Accessibility statement

HIV Prevention Innovation project for refugees and asylum seekers

Wakefield district is the 18th largest local authority in England and Wales with a population estimated to be in the region of 332,000 and expected to increase to 338,000 in 2018. The Wakefield age profile reflects the absence of any sizeable university presence within Wakefield with smaller than average proportions of young people aged 20-24 compared to, for example Leeds (6.0% vs. 9.8%) and greater numbers of old women than men. Implications of an ageing population include an increased demand for health and well-being services, a reduction in working age people, a reduced contribution to the economy and lower incomes, and increased resources for care services (paid and unpaid carers).

Urban House is an 'initial accommodation centre', located in Wakefield, which is run by G4S, a security outsourcing company. New arrivals to the country seeking asylum or refugee status are relocated to Wakefield and housed temporarily before they are dispersed around the country. Urban House receives approximately 200-300 people per fortnight from a range of countries with a maximum of 310 people resident at any one time. This includes single people and families with the average daily total of residents between 270 and 280 people. On average, residents stay between 21 and 28 days and are then dispersed throughout the country. However, there are a considerable number of people who stay beyond this period, often for up to 3 months, whilst the Home Office processes their applications. Residents represent a range of nationalities from all over the world.

Yorkshire MESMAC's Welcome Hear Project aimed to:

  • Identify appropriate support and project assistance through:
      • Engaging and training interpreters in the key languages of the target group
      • Recruiting a key staff member to lead the project and develop HIV workshop materials
      • Identifying a university partner to assist in the evaluation
  • Deliver at least 12 HIV awareness workshops to residents of Urban House
  • Deliver 300 HIV point of care tests (POCTs) to residents of Urban House
  • Engage at least 24 residents of Urban House to provide in-depth feedback about the project through interviews, vodcasts or podcasts
  • Summarise the evaluation and feedback in a report

The target audience were new migrants to the UK seeking refuge and asylum and temporarily resident in Urban House, in Wakefield. Within this location population migrants from African countries with high prevalence of HIV were particularly targeted.




Public Health England     

Start Date:      August 2017              
End Date:  December 2018


Internal Staff

External Collaborators

  • Wellington Moyo, MESMAC

Public Health and Society Research in the Department of Health Sciences