Refugee Response Training

RedR has been supporting the response to the refugee crisis in Europe since September 2015, primarily by training volunteers and grassroots groups in the fundamentals of humanitarian principles and practice.



Volunteer and RedR trainee Natalia works on Lesbos © Amy Murrell


Photo: Natalia, a volunteer on Lesbos and RedR trainee © Amy Murrell for RedR UK

In September 2015, we ran three one-day training sessions in London and Cardiff, training over 80 volunteers, most of whom were working in Calais. The training included sessions on needs assessment, distribution, the Sphere standards, and accountability. "We aimed to help volunteers to work as efficiently and safely as possible - while respecting the dignity of the families and individuals they were assisting," explains Programme Manager Katie Robertson.

The success of these pilot courses helped to secure funding from the 
Humanitarian Leadership Academy, enabling us to train a further 100 volunteers through four two-day courses. This time, training took place not only in London but in Belgrade, Calais, and on Lesbos: on the front lines of the response, where it was needed most- with a focus on Child Safeguarding. RedR began its second phase of the HLA funded project in May 2016 with training taking place in locations along the Balkan route, including Slovenia, Macedonia and Croatia. At the same time, we received funding from the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation in April 2016 to deliver another ten two-day courses in some of the worst affected areas in Europe.


As a result of our Refugee Response Project, we have delivered 26 courses in seven different countries, providing 424 volunteers and aid workers with invaluable skills in refugee response.

Further to this, we have delivered tailor-made training courses in partnership with Help Refugees, a grassroots voluntary group that began in response to the crisis.  Training their staff and volunteers in Thessaloniki, Northern Greece and also in Calais, France.


Refugee Response Coordination Workshop


During the project, RedR has been fortunate enough to train both grassroots volunteers and humanitarian professionals. However during our experience of training we noticed a disconnect between these two groups. Therefore, on the 5th October 2016, RedR organised a ‘Coordination Workshop’ where representatives from both groups came together to discuss the importance of collaborating their activities.


The video from this event can be found here:


Want to find out more about? Read some of our publications!


Adapting approaches: training volunteers responding to the refugee crisis’ by Katie Robertson and Rachel Erskine


'Case Studies Report: RedR UK Refugee Response Project' by Katie Robertson and Isaac Snow


Hear from our trainees:


"One of the key things I took away from the training is about accountability. I am now far more conscious about the impact of my and others' actions with regards to delivering support and aid. Making sure that I also look at the bigger picture and not just the immediate impact of our actions." - Dan Teuma of The Worldwide Tribe, trained by RedR in September 2015.





Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation