Our group led desk research, exploring the situation for refugees and asylum seekers globally and locally. We also interviewed more than 20 different organisations, from charities, UN agencies, local authorities, volunteers, and refugee networks and conducted seven in-depth interviews with Ukrainian refugees. Through these engagements, we built a holistic picture of the situation and gained empathy for the different stakeholders and their unique challenges.
1. Cultural Interpretation
At the onset of a crisis, there is a vacuum of reliable information. People turn to friends and informal networks begin to grow. But we noticed that sharing of lived experience through care and context enables trust.
2. Community Contact
When arriving in the U.K. the refugee experience can vary widely. From being matched with a helpful host, to being isolated in a hotel. This first point of contact is pivotal to a positive experience, and at the same time, there are many volunteers who want to provide support.
3. Connective Tissue
As services become more operational at scale, they grow disconnected without effective referral and coordination. But we also found that many refugees were unaware of helpful U.K. services, relying on informal networks which are vulnerable to exploitation.