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Collective care with Refugee Action and the refugee solidarity movement

A collective care programme with Refugee Action’s network

Latifa Akay | 15 Mar 2023

A illustration saying "care work is the work"

Image credit: Migrants in Culture.

"There is a lot of training available at the moment but nothing has touched the value this has given us as an organisation."

— Participant 2023

Collective care work in organising can’t be seen as a soft touch add-on. It is one of the most essential ways to support justice work and those that do it. We have run collective care programmes for three consecutive years with a cohort of Refugee Action’s network of 500 organisations. In our 2022 programme, we worked with 60 participants across two cohorts. We also ran an additional cohort with 30 members of The No Accommodation Network (NACCOM.) 

Our goal was to bring tools and approaches to support those working around the hostile environment, such as

  • How to build care tools, policies and processes into their individual and collective practices
  • Support the possibilities of this urgent work to be sustainable and effective.
  • Provide coaching to help better leadership and peer-to-peer support 

We ran workshops on boundaries, intersectionality, communication, leadership, rest and recovery, coaching and building care-centred processes.

Our initial work with Refugee Action in 2021 has shaped several pieces of work. This included a Wellbeing Co-discovery Project (2022) built on the findings from our initial workshops in 2021. The project showed the stark need to invest in collective care work for those working around a hostile environment and how care intersects with structural and systemic inequalities. The research for this project will be published later in 2023.