The London project is a pilot project funded by Trust for London, which seeks to create opportunities for vulnerable or disadvantaged EU migrants across various communities living in London, and to empower them to become active citizens.
We want to:
- To reach out to people from other parts of Europe living in London
- To increase understanding of civil society amongst these groups
- To help develop community led activities
- To broadcast the voice of European migrants to a wider audience
The project works with EU nationality groups to develop their knowledge of community structures, confidence, skills and capacity to speak out, and campaign for change in their local community. In short, we want to help community voices be heard!
Nearly 800,000 EU nationals live in Inner London, many are students but most are working here. The largest groups are Polish people, followed by German, Italian and Portuguese. A quarter of these migrants arrived in the last five years. Many of them are not engaged with their local communities and not well informed about civic structures or their rights in terms of voting. Nor to they know where to go for support and advice.
Many European migrants naturally do not have any knowledge of English civic structure or civil society organisations or routes for influencing local decision makers and promoting health communities. We want to create an inclusive group of EU migrants, active in their local communities and pan-London. The work is needed to give voice to EU migrants living in London, many of them working in the service industries, in an increasingly hostile environment where talk of migration has become increasingly negative.
How do we want to achieve this?
The London project will help to build capacity among EU migrant groups so that they can develop community led activities that will improve their quality of life. This will include providing ongoing help, training and coaching to individuals to become volunteers, trustees, paid staff for VCSE (voluntary, community & social enterprise) sector organisations that are currently absent from the migrant landscape.
We are creating and will be disseminating the EU Citizens' Guide to Survival in Britain which will offer a valuable and practical introduction to life in the UK from the perspective of the EU citizen, and provide signposts as to where you can find more help. If you want to help us get this survival guide out to your community, do get in touch
We are putting on a series of free workshops together with the East European Advice Centre. They will cover
- Basic Employment advice in three target languages; Polish, Romanian and Lithuanian
- Career progression
- How to get involved politically and in the community
These workshops will launch in the new year (2016).
If you have more great ideas of how to reach out and empower EU migrants living in London, get in touch!