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International Community Organisation of Sunderland (ICOS) exists to improve the quality of life of BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) people in the North East and to enhance community cohesion and intercultural understanding in this area. We focus on those who lack access to information and services to ensure equal access. We have particularly strong links to the Eastern European community, but we have also successfully worked with refugees, asylum seekers and BME people born in the UK. Currently, most of our work is delivered in Sunderland and the surrounding area. Our approach is to focus on both- assets of our community, as well as the issues that our community faces. While we are committed to supporting those in crisis, we strongly believe that it is our duty to prevent the crisis.

We:

  • Connect people to opportunities
  • Defend people’s rights
  • Bring people from different cultural backgrounds together

In order to fulfil our mission, we provide the following activities:

  • Information, Advice, Guidance and Advocacy work (individual casework) in a wide range of diverse areas, from  employability to welfare rights
  • Volunteering opportunities
  • Cultural activities

Our values are:

  • Justice
  • Equality
  • Involvement
  • Connectedness
  • Commitment

Commitment to partnership working:

we see partnership work as key to our past and future success. We work closely with a variety of partners, including the Sunderland Black and Minority Ethnic Network, local councils (notably, Sunderland City Council), health authorities, emergency services, community organisations and local businesses.