Welcoming Refugee Families: Discussing family reunion for refugees

Monday 9th September: St James Buildings, 61-95 Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 6FQ



A one day conference looking at the family reunion process for refugees in the UK and the roles of different agencies in the process. An opportunity to share practical knowledge about the processes and how to better help refugees wanting to be reunited with their family.

Sponsored by Ansari Solicitors 

Take a look at photos from the day here…


Kimberley Rennick, Researcher: Research Evaluation and Impact British Red Cross

Kimberley is a Researcher in the Policy, Research and Advocacy department at the British Red Cross. Kimberley has been part of the team for two years, during which time she has been involved in a range of research and evaluation projects including looking at the needs of flood affected communities across the UK, and examining support structures for refugees seeking family reunion. Kimberley’s current role also includes managing the British Red Cross Communities of Practice project which encourages sharing learning across the organisation.

Denise McDowell, Director at the Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit

‘Assistance with Refugee Family Reunion applications for people with Refugee status only’

As a result of the loss of legal aid GMIAU has set up a project to support refugees to make family reunion applications. We will share our experience of the first 6 months of the project and look at the ways in which others can help people to successfully reunite with their families.

More about Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit

Clare Farnsworth, Deputy Manager at Freedom from Torture Manchester

‘Family reunion is just so positive and powerful… and reconnection with joy;
‘It’s a basic human right to be reunited with my family’
‘Family reunion is a reason to live, hope and trust’

Freedom from Torture North West was set up in 2003 and was the first treatment centre outside of London and the South East to open, and was a response to the widespread dispersal of asylum seekers across the UK. The centre offers a range of services including a therapy service to families affected by torture and advice and support to local practitioners and organisations working with survivors and their families.

More about Freedom from Torture

Jon Lord, Chief Executive,  Bolton at Home 

‘Refugee families bring an incredible energy to the area where they are housed…..they invest in those places with their lives and work and intention’

Bolton at Home are a registered housing provider who manage over 18,000 homes across the Bolton borough as well as working to improve the lives of tenants and other residents in their neighbourhoods. Jon became a Chief Officer in Bolton Council in 2001 and has been the Chair of the Greater Manchester Consortium for refugees and asylum seekers since that time.

More about Bolton at Home

Wei Lynn Ng Co-ordinator at the British Red Cross Family Tracing Service

‘A service to help families who cannot utliise conventional methods … a service of last resort’

The Red Cross and International Family Tracing service work through a global network to put families separated by conflict, disaster or migration back in touch – wherever they are.  A look at the Red Cross and International Family Tracing services and the wider remit of the Red Cross within the sector as well as how to access their services.

More info on the family tracing service