More than 40 national and regional organizations will share £3m of projects
£3.6m more for UK Welcome Centres
Continuous cash for English language in England
Hong Kong British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) holders building a new life in the UK will continue to receive vital support after the Government today (23 July) approved the next phase of the Welcome programme.
Today’s package will help individuals on a BN(O) visa and their families to come and settle in the UK. Since its launch in early 2021, more than 123,000 eligible Hong Kongers and their family members have decided to take up this offer and apply for a BN(O) visa.
The welcome program will continue to provide:
an additional £3 million 40 Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations to implement their national and regional programs on mental health, social integration, employability and the fight against hate crime
A further £3.6 million to continue the network of 12 Welcome Centers across the UK, which support people to find and connect with their local services.
further support for English language courses and poverty support for those who need it (England only)
Equalization Secretary Greg Clark said.
We have strong ties to the people of Hong Kong and want those who choose to make a home here to be supported to settle successfully.
I am delighted that our new neighbors will continue to benefit from the expert support of councils, special welcome centers and fantastic grassroots programs thanks to this funding.
from FebruaryVCSE organizations provide much-needed support across the country, making a huge difference to people’s lives, including:
help for parents and carers who want to know which schools their children have been sent to and how to contact other parents
help to get to work. Workshops, one-to-one coaching sessions and entrepreneur networking events have been held across the UK to boost skills, confidence and provide interview practice to help people get a job that matches their experience.
a dedicated mental health line to support young people and adults who may be struggling to get started in a new country
a range of events and activities to integrate BN(Os), including art classes, museum visits and organized city tours, providing opportunities for communities to experience Hong Kong culture through Dragon Boat Festivals and Lunar New Year celebrations.
One such project is FaithAction, which runs a Café Connect space in Solihull for people from Hong Kong to meet others in the community and refer them to local support and advice.
One arrived and said. “Café Connect is a very good place for me because I want to learn about the history and culture of England. I want to be a part of life here. It’s good that I can talk to English people because my understanding is getting better and one day I will talk to everyone like they do.”
The Wai Yin Society, based in Manchester, helped Ms L, who arrived in the UK from Hong Kong with her husband and daughter in 2021 and felt disoriented and socially isolated. They helped her get a job as a lunchtime helper at a local school and are now supporting her to complete a food hygiene course to help develop her existing skills.
Ms. L said: “I’m glad Wai Ying gave me advice and support.”
One individual who received support from Hong Kongers in Britain through their CV writing clinic said: “It was very helpful because the speaker told me about the culture of looking for work in the UK, which I didn’t know before. I could understand more because the speaker spoke Cantonese and also understood the concerns of a Hong Konger when looking for a job. It’s not just about polishing my CV, it’s also helping me gain more confidence to get a job.”
Today’s announcements mean organizations can expand their support to reach more individuals and provide services tailored to meet their needs.
The Welcome Program also provides funding to set up a reporting and support service for Hong Kongers and other East and South East Asian communities in the UK who experience racism or any form of hate. On Your Own, led by Protection Approaches in conjunction with a consortium of community organisations, will soon be launched.
Welcome Centers across the UK will continue to provide practical advice and support in English and Cantonese through their websites, one-to-one sessions and local support networks.
Councils England, which already plays a key role in ensuring that those with BN(O) status are warmly welcomed and supported, will continue to provide targeted support for English language and poverty where help is needed.
Support for Hong Kongers to build new lives in the UK continues
SourceSupport for Hong Kongers to build new lives in the UK continues