Who we help

Colchester has helped newcomers integrate into the local community for generations.

From 2015 the city welcomed refugee families from war-torn Syria as part of the government’s Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, and more recently Afghan refugee families have also been relocated here. Colchester is now an official dispersal centre for new arrivals to this country, so asylum seekers are accommodated locally while waiting for an asylum claim to be processed. There are others too, who find their way to north Essex independently.

RAMA supports those who are far from home and who have nowhere else to turn. As well as the refugees and asylum seekers mentioned above, there are others who may be vulnerable such as migrants with British partners and dependents, or victims of domestic violence or trafficking. Some are making a new life here; some have been here a while; and still others are only with us for a short time. All of them face a whole range of challenges, from issues that are straightforward to resolve, to problems that need specialist attention. So many of the systems and processes we take for granted present difficulties for newcomers. Each individual has their own story; most of them with physical or mental scars from the lives they left behind. At RAMA we do not differentiate based on government-assigned labels, we help people who need support regardless of their status. 

People may ask why we do not offer services to our local homeless population. There are other organisations set up to do this, and support mechanisms that specifically target those people. For many of our clients there is an additional hurdle in the language barrier.

RAMA clients countries of origin (Aug 2022)