A working group of local authority representatives, the WM Funders Network (sharing good practice network of funders) and specialist migration agencies have been considering how the range of activity being planned, funded and delivered over the next 3 years can be improved and grown. In particular to do more to promote cohesion and integration, as well as the positive contributions people who refugees and migrants can have on the region’s economy and communities. A background note on the issues can be found here. The first event of three to be held was on the 3rd July and considered of the major issues identified by the voluntary sector is a lack of access to specialist rights based legal advice, leaving migrants, refugees and asylums seekers unable to regularise their status and creating conditions for destitution and homelessness. There were presentations from the West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership, Stoke on Trent Coventry and HerefordshireLocal Authorities, ASIRT, Brushstrokes and North Staff and Stoke on Trent CAB, and independent funders – Barrow Cadbury Trust, Paul Hamlyn Foundation and National Lottery Community Fund. The table discussions considered what good practice could be built upon the region and how this could be addressed in a more joined up way. Notes are available here.
The following events will then consider:
- Taking early action to promote safety, health and wellbeing – Crime and community safety; Physical health and well-being; Mental health and well-being; Safeguarding and support for vulnerable children, young people and families.
- Enabling involvement and inclusion – Education/Training, Employment, Arts and Culture, Community cohesion; Community networks; Integration; Communication, engagement and co-production.
Further updates and details of future events on these issues will be posted on the website.