The purpose of the Initial Accommodation (IA) project is to support, advise and advocate on behalf of those asylum seekers currently housed in initial accommodation sites in the city and county. This is primarily delivered by way of a casework and advice service. We facilitate access to services, support and community networks for our clients, as well as ensure that their basic needs are being met. In addition, we aim to coordinate the Nottingham-wide response to the IA hotels, through regular meetings with all partner organisations involved with supporting the residents.
clients referred for ESOL courses at college.
Christmas Gift Boxes delivered to residents
referrals to the Host Clothes Bank who provide and arrange for the delivery of clothes parcels to residents.
families referred for school/nursery registration.
Maryam was one of the first people to arrive at an IA site in Nottingham, early in 2020. At that time it was not known how permanent the hotels would become, so she had prepared herself to leave 2-3 weeks later.
When we started working with her in November 2020, she had heard nothing further about dispersal and she had also fallen pregnant. The effects of her extended time in the hotel began to show. She was struggling mentally and regularly drinking heavily. Over time we built and maintained a strong support network around her. She got involved in several organisations offering support, including a church group, as well as engaging with both the specialist midwifery team and alcohol support services. Due to this support network, she wanted to remain in Nottingham, but was desperate to leave the hotel before the baby was born.
As a collective of her supporters, we advocated for her to be moved to accommodation suitable for a new-born child within Nottingham. Following several attempts to disperse her elsewhere she was eventually provided her own flat just minutes from the Refugee Forum. Three weeks later, Baby Isaac was born! Both Mother and Baby are now healthy, happy and grateful that they have the opportunity to remain a part of the community of Nottingham. Maryam said: “Thank you for always being there to help and support, I appreciate it.”