At last night's ceremony, World Jewish Relief's Specialist Training and Employment Programme (STEP) won a Charity Award in the category of Education and Training.
World Jewish Relief was shortlisted alongside Action Tutoring and MyBnk, and joined an impressive list of charities up for awards across various categories, including Macmillan, Tommy’s, Place2Be and St John Ambulance.
UK Programmes Director Janice Lopatkin MBE accepted the award. She told guests how the Jewish community’s history of displacement, and the organisation’s background having been founded in 1933 to assist Jewish refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe, drive what they do today.
Janice, who founded the programme, says “It is fantastic for STEP to be recognised in this way. It is a testament to our team and fantastic partners across the UK, and the refugees who join the programme, without whom its success and growth would not be possible.”
The Specialist Training and Employment Programme
STEP was launched in 2016 to assist Syrian refugees on their journeys into work and is now the largest provider of employment support to refugees in the UK. The programme is run in partnership with local councils and NGOs, and is part funded by the EU’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.
STEP has expanded significantly to assist Afghan refugees in hotels, Ukrainian arrivals, and to include a bespoke pre-STEP programme tailored to the needs of women. In the past year it has assisted 1,000 refugees to find work, learn English and integrate into the UK.
Awards judge Sharika Sharma said the charity’s work was “practical and impressive, offering very hands-on support”.
Judge Yvonne Field added that World Jewish Relief was now one of the biggest centres in the country doing this kind of work, so was clearly showing real leadership in the field. “They are crossing barriers in terms of diversity, and supporting a group that has been particularly marginalised and disadvantaged.”