Marsh Refugee Volunteer Award

This Award is run in partnership with the Refugee Council and recognises volunteer-led projects which provide services to refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. The Award scheme originally rewarded four regional projects. However it has been restructured to recognise programmes in the areas of four core services the Refugee Council runs. These are:

•Resettlement Services - (Gateway Protection Programme)
•Destitution or Therapeutic Casework Services
•Children’s Section
•Integration Services

An Additional Refugee or Asylum Seeker Achievement Award has been added to the scheme, to recognise an outstanding individual linked to the Refugee Council for making a contribution to their community.

The 2015 winners are Brenda Kabaseke, The Writing Project, Refugee Women International Cuisine Project, Young People’s Discovery Arts and the Employability Skills Development Project

Refugee or Asylum Seeker Achievement Award – Brenda Kabaseke

Brenda began to access the Refugee Council’s Services in Therapeutic Casework. She joined the Creative Focus Group first as a client and then as a mentor where she welcomes and supports vulnerable new members. Brenda is a creative jewellery designer and teaches others in the group.

Brenda further volunteers on the reception desk as a receptionist providing an excellent service in her role. She has also spoken at an International Women’s day event about the benefits of receiving psychological support. Brenda is an inspiration to all those who have the opportunity to meet her.

Destitution or Therapeutic Casework Services - The Writing Project

This project is run by volunteers Aisha and Brenda (winner of the Refugee or Asylum Seeker Achievement Award) and will bring together refugees and asylum seekers who wish to share their stories about their asylum and experience of life in a new country.

The aim of the project is to put together a publication of short stories, poetry or plays and allow writers to channel any feelings of anxiety and isolation. It will also provide a platform through which the voices of refugees and asylum seekers can be heard within the wider community.

Resettlement (Gateway Protection Programme) – Refugee Women International Cuisine Project

A group of women who have accessed the Resettlement Services themselves will set up a project based on sharing skills, experiences, and traditions based on cooking and baking, whilst learning about nutrition and health.

The aim of the project is to empower women to run their own workshops and share and learn new skills based on healthy eating and cooking on a low budget. The project will also have its therapeutic purposes and enable women to make friends.

Children’s Section – Young People’s Discovery Arts

This project will focus on young unaccompanied migrants and will engage participants in all forms of art to help them explore their identity and the world around them. Visual art is a powerful way in which young people, and especially those who do not speak a lot of English, can express themselves. The activities will focus on different art methods and techniques and will be led by the interest of the young people taking part in the group.

Integration Services – Employability Skills Development

This project is run by a team of volunteers and will provide advice and information for clients looking for employment in the UK. It will help them to learn more about the job process and develop the skills they need to secure employment. A number of workshops will be run on topics such as job searching, understanding the application process, writing CVs and cover letters and developing interview skills. An important focus of the workshop is enabling people to interact as professionals rather than refugees, which enhances their confidence throughout their process.

Pictured: Aisha and Brenda, volunteers of the Writing Project


The Refugee Council
250 Ferndale Road
Greater London