Extern’s Refugee Support Service is a dedicated service for individuals and families forced to flee their homes and who have been granted refugee status and given leave to remain in the UK.

The team work intensively with refugees during the 28-day notice period given to move out of NASS accommodation and provide medium to long term specialist and practical support and advice to resettle in the community.

This ongoing intensive, comprehensive one-to-one support includes:

  • housing
  • benefits/financial and budgetary management
  • health
  • education
  • legal status
  • training and employment
  • family reunification
  • community integration.

The service aims to prevent homelessness and to maintain tenancies by directly supporting individuals who have housing issues and practical problems settling in the local community.

Extern’s Refugee Support Service works across the community and has existing networks with a range of other refugee support organisations. The team active participates in the Migrant Forum, Refugee and Asylum Forum and the Northern Ireland Asylum Stakeholder’s Forum.

Northern Ireland Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme

Extern is one of three main delivery partners in the provision of this specialised resettlement support to individuals and families arriving under the UK Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme (VPRS).

Our staff work intensively with individuals and families from their point of arrival, and as they transition to their new home and resettle in their local communities, providing a holistic assessment of needs, practical support and link-up with statutory services.

In 2019/2020 Extern supported the arrival and local orientation of 121 adults and 97 children as we continued our work as part of the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS).

This service is provided in partnership with Barnardo’s NI, Bryson Intercultural and the Red Cross.

Summary of Syrian Families Settled in Northern Ireland.

RoI Refugee Resettlement Programme

In 2017, Extern began providing resettlement support for UNHCR programme refugees arriving in Ireland under this Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP)-administered programme in the Republic of Ireland. Currently this programme operates in Co Meath.

This project is co-financed by the European Commission under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund 2014-2020 and is supported by the Department of Justice and Equality.

Extern’s model of support is needs-led and rights based, focusing on empowering individuals, families and host communities to integrate positively, live independently and fulfil their unique potential. 

All our staff are professionally qualified with experience of supporting vulnerable individuals and families, and are supported by a management team who have expertise in refugee resettlement.

Extern are the lead agency supporting the resettlement of programme refugees in Meath.  The resettlement is steered and monitored by a local interagency working group that includes representatives from statutory agencies and other stakeholders, of which Extern is a member.

The objective is to ensure that refugees are welcomed into the community, that they receive their rights and entitlements in an appropriate manner and that they learn to live independently in Irish society.

Our team put in place a range of tailored supports, aimed at building capacity in both the refugee population and in the local authority service providers through education, representation, advocacy, professional support and practical experience.

Staff work with host communities to link families into existing networks and establish community-based befriending groups to facilitate the longer-term integration and support of refugees. 

In 2018, our Refugee Resettlement project supported 106 people to settle into their new homes in Co Meath and integrate into the local community.

LOCATION: Northern Ireland & Republic of Ireland

SUPPORTING: Communities

HOW DO I ACCESS THIS SERVICE? Referrals to this service are made via the UK and Irish governments, who decide which families are to be resettled


Northern Ireland:
118-122 Royal Avenue
Tel: 028 9027 8424
Email:[email protected]

Republic of Ireland:
89 Church Street,
Co Cavan
Tel: 00 353 (0)86 383 1898
Email: [email protected]

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