Yeshi, Helen and Hoayda spent time at Cumberland Lodge in Great Windsor Park as guests of Professor Glenn Robert and his Swedish team of Collaborators. They had a fantastic time sharing their experiences of the Routes to Wellness study to co-design peer support for refugee and asylum seekers. The Sun was shining, and the food was good. Yeshi did a fantastic job talking about START ‘s role in the project.
START 2022-23 summary of the year
START Refugee Integration Support report 2022-23
Over the year START has supported a total of 220 cases from the following groups: newly granted refugees, family reunion, various Vulnerable Person Relocation and Afghan resettlement schemes and returning refugees needing additional support. In total this was 404 individuals, predominantly men (80%).
Of the 31 different nationalities represented, 75% were from 6 countries – Iran (24%), Afghanistan (14%), Eritrea (12%), Syria (10%), Sudan (8%), and Iraq (7%).
START and Path provide foundation support – setting up a bank account, application for benefits, access to healthcare, finding accommodation etc. There has been an increase in previously settled refugees returning for help due to the current financial pressures and accommodation issues.
Some refugees granted leave to remain are also referred on to the Refugee Transition Opportunities Fund – Plymouth Refugee Opportunities (RTOF-PRO) schemes for additional support with integration and employment.
Closure analysis showed that of 117 cases closed during the year, 93 (79%) found settled accommodation, mostly private rented, in Plymouth and 24 (21%) left the city.
Alongside the START and Path support, English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) classes were provided by ODILS and Community Work by Plymouth and District Racial Equality Council.
Homes for Ukraine 2022-23
This is a brief report of START’s contribution as one of the 5 partner organisations delivering the Homes for Ukraine (H4U) scheme for the period April – September 2023.
START provides initial support, meeting guests on arrival, issuing the £200 welcome grant, setting up bank accounts, making benefits applications, ensuring access to school/college, issuing mobile phone sims and free bus passes and meeting other identified needs where hosts require assistance.
In this 6 month period START has processed 114 referrals from Plymouth City Council and welcomed 200 people to Plymouth – 50 contact records have been made each week, 1313 contacts with 147 individual guests.
Once the initial support has been completed after approximately 4 weeks, START ‘stands back’ to enable the hosts and guests to build their relationship. Guests can continue to access support through the weekly Drop-in scheme delivered by START and Path in partnership. As the H4U scheme runs beyond the six-month period, advice for moving on is made available and direct referral to Plymouth Renting Access Service (PRAS) team at Path.