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Projects: Creating Welcoming Communities

Projects: Creating Welcoming Communities – Engagement with Migrants, Asylum seekers, Refugees in Northern Ireland

This is a pilot Participatory Action Research (PAR) project supported by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRTC) and draws upon findings from the ESRC funded project Exclusion Amid Inclusion. This project is aware that migrants, asylum seekers and refugees who come to Northern Ireland have arrived into a divided society that impacts their ability fully engage socially and politically. Organisations that have been established to represent the interests of these communities have run into difficulties in establishing funding streams and creating cooperative relationships that are equitable and empowering due in part to social and political conditions unique to Northern Ireland.

This initiative will seek to work with 6-8 representatives from different community based organisations (CBOs) in Northern Ireland that provide services to migrants, asylum seekers and refugees communities.  The initiative is to deliver bespoke workshops to communicate key organisational skills that are key to the successful obtaining and implementation of funding projects. Over a 12 week period we will provide training support and encouragement to these organisations that will seek to address their identified needs, providing training in identified areas that will help their organisation grow.

This will occur over a 12 week period, through attending one bi-weekly session for key members of the organisation to work collaboratively with QUB staff and members of different organisations.

The project employs a PAR approach, which means that those selected for the project will contribute to building evidence of the lives of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in communities across Northern Ireland through a collaborative research approach. This means the training sessions  will be created on the needs of the organisations and may include (but not limited to facilitated sessions addressing advocacy, programme evaluation, research skills and policy engagement.

The training will include participatory research training and mentorship for the organisations so that they can apply to support their own work. The research component will involve practicing data collection among their communities as practice and as means of delivering  the most authentic representation of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees life in Northern Ireland that will contribute to the creation of a policy recommendations and event to advocate on behalf of the community.

We have been supported in the development of this programme by a number of organisations:

  • Belfast Islamic Centre
  • Migrant and Minority Ethnic Council


Call for Projects

For each participant organisation of the programme will be provided with a small seed grant of £800. This can go to any activity the organisation sees fit provided it is in some way address a direct need of the women in the communities they serve.

Areas the project will broadly provide training are:

  • Organisational development: how to write short, medium and long-term plans.
  • Dealing with grants: identifying the right funding opportunities and practicing the application of grants. An overview of funding / training / support available for organisations.
  • Digital marketing and social media engagement.
  • Developing and utilising support networks to support organisational growth.
  • Personal development and mental health support.
  • Research skills to develop evidence of effectiveness of service delivery.
  • Training on PAR research methods.

 This programme will provide 12 weeks of training at the end of which the seed grant £800 will be issued to support initial projects that will be implemented by the organisations. A further 4 weeks of accompaniment will be carried out alongside the QUB staff to support feedback and learning from the project and the implementation of PAR research. At the conclusion of the programme a further grant of £2000 can be awarded to support organisations working in partnership on a shared project provided the money goes some way to tackling the economic and social engagement of  women from migrant, asylum seeker and refugee communities.

 Key Information

Deadline for Applications: June 30th 5pm GMT. There is some flexibility in the deadline.

Email for enquiries:

Length of Programme: 12 weeks

Frequency: 3 hours every 2 weeks for the first 8 weeks, then 3 hours per week for the final 4 weeks.

Dates: 19 July –  17 October

Times: Wednesdays 5-8PM (provisionally)

Location: Online

 What will the workshops be like?

The workshops will be delivered online with the entire group to support engagement and cooperation. The workshops will each week have an engaging skills delivery on the chosen topic (max 30mins) followed by group work to develop and practice the key skills. These workshops are designed to reflect your experiences and to build in collaboration, pathways forward to address the problems you face. All we ask is that you commit to showing up each week until the end of the programme. The group we are pulling together will be composed of people from diverse backgrounds who have been trying to increase the visibility and influence of migrant, asylum seeker and refugee groups in Northern Ireland.

 Following the delivery of the workshops, each group will be responsible for engaging their community and collecting stories from diverse people to establish a project that will contribute to the increased public understanding of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in Northern Ireland. Throughout this period of data collection (which will last 3-4 weeks) the participants will have ongoing coaching and support by the QUB team. 

 The research will be finalised in two additional workshops where the group will analyse the information collected with each other and draw out the key lessons and plan for wider dissemination.

How to apply

 How to apply:  

Any questions, contact Andrew and Timofey at Queen’s; please use this address to submit your expression of interest/applications.

We are looking for organisations that: 

  • Have been established in Northern Ireland to provide services to migrant, minority ethnic, asylum seeker and refugee communities (those arriving since 2011).
  • Working for a minimum 1-4 years within communities highlighted on charitable basis.
  • Have employed or had volunteers involved in their organisation.  
  • Formal structure that outlines responsibilities of the organisations different members.

 We are looking for individuals that: 

  • Have strong soft skills, able to communicate with and listen carefully to different types of people / actors, particular around difficult topics in the community.  
  • Have ideas, are creative and strong problem-solving skills 
  • Be able to travel to Queen’s University Belfast on occasion.
  • Have access to ICT equipment (smart phone and / or computer) and be able to meet and work on Zoom or Teams. 
  • Live in Northern Ireland.
  • Have at least one team member available for approximately for 3 hours every two weeks from July 19 to 17 October.

 Submit a proposal:

 To apply, we are asking you to submit a max 800-word proposal to outline what you project you intend to do with the seed funding of £800. You should consider the following:

  • Breakdown of how the funds will be used in a project that address the issues women face in the community.
  • The nature of your project is entirely up to you and can be an event, material support, awareness session or any other type of programme.
  • Breakdown of the organisation.
  • And outline of the activities and community engagement work you have carried out so far. Please include general locations and with estimated numbers of community members.
  • Using your smart phone or camera, record a 3-5-minute video that outlines the main problems you face as an organisation in Northern Ireland representing migrants, asylum seekers and refugees.  To help you can ask the following questions:From a community perspective, what are the biggest challenges to the community feeling welcomed? How do you see it in 10 years' time? What role do you see organisations like yours playing?


Short listed candidates will be invited for brief interviews the week beginning 5th July (dates might change slightly). Successful candidates will be informed the following week.