Swan Mountain Trust Supported our Befriending and Navigator Projects for one year with a grant of £2500

We were very grateful to receive a grant of £2,500 from the Swan Mountain Trust in June last year, towards our befriending programme.

In the last year we have worked with;

79 refugees and asylum seekers through our 

Befriending & Navigating programme, 

involving 61 volunteers.

Our Befriending programme offers regular one-to-one support by pairing volunteer befrienders with participants to meet up, usually weekly, for 1-2 hours. 

Befriending has helped those who lack support and social networks to build relationships and connections in their community and in Nottingham. 
Fathima was referred to us, she had health issues and struggled with mobility. Our volunteer helped to increase her access to services, provide  regular socialising opportunities and increased her getting out of the house. 

Befrienders have helped people from refugee and asylum seeker communities to get the right support and advice, they have helped with confidence-building activities, and enabled participants to become active citizens. 

Befriending has helped to reduce feelings of isolation, and improve participants’ confidence and wellbeing.
Anas described feeling alone and isolated, he was looking for friends. Through regular befriending meetings, he is now more outgoing with boosted confidence he now attends swimming and goes to the gym.
Mata was struggling with her mental health, she was worried about her son and what he could do in the shcool holidays. Our volunteer helped to source free activities for Mata. This support was appreciated and reduced Mata’s concerns about her son and provided some rest too. 
In addition to befriending, we offer Access groups which provide free English classes, a women’s group, cooking and other creative activities. We also have a support worker who offers advice and guidance to refugees and asylum seekers who need help with basic needs, accessing legal support, housing and much more. 

Across all of our work, there has been a significant increase in demand caused by the higher refugee population in Nottingham, due to the use of hotels as emergency accommodation for people seeking asylum, the Afghan citizens’ resettlement scheme and the crisis in Ukraine. Since the beginning of 2023 we have supported 428 individuals compared with 155 in the same period last year.

The grant from the Swan Mountain Trust has been used towards volunteer costs, including refreshments for participants, travel costs for taking people to appointments and visits.