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 – 10.30- Introduction and plenary

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

12.00 – 12.45- Members Market – A showcase of members activities

12.45 – 13.45- Lunch

13.45 – 14.00 – Introduction to afternoon – Launch of video

14.00 – 15.30- Workshops (repeated)

15.30 – 15.50- Future steps, final plenary, close

15.50 – 16.00- Break

16.00 – 16.30- AGM


1. Exploring Different Accommodation Models For Housing

Facilitated by Paul Catterall (NACCOM) with input from network members

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 Refugee Action and network members

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 on their solution to enable guests to access justice, 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

There are currently 25 members within NACCOM that operate a hosting scheme, and last year around 45% of all the people accommodated across the network were hosted. Some projects have been operating these schemes for well over ten years, whilst others are relatively new. Led by NACCOM’s Network Development Worker, Dave Smith, this workshop will explore different ways of working, with contributions from a range of schemes and interactive discussions on issues faced and solutions found.

Biographies of workshop facilitators

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

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.

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.

4. 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.

5. 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’.

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