Syrian Refugee Health Workshop

Lead: NHS Leeds CCG

Period: 9th Jul 2019

This engagement involved going into the Syrian community to talk to people who are recently settled in Leeds about their health priorities.

Brief description of the project

We are currently supporting the health and well-being needs of refugee families in their first year of arriving in Leeds.

NHS Leeds CCG commissioned Voluntary Action Leeds (VAL) to lead on the organisation and facilitation of a full-day workshop. We made sure the workshop took place in a community venue. By doing this we were hoping to promote interaction between resettled people and local health services.

VAL used a community-focused approach to help generate a greater understanding of the health priorities of Syrian people who have settled in Leeds, within the past year.

Who did we speak to?

Around 20 people from the Syrian refugee community were in attendance at the engagement event. They were able to use the event to give us their feedback.

What and how did we ask?

We asked people the following questions:

  • What would you like to do to improve your health and well-being?”
  • What already keeps you feeling well? How can we build on that?”
  • How can services better meet your needs and the needs of the community?”

Participants were given the opportunity to discuss these questions in their groups, via interpreters, through table doodles on paper tablecloths, and by a community ballot.

What did people tell us?

People attending told us:

  • Their houses were too small and overcrowded, in poor condition and containing poor quality furniture and equipment.
  • The memory of trauma from home often returns as there is nothing to distract them here.
  • Despite people developing mental health issues, stigma can create barriers to accessing support for this community.
  • The current provision of education courses (e.g. English for Speakers of Other Languages courses) is patchy and difficult to access.

You can read more about the workshop in our engagement report:

Workshop report (1MB)

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What did we do?

Following the workshop, the VAL produced a report. We took the report to the Refugee Engagement Steering Group, where priorities for next steps were agreed (please see the “You Said, We Did” document).

 If you have any questions about this engagement please email us at or call on 0113 843 5450.


Engagement plan (274KB)

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Engagement event agenda (359KB)

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Syrian refugee resettlement programme (312KB)

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