Refugees and Asylum Seekers Project

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there were 126,720 refugees, 45,244 pending asylum cases and 125 stateless persons in the UK at the end of 2018. That is approximately one quarter of a percent (0.26%) of the UK’s total population.

However, for the individuals in such situations, coming to the UK can be fraught with challenges. Whilst there is a lot of help and support available for them, from statutory bodies, voluntary organisations, community groups and so on, there is also a huge lack of consistency in support across the UK.

To help address this challenge, SIETAR UK launched a new project in 2018, where a training programme was designed to help enhance the intercultural understanding and competencies of those working with and supporting refugees and asylum seekers, in whatever capacity or organisation, so that their needs may be more effectively met.

Achievements to Date:

  • Creation of an initial volunteer Community Development committee who helped create and deliver the project structure
  • Successful training delivery to volunteers who support refugees and asylum seekers from Birmingham and Coventry
  • Completion of a Training Handbook for Volunteers and Refugees (funded by the Faculty of Social Sciences Research Development Fund 2018) – available on our homepage at

We are now looking to develop and expand this project, and so are looking for volunteers and partners to help us make this happen!

We are looking for sponsors who would like to enable us improve our training programme and its materials, and even fund workshop delivery in specific areas in the UK. If you are interested, please contact Felicia Schwartz (Director of Corporate Relations) at

Collaborations and Research:
If you are interested in collaborating with us on the project or you have a research interest, would like to help translate our handbook, please contact Dr Katharina Lefringhausen (Director of Research and Academic Relations) at

SIETAR UK is also looking for volunteers to help us move the project forward. If you are interested in volunteering some of your time, experience and enthusiasm into being involved with this exciting work, please contact our Director of Community Development at