Open Arms


The British Red Cross Open Arms refugee public engagement project is a way for people to get to know refugees and asylum seekers living in their area – as meeting face to face and forming friendships can help people understand more about the asylum system and build community cohesion. 

Based on ‘contact theory’, we want to help bring communities together through groups, teams and organisations running activities that bring people together through a shared interest such as sports, arts or family activities.

The emphasis is not on getting to know someone because they are an asylum seeker or refugee – but rather because of what people have in common and enabling them to meaningfully connect through this shared interest on a regular basis. Activities should also enable refugees and asylum seekers to practise their English language skills. This is not about one-off events.


  1. Refugees and asylum seekers participating in the activities feel more part of the community and feel more satisfied with their lives at the end of the activity than at the baseline.
  2. Host communities participating in the activities feel more part of the community and feel more willing to show a welcoming gesture towards a refugee or asylum seeker in their community than at the baseline.

How much is available: The maximum grant available is £2500

Who can apply? Voluntary or community groups, with a constitution or set of rules in the group’s name explaining the aims and objectives of the organisation, which includes CICs and Social Enterprises.

Which areas are covered:  

Liverpool-Liverpool 8/City (Toxteth, Dingle), Liverpool 4 (Anfield, Walton, Everton), Liverpool 5 (Kirkdale, Vauxhall); Liverpool 6 (AnfieldEverton, Fairfield, Kensington & Newsham Park); Liverpool13 (Tuebrook, Old Swan)

Greater Manchester - Oldham, Rochdale, Leigh (in the borough of Wigan), Bolton

Please click here for the full guidelines including priority and special criteria.

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