Post it notes notating our aim to encourage a rethinking of what the word refugee means


Our #rethinkingrefugee programmes

Our #rethinkingrefugee campaign has been running since 2015 and was born as a reaction to the negative portrayal of refugees in the media. It aims to redefine the narrative around refugees to a more positive message of economic benefit to the UK and a positive contribution to local communities.

Our #rethinkingrefugee programmes are all about “good help” and incorporate research into the development of curricula and training for professionals to enable them to move away from providing "bad help".  This is very important in the field of refugee integration as traditional thinking follows basic English (ESOL) + Employability = Entry-level job approach.

With such an approach poverty becomes entrenched as 75% of refugee individuals never progress from this entry-level. #rethinkingrefugee challenges this paradigm by aiming to progress the individual towards median salary positions. We are working with commissioners in Bristol, Birmingham and Somalia around this changed narrative.

Our programmes are as follows- 

SEESI – Focused on developing the skills sets of those providing advice and support in first language, developing individual agency, delivering resilience and soft skills in first language, and preparing the individual to develop social, civil and economic capital in a majority English speaking society to enable successful transition.  

Pre-Ignite – Is focused on minimising the inhibiting factors impacting on an individual’s transition to an independent sustainable life in the UK. Pre-Ignite is a bespoke provision that tackles such areas as mental health issues, lack of social networks and careers management capability, whilst providing the initial employment skills to support progression towards financial independence, alongside progression within the English Language acquisition spectrum.     

Ignite – Is where we deliver on our ambitions to progress 25,000 individuals towards median salary jobs. This incorporates all that is required to equip individuals with the skills needed to thrive in the UK, whilst linking them with quality employers/universities and other partners so their ambitions can be realised.   

Research & Consultancy – We are active partners or leads on approx. £2.25m of research projects currently focused on improving levels of ‘integratedness’ and minimising the impact of the ‘invisible line of control’ which maintains so many refugees in poverty.  By offering consultancy we are also enabling our accumulated knowledge to be accessed to inform policy. 

Our #rethinkingrefugee campaign

Our #rethinkingrefugee campaign has been running since 2015, born as a reaction to the negative portrayal of refugees in the media.

It deliberately uses refugee in the singular, as each refugee is an individual with their own skills, ambitions and needs, requiring an individual approach not just a one size fits all approach.

Whilst there is undoubtedly a humanitarian angle to refugee resettlement, we look beyond the short-term humanitarian response. We see refugees as people with talents, skills, and aspirations, assets which will boost our economy and enrich our communities. We don’t focus on the story on how they came to be here, we focus on where they want to be.


  • To change the perceptions of refugees


  • Refugees are assets to employers and local communities

If you'd like to find out more about partnering with us to support the campaign, contact:

Rebecca Howells, Marketing & Communications Team Leader
Email: marketing@ach.org.uk rethinking refugee