The Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme was launched by the UK government in April 2021 to relocate and resettle current and former Locally Employed Staff (LES) that worked directly with the British Armed forces, the British Embassy and aided British operations in Afghanistan. The scheme was developed to resettle individuals who were considered most at risk from threat to life when US and UK troops withdrew from the country in September 2021.
Subsequently, the Afghan Citizen Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) was introduced in January 2022 to support individuals who assisted the UK efforts in Afghanistan and stood up for values such as democracy, women’s rights, freedom of speech, and the rule of law and was extended to vulnerable people, including women and girls at risk, and members of minority groups at risk.
We have worked in partnership with Nottingham City Council and County Councils to provide specialist support to newly arrived refugee families on the ARAP and ACRS scheme since August 2021. The ARAP team at the NNRF work with families from their arrival in Nottingham for a period of three years. When they first arrive, families receive intensive support from caseworkers, ensuring that they have access to benefits, healthcare, housing and education. As they continue to settle into the community, we support their integration through learning English, developing their skills to support employability and nurturing their individual goals and passions. The overall aim is to empower families to become independent and integrate into the UK.
Clients attended interpreting training at NNRF
Clients, both adult and children (28 families) across five boroughs in Nottinghamshire receive intensive casework
Clients enrolled in employability programmes
Clients are in paid employment
“We left Afghanistan under strange and critical circumstances. When we first arrived in the UK, we felt vulnerable, scared, and isolated as we didn’t know anyone or weren’t even familiar with the culture, customs, and system of the country. At first, my wife and children felt very isolated and struggled with their new life in Nottingham. But looking back at our resettlement journey since July 2021, I am so proud of our accomplishments and what we have achieved as a family. My children are well-settled. They have made friends in school. They speak English fluently. My wife has learned so much. She is learning English and is so happy to attend her ESOL classes and enjoys the sewing course where she has made a lot of friends. You (caseworker) are like our relative because you have been part of our journey since we first arrived in the UK. We are happy with you and Nottingham Refugee Forum”.ARAP client, resettled to Nottingham in September 2021
Over the last year families and children have attended a number of events, organised by our team. These include an Eid Dinner, Picnic, a trip to the farm, Art & Craft sessions, Children’s Cricket Sessions with the Nottinghamshire County Cricket, Trent Cricket Stadium Tour, a Christmas Party, and Youth Activity Sessions.