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About Us


Barnet Refugee Service (BRS) is a charitable organisation formed by the merging of two established projects, the Refugee Health Access Project (managed by Barnet Voluntary Service Council) and the Asylum Seekers Project (Managed by Homeless Action in Barnet).  Barnet Refugee Service has been an independent charity since April 2005.


Our Vision


 Through its work BRS envisages:
  1. A future where Refugees and Asylum seekers recognize themselves and are recognized by others as human beings of equal status in society.
  2. A greater understanding and positive image in the wider community of the contribution made by refugees and asylum seekers and the issues which they have to deal with.
  3. Quicker and greater integration of refugees and asylum seekers through access to improved services particularly in health, housing, education and employment.
  4. Greater understanding among refugees and asylum seekers of their rights and responsibilities.
  5. A well established and accessible Barnet Refugee Service, working impartially in partnership with other relevant organisations to identify and meet the changing needs of refugees and asylum seekers.
  6. Enabling a fuller contribution of refugees to civic life through the promotion of social cohesion.
  7. Local policies and services which reflect the needs of diverse asylum seeker and refugee communities.
  8. A more powerful voice for refugees and asylum seekers in Barnet and neighbouring boroughs.

Aims and Objectives



1.       To provide information, advice and support services to asylum seekers and refugees
2.       To help promote equality of access to health care, social care, housing, legal representation, education and training for asylum seekers and refugees.
3.       To provide and enhance educational and employment opportunities available for asylum seekers and refugees.
4.       To increase awareness of the needs, rights and entitlements of asylum seekers and refugees in relation to health, social care, housing, training, education and employment.
5.       To act as an information resource for statutory agencies, voluntary organisations and the wider community.
6.       To ensure that service providers deliver culturally sensitive and appropriate services to asylum seekers and refugees.
7.       To assist destitute and/or homeless refugees and asylum seekers to access emergency food and support.
8.       To help refugees and asylum seekers overcome isolation and regain their confidence and self esteem through social activities and structured projects thus enabling them to integrate into society.
9.       To significantly influence local and national strategies and policies with regard to refugees and asylum seekers.
10.    To increase awareness of the rights and entitlements of local asylum seekers and refugees to health, social care, housing, training, education and employment with service users and the wider community.
11.    To act as an information resource for local refugee community organisations and the wider community.
12.    To provide volunteering opportunities for refugees and asylum seekers (including
young people) to develop their skills and help them to access higher education and employment.
13.    To provide emotional and social activities to young refugees and asylum seekers to develop their confidence and skills.

Our Team



Patron:  Esther Rantzen CBE
               Shappi Khorsandi

Board of Trustees:

Ponusamy Karunaharan (treasurer)
David Levey (Secretary - Co-opted May 2009)
Tanya Novick
Roger Selby
Dr Zoe Aslanpour
Shubhi Raymond
Peter Salomon


Our Staff:

Nazee Akbari

Refugee Adviser (Health &  Welfare Benefits) with a specialism in helping asylum seekers with NASS support.
Nousheen Ashtiani

Volunteering Development Co-ordinator

Farida Stanikzai

Refugee Youth Worker

Anita Koci

Leila Shams


Our Organisation Chart


Barnet Refugee Service - Organisation Chart 2008 - 2009

Our Funders



  • Barnet Primary Care Trust
  • Milly Apthorp Charitable Trust
  • Integrated Youth Support Service Voluntary Sector Fund
  • Lloyds TSB 
  • London Councils
  • The Jill Frankline Trust
  • The Beatrice Laing Trust
  • The Church and Community Fund
  • The Odin Charitable Trust 

A Message From Our Patron

Last year I visited the Barnet Refugee Service, and met the trustees, the staff and some of the volunteers and clients.  I was moved and impressed by the real difference BRS has made to so many lives.

Quality Marks

Community Legal Service
Impact Awards

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