North West Migrants Forum

Programmes and funders

The project will provide training, therapeutic services and peer-to-peer support for international students, migrant workers, refugees and people seeking safety. Over five years the project will help people access community services and learn about the area, improve their conversational English skills, receive mental health support and meet new people through a dedicated befriending café.
The project will also deliver a community focused Anti-Racism Education programme to help the wider community understand racism and to reduce prejudice and discrimination.

  •  Information and Orientation Support for New Arrivals: Supporting clients with practical support and information to access essential services such as GPs, immigration legal support, education opportunities, employment opportunities, libraries, housing
  • Informal Conversational English sessions: Developing English language skills and helping individuals improve their communication abilities
  • Information Workshops on Local Culture: Developing local community awareness through information workshops on local culture, way of life, belonging and participation
  • Family gatherings: Bringing families together to connect with each other, their local communities and others to build friendships, forge new connections and work together to build a new shared future 
  • Befriending and Social Connection Café: Open to all new and settled residents to meet on a weekly basis to connect, socialise and support one another
  • Residential: At least once a year we aim to take a group away to network, work as a team and break down any barriers to communication, social connection and interaction
  • Racial Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue
  • Racial Literacy training for anti-racism advocacy
  • Anti-Racism education and workshops 
  • Let’s talk Race and Racism workshops in education settings
  • Annual Advancing Race Equality Awards: To recognise those who have gone above and beyond to support inclusion of minoritised people in all aspects of public life

When someone originally from another country is now legally a resident in Northern Ireland, they are defined as a ‘non-CTA citizen’. This means that they could potentially be committing an immigration offence by crossing the boarder into the Republic of Ireland for any reason at all, including attending sporting events, school trips or shopping. This policy impacts refugees and migrants greatly and with this project we want to challenge the exclusion faced by ‘non-CTA citizens’ and we want to help them to campaign for their rights to freedom of movement and the ability to work, study, and live across the border.

Project objectives:

  • Raise awareness of the CTA and it’s issues/restrictions
  • Develop skills required to advocate, mobilise, and campaign for change (ages 13-24)
  • Build confidence, create relationships and promote effective activism (ages 13-24)
  • Work towards legally changing racially discriminatory policies
  • Extend the benefits of the CTA to ‘non-CTA citizens’

Project activities:

  • Campaigning/ advocacy skills workshops on developing strategies and building alliances
  • Awareness raising initiatives
  • Residential ‘Summer School’
  • Engagement with the policy process and legal issues surrounding the CTA
  • Campaigning for policy change and engaging in relevant debates and advocacy conversations with policymakers

This project will create opportunities for BME people to get involved with new forms of inclusive, participatory politics. It will enable people from traditional communities to work with us to raise awareness about racial equality policies and to campaign for change. Linked to our Inter Community Practice project, one of the areas for change is the expansion of the Common Travel Area (CTA) Agreement, which currently restricts the movement of people from non-European countries who reside both sides of the border in Ireland.
The project is for adults who want to campaign for change, develop campaigning and advocacy skills and to work with all sectors of the community as part of our active citizens group that will spearhead the campaign.

Project objectives:

  • Support people from all backgrounds to work together
  • Help participants develop the skills and confidence to campaign for change.
  • To push for greater accountability of those in power
  • Campaign for equality and human rights
    Highlight the restrictions and challenges faced by migrants and refugees in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

Project activities:

  • Skills workshops on developing campaign strategies and building alliances
  • Awareness-raising initiatives
  • Engagement with the policy process and legal issues surrounding the CTA
  • Residential ‘Summer school’
  • Campaigning for policy change and engaging in relevant debates and advocacy conversations with policy makers

Five year project – 2022-2027

This project focuses on Black History and Heritage to transform the way we view NI history and to
recognise the long tradition of cultural and ethnic diversity beyond the stereotype the two communities.


  • Annual Black History Month Summits in Belfast and Derry on alternating years.
  • Workshops on Racial Literacy
  • Exhibition about Black Heritage
  • Establishment of the steering committee to work with Education Authority and experts to reform school curriculum and to include the minority heritage
  • To Create a black history map and produce a book.
  • Resources for proposed work with schools

One year project – 2023/2024

The Project will advance race relations and good relations in NI by engaging black, minoritised people and the wider community in meaningful discussions around race, racism and sectarianism, building knowledge and understanding of what it means to be an anti-racist and anti-sectarian. It will increase racial literacy and help people to identify specific manifestations of racism and how it relates to sectarianism. The aim is to empower people and communities across NI to gain individual and collective knowledge so that they can recognise, understand and actively challenge racism and prejudice.

The aim is to empower people and communities across NI to gain the individual and collective knowledge so that they can recognise, understand, and actively challenge racism and prejudice.


  • Weekly Social Café: Targeting a mixed group of people from all walks of life.
  • Let’s talk Race and Racism in schools.
  • Advancing Race Equality Awards to honour people and organisations that set an example through their work contributing to reconciliation, human rights overcoming of racism and harnessing a truly inclusive society in NI

Until March 2024

The initiative is an extension of the existing Social Cafe and Better Health: Stronger Communities programmes.

It aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people seeking asylum, refugees and ethnic minorities in Derry City through trauma-informed exercise classes and healthy food options. The initiative addresses the impacts of trauma, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It also addresses health inequalities by providing healthier food options and promotes social connection to combat boredom and loneliness. The initiative’s trauma-informed approach builds resilience and encourages individuals from all backgrounds to engage with the centre, fostering friendships and connections.


  • Trauma-informed exercise classes.
  • Providing healthy food options, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Social events and activities that are open to the local community.
  • Provision of safe and supportive spaces for physical activity and socialisation.
  • Consultation with participants on the design and delivery of the classes, food options, and social events.
  • Networking, attending community events, and distributing leaflets and posters in the community.
  • Gathering direct feedback and surveys to gather feedback and suggestions for improvement.

Building leaders

Until 2028

This five-year grant will allow the Forum to create a project packed with opportunities for young people to develop their public speaking abilities, engage in community service and network with  professionals in a variety of fields. The long-term plan is to develop sustainable youth services in the north west for diverse communities and to fully embed youth provision in the organisation. This will enable young people to develop holistically, facilitating their personal, social and educational growth. It will also allow them to develop their voice, influence and place in society and to reach their full potential as well as achieve positions of leadership.