Refugee-led social enterprise ACH wins prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise


ACH, a social enterprise specialising in migrant and refugee accommodation, integration and community-based training services, has won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

ACH is one of 205 organisations nationally to be presented with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise, considered the most prestigious business accolade in the UK. ACH is one of 18 companies to be awarded in the category of Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility).

Her Majesty the Queen makes the awards on the advice of the Prime Minister, assisted by an advisory committee made up of representatives of government, industry, commerce and trade unions.

ACH is a refugee-led social enterprise which has been operating since 2008. It provides housing, support and integration services to refugee and migrant communities across Bristol and the West Midlands, supporting 2500 individuals a year to integrate and thrive in the UK. Through its training arm, Himilo, it provides community-focussed training courses and careers advice designed to prepare students for sustainable employment opportunities.

Winning in the category ‘Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility)’ recognises the vital work ACH undertakes to promote equal and inclusive opportunities for newly arrived communities. ACH aims to re-evaluate and reshape the ways refugees are seen, portrayed and integrated through its #RethinkingRefugee campaign.

Focussing on newly arrived communities as assets, ACH works to build individuals’ resilience in the labour market, upskill and support refugees into sustainable, higher-level employment or self-employment in order to develop their independence and ease their integration into UK life.

Fuad Mahamed, ACH CEO, said: “Winning the Queen’s Award is a huge achievement for ACH. We pride ourselves on our accommodation, the support services and training courses we offer to our customers; I’m delighted we’ve officially been recognised for all our hard work with this esteemed award. Last year has been a difficult year going through the pandemic, the response of our staff has been exemplary, and this is a worthy recognition for all our relentless and untiring response”