Supporting Refugees and Asylum Seekers

  • Thursday, 12 September 2024
  • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • 08:45 - 16:30
Expert Speakers
Sponsors & Supporters
  • Overview

UK net migration figures for 2022 were revised up to a record 745,000, far higher than originally estimated.  This rise has been deemed as unsustainable, applying inordinate pressure on communities and services such as the NHS, housing, education etc. The figures have intensified debate over UK migration policy with an abundance of political rhetoric and counter arguments. 

The UK is home to approximately 1% of refugees who are forcibly displaced from around the world and in 2022, asylum seekers and refugees made up approximately 17% of immigrants to the UK.

Are you responsible for providing services or work with refugees and asylum seekers?

Within your role, would you benefit from greater insight as to how to offer improved support or would you like to receive a greater understanding of the bigger picture?

Open Forum Events is pleased to be hosting the third Supporting Refugees and Asylum Seekers conference which will further explore how to deliver the immediate and long-term needs for people arriving in the UK and how to best support them with their resettlement journey.

The comprehensive programme has been developed to furnish delegates with improved awareness and knowledge which can benefit their professional roles. This agenda devotes maximum plenary time to the issues that really matter with updates on the latest policy developments, the support currently on offer and the gaps in provision that need to be closed. A line up of expert speakers and contributors will deliver a series of presentations to inform and inspire best practice, whilst interactive question and answer panels will allow for further debate and discussion. There will be throughout the day ample opportunity for informal networking and professional engagement to complete the conference experience.  


Join us for a day of informative and expert narrative. Book your place today.


This conference is designed to induce change with knowledge, innovation, and inspiration.
Any transformation of a process or service requires the input of products and services devised to make improvements such as digital technologies; training provision; workforce planning; outsourced services; data and analytics etc.
If your organisation supports change through your products and services, our delegates and conference participants will be ready to engage with you.


  • Confirmed Speakers

Event Sponsors and Supporters

  • Event Programme


Registration and Coffee in the Networking Area


Chair's Opening Address

  • Adam Baker, Charity Director, Refugee Roots (confirmed)

Opening Keynote Address

"Asylum and refugee migration to the UK"

The presentation will provide a broad statistical and policy overview of asylum and refugee migration to the UK. This will include analysis of small boat arrivals, the Illegal Migration Act, the Rwanda plan, and the Ukraine and Afghan schemes.

  • Dr Christian Harkensee, Consultant Paediatrician/Paediatric Infectious Diseases, NHS Foundation Trust (confirmed)
"Health Needs of Children and Unaccompanied Minors Refugees and Asylum Seekers"

Addressing the Refugee and asylum-seeking children and young people have substantial physical, mental and social health needs, and often face barriers to access healthcare. This talk explores how NHS services could identify and address the unmet needs of this vulnerable population.

  • Hannah Sansom, Community Building Lead, Reset Communities for Refugees (confirmed)
"Community Sponsorship"

Community Sponsorship is a refugee resettlement programme with local people at its heart.

Community Sponsorship is a shared endeavor. Individuals who may or may not already know each other form a group and work together to prepare for and welcome a refugee family to their local area. When communities lead the welcome, refugees have the benefit of a local support network right from day one.

The group supports the family through their first year in the UK to live independent lives, learn English, and access schools, benefits, healthcare and employment and participate fully in the community. These groups receive training and support from Reset through every stage of their journey.



Headline Sponsor


Question & Answer Session

Allocated planned time for speakers to receive questions from the audience and induce further discussion.


Coffee in the Networking Area


Case Study

"Idiomatic Understandings of Mental Health in Supporting Refugees"

Conceptualisations of mental health vary from place to place and culture to culture, and the western perspective on what it means to be well or unwell does not necessarily capture the experiences of refugees living in the UK, who represent a diverse group of people. This presentation will outline multiple ways of approaching therapeutic work in this sector, underscoring the need for a consideration of idiomatic expressions of mental health and ways in which this can be incorporated into existing psychological practice.


