Research and projects enhancing the design of integration

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Research and projects enhancing the design of integration

ACH is a social enterprise comprised of a diverse group of strategists and researchers led by lived experience. We partner or lead on a variety of projects across the world that aim to enhance integration services for refugees and migrants and disrupt the systems that have entrenched inequalities in our society.

We're proud to currently work with partners including, Comic Relief, Coventry City Council, West of England Combined Authority, Crisis, University of Bristol and many more!


Areas we are researching in relation to refugee and migrant integration include:


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Working to assure that sufficient housing is available

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Creating equitable access to entrepreneurship opportunities

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Access to finance

Developing routes to financial autonomy

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Tailored training to enhance employment opportunities

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Digital literacy

Developing digital skills for an increasingly digital world

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Enhanced support

Delivering individualised holistic support

Climate change

Empowering those disproportionately affected by climate change

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Health and wellbeing

Providing holistic services to mitigate mental health effects

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Informing and influencing policy on a local and national scale

Partner with us

Contact our Research and Project Lead, Tom Dixon, to discuss collaborating with us on projects and research surrounding integration.


Front cover of ACH Change Makers report

From Sanctuary to Opportunity

ACH is happy to share the first in a series of annual reports delivered through the Change Makers project with RAMP and Comic Relief - From Sanctuary to Opportunity | A better future for refugees in Bristol and the West of England. Sanctuary to Opportunity, examines local and regional policy effects on refugees in Bristol and identifies opportunities for positive change for better work and lives.

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Research and project updates

Visit our blog to keep up with the latest news, such as the Change Makers Project with Comic Relief and RAMP - putting refugees' needs at the heart of policy!

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Migrant Business Support project

Migrant Business Support launched in January 2021 and is a 2-year project, aiming to reinforce the launch, stabilisation and growth of non-EU migrants’ businesses through personalised business support. We will be delivering the project alongside our key partners from University of Bristol and the West of England Combined Authority, through its Growth Hub. The project aims to assist 500 existing businesses or pre-start entrepreneurs, creating economic growth and new job opportunities in the regions.

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MyCoventry project

The MyCoventry project, launched in January 2021, is a 2-year initiative that supports Coventry as a ‘City of Peace and Reconciliation’. With the Positive Youth Foundation, St Francis Employability, Coventry University's Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations and Coventry City Council's Employment Team (Job Shop) the scheme teaches newly arrived people skills for learning, support and mentoring programs, which can help with a variety of skills, from English language to learning about their wellbeing.

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Lift the Ban project

We recently ran a project with Bristol Refugee Rights, funded by Quartet Community Foundation, to link asylum seekers to local businesses and provide guidance on the UK jobs market. 

This project links with the #LiftTheBan campaign which is urging the UK Government to allow asylum seekers the right to work in the UK. We have collated our findings and the outcomes of the programme to highlight why this is needed and the benefits both asylum seekers and businesses will gain. 

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How to Restart an Inclusive Economic Recovery in Bristol post COVID-19

It is a well-publicised fact that COVID-19 has hit the Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities hardest. According to a UK Government report 17% of COVID-19 patients are from BAME communities. In this report ACH CEO, Fuad Mahamed, looks at how we can restart an inclusive economic recovery post Covid-19.

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Entrepreneurship Facilitator

A one-year pilot of an Entrepreneurship Facilitator working with entrepreneurs in under-represented communities to connect them with business support and understand the systemic barriers to economic inclusion.

This pilot began in September 2018 and is funded by ACH, Engine Shed, the West of England Combined Authority, and the University of Bristol, in partnership with Barton Hill Settlement.

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UK Refugee Entrepreneurship pilot scheme

We are delighted to have been one of the four organisations involved in the UK Refugee Entrepreneurship Pilot Scheme. A scheme that aimed to support refugee entrepreneurs reach their business goals and trial models of business support to better meet individuals' needs. Read more and the recommendations from this scheme in the Independent Evaluation conducted by Loughborough University.

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The SEESI project

The Strengthening Education and Employment Skills for Integration - refugee, migrant and asylum seekers (SEESI) project, launched in 2018 and came to an end in 2021.The system-changing SEESI project, aimed to create a Europe-wide revolution in refugee integration. ACH played a key role in the project, working to create a new training course for people within communities looking to become professional support workers.

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Refugee and Migrant Entrepreneurship

Rebuilding resilience post COVID-19

This report looks at refugee entrepreneurship, the key issues for refugee entrepreneurs and the complications Covid-19 has brought. Concluding with recommendations to rebuilding resilience post Covid-19.

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Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Diversity and Inclusion

A joint piece of research (in partnership with Up Our Street) to improve engagement with business incubation at SETsquared Bristol.


The ARIVE project

ARIVE was a 3 year project that came to an end in 2020. The corrective action of ARIVE (Accepted, Resettled, Integrated, Valued, and Employed), strived to tackle all major causes that prevent refugees’ integration to boost levels of integration in communities, namely: Lack of recognition of knowledge, competence and skills, including previous studies; Deskilling and social isolation; Lack of working experience in the host country and peer networks at a suitable professional/ vocational level; Language and understanding of the civic and social landscape.

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The unmet needs of migrant communities from Europe

Particularly EU 10 And EU 2 Member States

A Discussion Paper by Beth Wilson | Bristol Refugee Rights and David Jepson | ACH.

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Men, Gender and Displacement

This collaborative research project between ACH and the University of Bristol explored men’s experience of displacement in Bristol through a series of research days out with ACH tenants and learners. 

The accompanying brochure showcases the research using reflections and poetry. 

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Starting Afresh | How entrepreneurship is transforming the lives of resettled refugees

The Centre for Entrepreneurs worked with ACH and the North of England Refugee Service to conduct a survey of 96 refugees in the UK to measure their interest in entrepreneurship.

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Facilitating New Migrant Business Development | A Collaborative Approach

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A new perspective on the resettlement and integration of Refugees and Forced Migrants

Provocation Paper for Fuad Mahamed, Clore Social Fellow 2016.

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The Effectiveness of Current ESOL Courses from the Perspective of Refugee Students

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Economic Work Package

Precarity and Everyday Integration in Bristol | A baseline report and working document

ACH is a partner in the Everyday Integration project. Everyday Integration is an ESRC funded collaborative research project led by the University of Bristol, Bristol City Council and local Bristol community organisations. This report looks at Precarity and Everyday Integration in Bristol.


The BDSESES project

The Baidoa District Stability, Employment Skills and Entrepreneurship Strengthening project (BDSESES) aimed to address the employment challenges faced in Baidoa, Somalia by creating a competent and flexible workforce to support the country’s economic recovery and growth. The initial project included 18 months of activity specifically designed to enhance the stability and the economic development of Baidoa.

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The REVaLUE project

Funded by the EU until 2019, the REVaLUE project was a collaborative project with partners from different countries including France, Italy, Hungary and Germany, representing organisations across Europe that work with migrants and refugees. It included researching a methodology for assessing refugees and migrants previous experience in relation to local labour market competency requirements.