Equal theme
Get involved
Valid XHTML 1.1

ASPIRE - Asylum Seekers Pursuing Integration Refuge and Empowerment

Partnership information




Asylum seekers face a variety of challenges which affect their ability to integrate into everyday life in Birmingham and Solihull. Learning language skills, coping with trauma, making a new start and finding a role when work is not an option are all significant barriers which would challenge most people in similar circumstances. In addition to this the negative attention and hostility directed towards them in some sections of the media make the whole process of integration even more difficult.

ASPIRE’s objectives fit with the UK policy rationale which centres on involving asylum seekers in useful pre-vocational activities which will improve their employability status in the UK or elsewhere. It is a sub-regional DP focusing on Birmingham and Solihull. Within the Aspire DP there are in excess of 30 partners representing the statutory sector (eg Learning and Skills Council, City Council and voluntary sectors (eg Birmingham Voluntary Sector Council, refugee community organisations and networks).


Asylum Seekers Pursuing Integration Refuge and Empowerment (ASPIRE) Development Partnership aims to pilot creative ways to ensure individuals and organisations can support people seeking asylum in order that their time awaiting a decision is constructive and useful and enables them to prepare more effectively for their next step.

The main aim of the DP has been to ensure that asylum seekers in the sub region are integrated effectively and able to make a positive contribution to the community in which they are living whilst awaiting a decision on status.


Projects funded by ASPIRE fit under the following themes:

  1. Promoting Community Cohesion through Arts
  2. Developing English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
  3. Capacity Building for Refugee Community Organisations (RCOs)
  4. Creating Volunteering Opportunities
  5. Transnational Co-operation with Partners in Italy, Germany and Poland.

The projects have all been addressing specific areas to improve access to and delivery of services to asylum seekers.

Target Groups

Asylum seekers in the Birmingham sub-region



Round 1 to Round 2

In Round 1 Birmingham and Solihull Learning and Skills Council was the lead body for the DP FORWARD and has carried some key personnel and experience through into running the Round 2 partnership.

Transnational partnerships


Amrik Dhesy, Learning and Skills Council Birmingham and Solihull,


Action 2: 31 December 2007
Action 3: 31 March 2008

Equal theme

Asylum seekers


This partnership came together from an existing Strategy Group in the Refugee Support Partnership. The Birmingham Voluntary Sector Council was the lead delivery partner in collaboration with voluntary sector agencies.


Asylum seekers
Total beneficiaries: 150

Intended impact/ sustainability

The work of the DP will change the way loosely associated affiliates work together to form a strong understanding of the issues how the voluntary and mainstream providers can assist asylum seekers using a variety of the methodologies being tested. It is intended that lasting new ways of working will result.

Scatter plot

Process X
Practice X
Product X
Policy X X
City Local Regional National European


The DP is trialling a number of processes to reach and support asylum seekers. The successful methods will be adpted as standard practice by partner organisations.


The work undertaken by the Professional Development Centre will enable the establishment of a growing group of people who are trained to deliver Vocational ESOL


The Theatre show being developed by a partner in ASPIRE will be available to organisations locally and potentially nationally.


The DP will have learned valuable lessons about how to promote community cohesion. This learning will be mainstreamed through other funding streams such as Arts Councils, Local Authorities and the Lottery funds


The work of the DP will contribute to the development of a National LSC policy for supporting asylum seekers - especially in the light of new asylum legislation which is due to come into effect in December 2007 whereby decisions on the right to remain will be taken within a shorter time scale. Activity to support asylum seekers will need to embed the processes and practices within this concentrated time period and access people in their emergency accommodation.

Move the mouse over the scatter plots to see more information or view all information without using the mouse.

Is this information correct?



Activities and products

 Records 1 to 20 of 26