Meetings and Conferences

See below for details of all our upcoming events and activities

NACCOM 2018 Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting

‘Pathways out of destitution’

Through partnerships, provision and policy change

Date: Tuesday 25th September 2018

Time: 10.00-4.30pm

Location: Carrs Lane Conference Centre, Birmingham, B4 7SX

This year the NACCOM Annual Conference focuses on promoting pathways out of destitution for people with no recourse to public funds (NRPF).

Join us for a day of inspiring stories, insightful perspectives and innovative approaches to addressing homelessness and destitution.

The day will also include our AGM where we will share learning and developments within the network over the previous twelve months.

Tickets start from £15 for members (early bird price until the 20th July) and £40 for non-members. There are also free spaces available for people with NRPF – please contact the office for more details.


Plan for the day (subject to minor changes and additions)

10.00 – 10.15- Introduction from Hazel Williams (NACCOM National Director)

10.15 –10.30- Key Note Address from Mariam Yusuf

Originally from Somalia, Mariam Yusuf has been in the UK for a decade now. An advocate for the empowerment of women and children and a campaigner with WAST, she also raises awareness and campaigns on FGM. She was honoured as Woman of the Year in 2016 by the Women on the Move awards, which celebrates exceptional contributions by migrant and refugee women to UK society.

Mariam is a resident of a Boaz Trust house in Manchester, where she has been living since she became destitute in 2015, after her application for asylum was turned down. At the NACCOM conference this year, Mariam will be speaking about how people can be ‘built or destroyed’ by destitution, and how to draw strength in difficult times.

10.30 – 12.00- Workshops (see below for programme- delegates will be invited to choose workshops in advance)

12.00 – 12.30- Members’ Market – Information about Full Members of the network will be displayed on boards as part of our members market. If you would like to bring along leaflets about your work, please do so there will be some limited space to pin leaflets to the boards for others to take away.

12.30 – 13.30- Lunch

13.30 – 14.00 – Introduction to afternoon and launch of video

14.00 – 15.30- Workshops (repeated)

15.30 – 15.50- Future steps and final plenary from Julian Prior, Chair of Trustees

15.50 – 16.00- Break

16.00 – 16.30- AGM (see below for agenda)


1. Exploring Different Accommodation Models For Housing

Facilitated by Paul Catterall (NACCOM) with input from network members (morning- Boaz Trust and Giroscope, afternoon- Action Foundation and Hope into Action: Black Country)

Central to NACCOM’s mission is providing practical support to establish accommodation projects that reduce destitution. While hosting and night shelter provision has been a key area of growth in recent years the provision of housing remains vital. Led by our new Network Development Worker Paul Catterall, this interactive workshop will explore how, where and why a variety of different NACCOM housing projects operate as they do, and will help you be inspired to explore new things or develop what you are already doing in a more sustainable way.

2. Access to Justice

Faciliated by Hazel Williams (NACCOM) with input from Hope ProjectsRefugee Action, Greater Manchester Immigration Advice Unit (GMIAU) and Asylum Link Merseyside

Accessing quality legal advice for member organisations’ guests is an ongoing struggle. Led by our National Director, Hazel Williams, this workshop will present findings from NACCOM’s national survey on members’ experiences of accessing legal advice. This will be followed by input from Hope Projects in Birmingham and Asylum Link in Merseyside with GMIAU on their solutions to enable guests to access legal advice, and Refugee Action’s Good Practice team will introduce how they can support members to develop their capacity in this area.

3. Lessons from Windrush in Championing Long-term Change

Facilitated by Alex Mitchelmore (IMiX), Laura Stahnke (Praxis Community Projects) and Lucy Smith (NACCOM)

Earlier this year lobbyists and practitioners came together to campaign against the hostile environment by highlighting the suffering of people from the Windrush generation. This workshop features input from Praxis Community Projects and IMiX who were amongst those leading the campaign through media and advocacy. We’ll hear reflections on the partnerships and developments that made the campaign successful and look at what we can learn for future campaigning and lobbying work at both a local and national level.

4. Looking After Yourself

Facilitated by Mirjam Thullesen (UKCP registered Psychotherapist)

Working with people who have survived human rights violations can take its toll on you, hearing harrowing stories and bearing witness to the worst of humanity. Making sure you look after yourself is vital to ensure you don’t burn out, can continue to help those in need and enjoy life. This workshop will explore issues relating to vicarious trauma and help you to recognise how this may be having an impact on you, as well as giving you some tips on how to look after yourself.

5. Developing a Successful Hosting Scheme

Faciliated by Dave Smith (NACCOM) with input from network members including Refugees at Home

This will be an interactive workshop to enable existing projects to evaluate their operation and consider ways to improve their service, as well as help new or emerging projects to learn from others and start well. There will be contributions from Host Nottingham (a.m) and Sanctuary Hosting Oxford (p.m). Refugees at Home will explain how their scheme works (at both sessions) and NACCOM members Together Lancashire (a.m) and Share Dydd (p.m) will talk about how they are exploring local partnerships with Refugees at Home. There will also be a group session involving schemes at different stages of development.

