Our Story.

Upbeat Communities has been supporting those seeking sanctuary since 2005.

The organisation was founded in response to the needs of refugees arriving in the UK and the stories they shared of their lives and their journeys. Through building relationships with those from refugee communities we were able to identify their needs and the best ways to respond.

We believe that making those who are fleeing war, persecution, and conflict feel welcome will give the best possible chance of integration, support and opportunities to rebuild their lives. One of the best resources a refugee can have to help them settle in their new home is a good social network. Friendships and connectedness can help overcome the many challenges faced by those seeking refuge.

With this aim, we want to help connect refugees into community. We want to see strangers become neighbours.

Our name reflects our vision to see thriving, positive communities where everyone can contribute and make the most of opportunities.

We began by giving practical help and support to refugees and asylum seekers, which rapidly grew into projects that built cohesion among the whole community. One of the first major projects was to set up a community café in a multicultural part of the city, providing employment and volunteer opportunities for refugees, with a space for community activities, arts, and family events. From this initial work we developed a range of services, delivered with a number of different partners including Derby City Council, Derby Refugee Advice Centre, The British Red Cross, The Multi-Faith Centre, and Refugee Action . For more information about our current activities see Our Work.

We strive to hear the voice of the people we work with, to better understand the challenges they are facing, and to learn from them how best to address these issues.

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We are a registered charity  1162856 and a social enterprise company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales No. 05648977.

Why we do it.

Upbeat Communities’ Christian ethos is the motivation for all our work. It is the reason why we do what we do. It is to work together to demonstrate God’s love to refugees who have been displaced by war, conflict or persecution. We are inspired by the message, life and example of Jesus through which God’s unconditional love for all people is expressed, regardless of their race, disability, gender, age, religious belief or sexual orientation.

Our ethos is rooted in faith in Jesus Christ which compels us to love our neighbours as ourselves. It is through relationships, with each other and those whom we seek to serve, that we practice and demonstrate our ethos. We seek to live out Jesus’ command to “welcome the stranger” by building mutually enriching relationships with those who are seeking sanctuary in our country.

Upbeat Communities works with and supports people whatever their faith, religion or beliefs. We believe in working together with others and have developed good partnerships with voluntary groups, faith groups, statutory agencies and local government.

We are signatories to the Faithworks Charter of best practice for groups committed to excellence in community work and service provision in the UK.

Our ethos is also expressed through our organisational values:

We work to WELCOME

“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7)

We believe in a welcoming God and we want to offer this same friendship, hospitality and acceptance to all those we meet.

We create COMMUNITY

“Be sure to welcome strangers into your home. By doing this, some people have welcomed angels as guests, without even knowing it.” (Heb 13: 2-3)

Our desire is to see genuine belonging and family established between those seeking sanctuary and local people, reflecting God’s heart for diverse, inclusive communities.

We are inspired to act with INTEGRITY

“The integrity of the upright guides them” (Proverbs 11: 3)

In knowing the unconditional positive value God has placed on each of us, we want to live and work with honesty, humility, and transparency, and by honouring others.

We exist to EMPOWER

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thes 5: 11)

Our hope is every person we engage with recognises and embraces their God-given potential, and is encouraged and equipped to achieve it.

We are committed to CREATIVITY

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ” (1 Cor 12: 12)

We seek to pioneer creative and innovative responses to the needs of those we work with, reflecting the unique creativity God has given each of us.

We run on RELATIONSHIPS

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12: 10)

We are people-centred and are dedicated to loving and caring for each other with dignity, equality, respect, openness and trust.

We are proud to be PROFESSIONAL

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord” (Col 3: 23)

We want give our best to all we do, and are committed to finding ways we can continually improve as an organisation.

We have COMPASSION at our core

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13: 34-35)

At the heart of everything we do is the desire to see the love of God extended to all those we work with, communicated with warmth, kindness, and sensitivity.

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Photo Credits.

Photos on this website include images taken by:

Farhad Berahman, Katie Garner, Sahar and Steve Fogg