately there is a shift in power to people who have lived experience of destitution. Doing this work meaningfully has been challenging, we have made mistakes and we know we have much to improve upon.
The actions we are currently taking and planning to take include:
- Providing anti-racist training to our members
- Providing training to our members on ways in which they can improve the way they involve people with lived experience to shape their services.
- Facilitate the sharing of learning between members on how to support their own staff and volunteers and create inclusive and diverse workplaces
- Fairly, and appropriately positively reimbursing people with lived experience for their time inputting into consultations and campaigning
- Listening to and joining with campaigns led by people with lived experience of destitution
- Ensuring that when we meet with policy makers and politicians, people with lived experience of destitution are represented at those meetings as much as possible.
- Facilitating better public understanding of the issues experienced by people seeking asylum, refugees and people with no recourse to public funds.
- Ensuring that our board comprises of at least 20% of people who have experience of immigration control and/or homelessness and they are properly supported and trained to enable them to carry out their role.
- Reviewing our recruitment policy and procedures to increase applications from and appointments of people with lived experience of the immigration system.
NACCOM Staff and Trustees, 16th June 2020