Migrateful exists to help refugees and asylum seekers on their journey to employment and independence and promote integration.



Migrateful supports socially excluded refugees, asylum seekers and long-term migrants. Their situation is made difficult as a result of some or all of the following factors:

Poor English;

Lack of familiarity with UK systems;

Few connections/networks;

Precarious legal positions/no right to work (asylum seekers);

Prejudice and discrimination.

As a result, they struggle to integrate and to find employment and earn money. They are socially excluded, living on the margins of society and often suffer from depression and anxiety.


Migrateful builds on skills that migrants have that can put to good use despite their limited language abilities – their cooking skills. Migrateful provides: 

  1. training and support through weekly training sessions; and 
  2. work opportunities, where trained chefs can use their skills to teach people their traditional cuisines.


Attending training sessions gives trainees:

a sense of being part of a supportive community;

friendships and connections;

opportunities to practise their spoken English;

awareness of UK systems (employment and self-employment regulations, tax requirements etc);

qualifications (Food Hygiene Level 2).

Improved well-being through the therapeutic benefits of cooking and eating healthy food communally on a regular basis.

Increased confidence through our public speaking training program and presenting their food and story in front of an audience

Running classes gives chefs:

An income (where Migrateful is legally permitted to pay the chef);

Meaningful work experience, which can be used as a stepping stone to employment elsewhere (through building a track record, Migrateful providing references);

Increased self-esteem, a feeling of being valued;

Wider professional/business connections; and

More opportunities to practise their English with native speakers.

Research elsewhere has demonstrated that key building blocks for employment and integration are: 

a) a sense of control; and 

b) a feeling of being valued. 

Migrateful’s supportive training programme and the experience of teaching a small, intimate group are designed to help particularly with these factors, as well as with more functional employability skills (eg time-keeping, organisation, public speaking).


Permanent employment (or self-employment)

Better integration, reduced isolation

Increased wellbeing, self of self-worth



Immigration has remained one of the most divisive issues for the public in recent years and was a factor in many voters’ decisions in the EU referendum. The repercussions of the Brexit vote have in some cases led to a more hostile environment towards immigrants in general, particularly those, like refugees and asylum seekers who are perceived as being dependent on the benefits. 

Social contact with migrants has a major impact on how people view immigration and immigrants. Where people have social contact, they are able to base their opinions on those interactions rather than on narratives drawn from the media and their peer group. In places where migrants are less well integrated into their local communities, negative public views tended to dominate. 

In order to heal divisions, and to create a more welcoming environment for migrants, work also needs to be done to challenge misconceptions.


Members of the public are able to come to a Migrateful class to learn how to cook different cuisines. In so doing, they get an opportunity to meet migrants in ideal “contact” circumstances, in an intimate setting, where the migrant is leading the class.


Stereotypes are challenged

Fear and mistrust are reduced

Understanding of the real position of migrants is increased


Reduced prejudice and discrimination

More welcoming environment for migrants

Less hostility and division in society