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What is the Basis Project?
The Basis Project is a new England-wide service giving one-to-one support to hundreds of refugee community organisations (RCOs) to help them manage, develop and sustain their work.
A partnership project led by Refugee Council and Refugee Action, the Basis Project is funded by the Big Lottery Fund (BIG). We are also working closely with funders and other mainstream bodies to increase their understanding of RCOs.
How did the Basis Project come about?
Because of the value that the Refugee Council and Refugee Action place on RCOs, both organisations were extremely interested when BIG asked us to develop a new project to help the development of RCOs.
The Refugee Council and Refugee Action are committed to improving the capacity of RCOs to deliver services to members of their communities. We know the importance of their role in supporting their communities and influencing the services of statutory and voluntary sector organisations to improve services for refugees and asylum seekers. We also recognise the vital role that RCOs play in helping the integration of refugees into our society.
Where did the funding come from?
The Refugee Council was commissioned by BIG under their Building And Sustaining Infrastructure Services (BASIS) programme to deliver a five-year, England-wide service in partnership with Refugee Action to strengthen the organisational development capacity of the RCO sector.
The money awarded to Refugee Council for the Basis Project did not come from the lottery funding pool to which many RCOs applied. BIG could have decided to invest BASIS money in another sector, so it was a significant achievement that this money was secured for the development of the refugee sector. RCOs did not lose out because BIG decided to fund the Basis Project, as RCOs would not have been eligible for funding through this pool.
A key element of the project is to unlock funds from other BIG funding streams to support RCOs directly.
Who can apply to participate in the project?
Any RCO in England that is constituted (i.e. has a constitution and a management committee) and has the necessary capacity and commitment is welcome to apply. The relevant Basis Project Organisational Development Workers (ODOs) working in one of the nine English regions will conduct an initial interview with the RCO to assess their suitability for the project.
What is unique about the Basis Project?
The Basis Project is the only national specialist project to support RCOs in all the English regions.
It is a two-way process, looking at facilitating RCO development but also working with funders and second tier organisations to develop their understanding of the role of RCOs and the challenges that they face.
We are working intensely with RCOs over a period of time, giving one-to-one advice, providing training, and helping to improve RCOs’ access to support from other mainstream and second tier organisations.
What is the Basis Project’s service model?
The project’s focus is on one-to-one support. ODOs will make contact with RCOs in their region (RCOs are also encouraged to approach ODOs). Suitability criteria will be checked and then, if appropriate, a needs assessment will be completed. This will feed into an agreed action plan that will inform the service delivery.
How long does Basis Project support to each RCO last?
The process depends on the needs of individual RCOs and the achievements of agreed action points (e.g. to fundraise). Development Plans will be created with each RCO which will influence the amount of support given. Each RCO will be encouraged to feed back about the effectiveness of the training and information materials to the Basis Project staff.
Can my organisation's details be listed on your website?
Plase see our guidelines for links.