Marhaba Team

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Ancoats, Bradford and Clayton’s Integrated Neighbourhood Team (INT) is  focusing on refugees and asylum seekers, including mental health needs.

Marhaba means ‘welcome’ in Arabic – we want asylum seekers and refugees to feel welcome in Manchester.

Meet the team

  • Coordinator: Angela Beacon
  • Influencer: Zak Valli
  • Catalyst: Zainab Dhukai
  • Sponsor: Ian Trodden

Team goal

We ask our teams to set possible but improbable goals so they think big!

Marhaba Team goal: We will increase the wellbeing and connection to services and opportunities of Arabic speaking refugees and asylum seekers in East Manchester by 70%.

What’s the difference between people who are asylum seekers or refugees?

Legally, an asylum seeker is a person who has applied for asylum in the UK and is waiting for a decision on his or her claim.

A refugee on the other hand, has already had his or her asylum claim accepted by the authorities.

What’s the plan?

  • Reaching out to try to contact people who are asylum seekers and refugees who may not be connected to services.
  • GP practice training to improve registration process, access and support for asylum seekers and refugees.
  • Testing new ways of communicating with people,  such as text messages and social media.
  • Running a community cooking cafe to provide social connections and support from peers with a cultural exchange for various asylum seekers and refugee groups across East Manchester.
  • Promoting time bank, volunteering and skills & talents identification to increase confidence and provide future employment opportunities for asylum seekers and refugees.
  • Team Marhaba family health and wellbeing fair.

What have we done so far?


Day 1

We had an intense 2-day session to launch our 100 day challenge. It was great to bring together Marhaba Team for the first time and to develop our ideas, goal and tests as a team.


Day 23

On 4 October, a few of us were able to meet to develop our plans, based on what we’d learned from talking to people with lived experience and services.


Day 44

On Thursday 24 October, we met as a whole team to update our plans for the remaining 56 days of the challenge.

It was great to have so many of the team there and to progress our ideas to help us achieve the team goal.


Day 48: public engagement event

On 28 October, we will ran a family health and wellbeing event.

It was great to speak to people to find out how we can improve access to our services and find out what is important to them.

Services were able to run stalls, promoting what is on offer locally and answering questions.


Day 60-70

Throughout November Marhaba Team ran four training sessions with GP practices and local partners to improve equitable access to primary care for asylum seekers and refugees.

Feedback from practices has been positive and has opened out discussion around the rights of vulnerable migrants, as well as building confidence in adopting safer surgeries practices.


Day 70

A few of the team met on 26 November to agree how to overcome the last hurdles and to give the team a spurt of energy that we’ll need for the remaining 30 days.


Day 70-80

Starting in early December, we will be supporting Revive and Jigsaw Homes to run social and educational events, centred around food.

Cultural food will be prepared by volunteers, to share with others in our community.

Food hygiene courses will also be available.


Day 86: Toy Collection

In partnership with Revive and Rainbow Haven, two local charities that support asylum seekers and refugees, Marhaba Team are running a collection for new or unused toys.

Please help us promote the collection.