  • Josh Corlett, UK Education Manager, International Rescue Committee (confirmed)
"Healing Classrooms – A Trauma Informed Approach to Education"

The International Rescue Committee’s Healing Classrooms programme was developed in 1997 to support children and teachers fleeing conflict and disaster. Since then, it has been delivered in over 20 countries, supporting over 1.5 million children. Its latest iteration came in 2022 when it was adapted to fit the UK context in response to large numbers of refugee children arriving from Ukraine and Afghanistan. Since then, over 700 schools have become Healing Classrooms schools and nearly 2,000 teachers have completed the course. In this talk we will discuss what a Healing Classroom is and why it is so vital in modern Britian.


Case Study


Question and Answer Session


Lunch in the Networking Area

A hot, two-course lunch consisting of multiple options will be provided for delegates. We cater for all dietary requirements, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten/dairy-free; just notify us ahead of time should you have any allergens or requirements.


Chairs Afternoon Address


Case Study

  • Banaz Kamil, PhD Researcher, University of the West of Scotland (confirmed)
"Managing Language Barriers: Understanding Challenges in Interpretation for Asylum Seekers and Refugees"

In this presentation, Banaz Kamil, a second-year PhD researcher, will explore the challenges of interpretation in the context of asylum seekers and refugees. Drawing from personal experiences as an asylum seeker, as well as academic research, Banaz will emphasise the important role of accurate interpretation in addressing the multifaceted challenges faced by asylum seekers and refugees. By delving into the nuances of interpretation and identifying potential barriers, attendees will gain valuable insights into how to ensure that asylum seekers receive comprehensive and appropriate support services throughout their journey. This is crucial as language interpretation acts as a vital link between refugees and organisations providing legal and other forms of assistance.

"Attracting Refugees to be Part of the NHS Workforce"

Historically, the NHS has struggled to recruit to particular roles. Here is an opportunity for us to respond to the demands of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan by engaging with over 200,000 refugees currently living in the UK. It is also a chance to tap into the skills, experiences and diversity of the people living within our communities.

Key takeaways for delegates:

“Settled refugees could be a big part of the solution to NHS workforce challenges”.

“Employers in the UK need to recognise that a lot of the skilled & non skilled workforce they are looking for, already lives within their local communities and waiting to be tapped into”.



Question and Answer Session


Afternoon Refreshment Break

"Promoting Integration"

The Shpresa Programme is a user-led organisation that promotes the integration with dignity of the Albanian-speaking community in the UK, as well as enabling all to play a positive and active role in British society.


Closing Keynote Address

  • Leon Elliott, Policy and Research Coordinator, NACCOM (No Accommodation Network) (confirmed)
"Rising Homelessness Affecting Refugees"

The dramatic rise in homelessness amongst those leaving the asylum system in the past year has had a stark impact on individuals, communities, and frontline services.

NACCOM (No Accommodation Network) is a network of 140 UK-wide organisations and charities support people seeking asylum, refugees, and other migrants who are experiencing destitution and homelessness.

Showcasing expertise and good practice from across the network, we will outline the practical steps that voluntary services, and councils, can take to prevent and end homelessness amongst refugees and other migrants in their local area.

Presenting new data from our Annual Survey, we will also discuss what the latest evidence from the NACCOM network tells us about migrant destitution in the UK today, the drivers and impacts of recent trends, and the response needed from a new government in order to end homelessness for all.


Question and Answer Session


Chair's Closing Remarks and Event Close

  • Register for event

Having difficulty paying through Eventbrite? If you would like assistance registering your place please contact me on 0161 376 9007 and i'll be happy to assist. If you are awaiting funding you can request us to hold your place today to ensure you do not miss out.

Discounts for 3 or more delegates are available.

