Purpose: Barnardo’s are a children’s charity that supports vulnerable families across the UK
Tech challenge: Supporting refugee and non-English speaking families and individuals to communicate directly with their landlords and regain their independence
Techie: David, Invisible Building
Barnardo’s, a children’s charity that supports vulnerable families across the UK through a range of services including Refugee Support Services. The team assist the resettlement of Syrian families arriving in NI through the Vulnerable Person Relocation Scheme. These families have experienced the most horrendous trauma and loss, and arrive in NI wanting simply to shed the label of ‘displaced persons’ and build a safe new life.
Barnardo’s support families with integration and developing their independence to access education; GP / dental services and Housing. These families arrive with little or no English and often with no real knowledge of the NI system.
To overcome the challenge of communication and for these individuals to regain their independence Barnardo’s would like to develop a mechanism for refugee families to directly self-advocate with landlords or letting agents in relation to reporting housing issues. Refugee families wish to raise issues directly, not through a third party. Unfortunately, the only supports or mechanisms which currently exist are heavily reliant on having a decent level of the English language, or, relying on a charity for help and advocacy each time a housing fault or breakage arises. Herein lays the problem.
“A digital solution represents a step-change for refugee and indeed non-English speaking families who want nothing more than get back to a sense of dignity, autonomy and independence they once knew before the Syrian conflict ripped their lives apart.”
Stay tuned to hear how they progress throughout the Techies and Residence programme.