Renae Mann, our outgoing National Director, reflects on her time at NACCOM:
It’s been my huge privilege to lead NACCOM for the last seven months, and to see how a dedicated group of people can come together to create the change they want to see in their communities and the UK immigration system.
NACCOM is a community of people bound in solidarity by a shared commitment to defend our most precious human rights – to create a just and humane immigration system where people can stay safe, warm, clean, and dry, access justice, and rebuild their lives.
Relationships drive NACCOM, something that campaigner Iona Lawrence spoke about this week. Relationships built over 16 years underpin NACCOM’s now 130+ network of charities and over 10,000 staff and volunteers. Together last year they accommodated 3,373 people seeking asylum, refugees and migrants who were homeless, and alongside colleagues across the homelessness and migration sector, NACCOM members were instrumental in ensuring that Everyone In included people in the immigration system.
NACCOM members’ work happens quietly in towns and cities across the UK, where men, women and children are made homeless by Government hostile environment policies and practices. In community halls, churches and around kitchen tables, local people are saying yes to strangers whose only request is safety and dignity. They open their homes and communities, and work in partnership to develop solutions. Up and down the country the response is the same: “We can do something about this together.”
The NACCOM network stands together to dismantle the policies and practices denying people in the UK immigration system safety, dignity, and justice. And they do so from a place of abundance, knowing that shifting power to people in the immigration system creates a better UK for us all.
As the UK faces the greatest challenge to human rights for people in the immigration system in recent history, the NACCOM network is a beacon of hope. A community where people turn towards each other to defend those rights and demand a more just and humane UK. I feel fortunate to have briefly contributed to this powerful network, and hope their story inspires you to engage with NACCOM’s work.
~ In solidarity, Renae