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Luke Boulter
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  • Gain an update on the current statistics and how policy influences outcomes
  • Hear an account of how lived experience led to research into the importance of accurate interpretation in the asylum process
  • Appreciate the unique health challenges facing unaccompanied children and young refugees and asylum seekers
  • Explore the situation of safe and legal routes
  • Understand the cultural and idiomatic expressions of distress in refugee and asylum seeker populations
  • Receive an overview of a trauma-informed teacher training programme to prepare staff to work safely and effectively with forcibly displaced students
  • Listen to an example of an effective programme to induce integration
  • Hear how an innovative programme is recruiting refugees and asylum seekers into paid and volunteering roles in the NHS
  • Discover why homelessness amongst the refugees is on the rise and explore possible solutions
  • Improve your insight, skills and professional practice in working with asylum seekers and refugees
  • Benefit from the opportunity to question, discuss and debate with speakers and fellow professionals
  • Take advantage of knowledge sharing and professional networking
  • Gain the maximum number of 8 CPD points


  • Contact Details
  • Sponsors
  • Supporters
  • Venue
  • Featured Events
  • Downloads
  • Who will attend

Contact Details




Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre

Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre

Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre is the ideal solution when searching for conference venues in Manchester. Top-of-the-range conference suites, 3 star value hotel accommodation, delicious dining and friendly service are the ideal components for a successful conference or event in the heart of the city centre.

The 18 conference rooms are decked out with all the mod cons including state-of-the-art AV technology, projectors and screens, free Wi-Fi and flip charts. Our clients cover the whole spectrum and include government organisations, trade unions, large corporate companies, non-profit organisations, health and education sectors and small to medium-sized businesses.

From the get-go we strive for excellence in everything we do and our dedicated team of conference professionals go all out to make sure your conference, event or exhibition runs like clockwork.

Featured Events

  • Supporting Refugees and Asylum Seekers

    • 06 July 2022
    • 08:45 - 16:00
    • Manchester Hall
  • Supporting Refugees and Asylum Seekers

    • 05 December 2023
    • 08:30 - 15:45
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre

Downloads & Resources

  • Open Forum Events Sponsorship Brochure
    Open Forum Events offer a number of partnership, sponsorship and exhibition opportunities that can meet your marketing and business development needs.

who will attend

  • Children’s Health Service Chief Medical Officers
  • Clinical/Medical Directors
  • Councillors
  • Directors/Heads of Adult Social Services
  • Directors/Heads of Children and Young People’s Services
  • Directors/Heads of Public Health
  • Heads of Charities/Third Sector Organisations
  • Heads of Housing Team
  • Heads of Mental Health and Learning Disability Teams
  • Health and Wellbeing Board members
  • Social Workers
  • 14-19 Partnership Teams
  • Academics and Researchers
  • Allied Health Professionals
  • Asylum and Immigration Officers
  • Benefits Officers
  • Chairs of NHS Trust Board
  • Chief Constables
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Practitioners
  • Child and Educational Psychologists
  • Child Protection and Safeguarding Teams
  • Child Protection Officers
  • Professionals
  • Children’s Services Officers
  • Director/Heads Adoption and Fostering Agencies
  • Director/Heads Connexions and Jobcentre Plus
  • Director/Heads Employment and Training Services
  • Director/Heads Homelessness Teams
  • Director/Heads Local Education Authorities
  • Director/Heads Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards
  • Director/Heads Supported Housing Teams
  • Director/Heads Welfare Rights Organisations
  • Directors / Heads of Nursing
  • Directors/Heads of Housing Associations
  • Early Years and Childcare Practitioners
  • Education and Welfare Officers
  • Education Providers
  • Education/Training and Development Managers
  • Equality and Diversity / Inclusion ManagersWorkers
  • Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Practitioners
  • Extra Care Housing Managers/Homecare
  • General Practitioners and Teams
  • Housing Services Management Team Leads
  • Local Authority Officers
  • Mental Health Practitioners
  • Neighbourhood Officers/Managers
  • Principal Officers – Health and Housing
  • Psychotherapists
  • Residential Children’s Home Managers
  • School Nurses and Health Visitors
  • Schools, Colleges and Further Education Providers
  • Strategic Planning and Commissioning Teams
  • Teachers and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators
  • Youth Inclusion Teams