Biographies of workshop facilitators

Paul Catterall

Exploring Different Accommodation Models For Housing

Paul Catterall is a full-time Network Development Worker for NACCOM, supporting members with capacity-building, partnership working and good practice. Paul lives in Middlesbrough and before joining NACCOM was the CEO of Open Door North East, a charity providing accommodation and other services to asylum seekers and refugees across the Tees Valley. Whilst there, Paul led the development of a mixed portfolio of 35 houses, including a social lettings agency, all providing the cross subsidy of bed spaces for people with NRPF.

    Hazel Williams

    Access to Justice

    Hazel Williams is NACCOM’s National Director and is based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Before joining NACCOM in December 2017, she was the Director at ASAP (Asylum Support Appeals Project). She has a wealth of experience of the sector, from previous work both in the UK and overseas. During her time at ASAP, she co-chaired the National Asylum Stakeholder Policy Forum for asylum support involving some senior Home Office staff as well as other key players in the voluntary and statutory sector.

      Laura Stahnke

      Lessons from Windrush in Championing Long-term Change

      Laura Stahnke works for Praxis Community Projects as Communications Manager. Prior to joining Praxis, Laura has worked as a researcher, project manager and communications officer for national and international charities as well as campaigning organisations focusing on migration and human rights. Praxis Community Projects works with vulnerable migrants in London, providing immigration advice, housing, advocacy, group work, ESOL classes and interpreting.

        Alex Mitchelmore

        Lessons from Windrush in Championing Long-term Change

        Alex Mitchelmore is the Media Manager at IMiX, a communications hub for the migrant and refugee sector that has been operating since 2016. Alex is an experienced press officer and communications consultant. Prior to joining IMiX, Alex was the Broadcast Officer for the official remain campaign in the EU referendum, Britain Stronger in Europe. Before that Alex worked for Portland, a strategic communications agency, for a range of corporate and third sector clients.

          Lucy Smith

          Lessons from Windrush in Championing Long-term Change

          Lucy Smith is the Communications and Advocacy Worker for NACCOM, working four days a week to support members evidence destitution, challenge policy and procedures and raise a collective voice for change. Lucy lives in Sheffield and has worked for NACCOM since 2015. She has also held a number of other fundraising and communications roles within and beyond the sector, and has worked or volunteered to support an end to destitution for over a decade.

            Mirjam Thullesen

            Looking after Yourself

            Mirjam Thullesen is a trained psychologist and practising psychotherapist. As well as working within the NHS, she has worked for a number of years in the charitable sector with refugees and survivors of trafficking and torture whilst at the Poppy Project, British Refugee Council and Freedom from Torture. She is currently working towards a Doctorate in Psychology and Psychotherapy looking specifically at self care for practitioners working with refugees.

              Dave Smith

              Developing a Successful Hosting Scheme

              Dave Smith is a Network Development Worker for NACCOM, working three days per week to support members with capacity-building, partnership working and good practice. Dave lives in the North West and is a trustee of the Boaz Trust, a charity he founded in 2004, which manages 17 shared houses and runs a hosting scheme and winter night shelter. Dave also coordinates the Refugee Resource Centre for Churches and is the author of two books on asylum issues, the ‘Book of Boaz’ and ‘Refugee Stories’.

                AGM Agenda

                1- Apologies for absence from Members that cannot attend (if you would like to give your apologies please contact us to do so).
                2- Chair’s report
                3 – Financial report (see the annual report of accounts 2017-18)
                4 – Election of trustees (Full members have been sent details about those standing for election this year. If you have not received anything please contact us).

                #EndDestitution- Campaigning and Advocacy Day for NACCOM Members

                We’re inviting you to help shape our strategy for the year ahead and explore new ways to evidence and campaign against destitution.

                When? Wednesday October 23rd
                What time? 11:30-3:30pm
                Where? Union St in Sheffield (a five minute walk from Sheffield Train Station)

                Guests/residents as well as workers/volunteers from member organisations are welcome to attend- please contact Lucy if you have any questions about tickets or arrangements for the day.

                Plan for the day

                11am- Refreshments and introductions

                11.30- Exploring evidence around Section 4 delays (identified in last year’s advocacy strategy consultation as a key issue amongst members).

                12.30- Evaluation of advocacy work to date on refugee homelessness, and discussion of plans around this issue in the months ahead.

                1.00- Lunch break

                1.30- Discussion of 2019 campaign plans towards our collective goal to #EndDestitution

                This part of the day will feature an update from Zrinka Bralo from Migrants Organise, on the development of a Fair Immigration reform campaign which features calls for an amnesty for migrants who have been trapped by the UK’s hostile immigration system.

                3:30- Close

                Tickets are free but to help with planning the group time and refreshments/lunch, please book on via Eventbrite.


                Sanctuary in Parliament 2018 

                ‘Towards a Fairer System’

                Date: Monday 12th November

                Location: Attlee Suite, Portcullis House, Westminster

                Time: 12-4pm

                Plan for the day

                12:30 to 1:30pm- Cross-party MP and refugee panel, followed by a question-and-answer session from the floor.

                This will be followed by refreshments and opportunities for further discussions and lobbying in small groups.

                For full details of how to reserve your ticket and invite your MP, visit City of Sanctuary’s website here.

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