Mayor awards £30k to community groups supporting EU Londoners

25 March 2019

Community groups supporting EU Londoners with help and information to stay in the UK after Brexit have been awarded funding by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

 

The Government has said that London’s one million Europeans will need to apply for ‘settled status’ to remain in the UK after 29th March 2019, despite the uncertainty of the wider Brexit negotiations.

 

Sadiq particularly wants to ensure that the most vulnerable EU Londoners, including the elderly, disabled and homeless, get the right advice and support around how to proceed with these applications.

 

Micro-grants of around £5,000 have been provided to six different community organisations as part of the Mayor’s work to engage with European communities and help European Londoners get the information they need to stay in the UK. This is the programme’s second round of funding, building on a previous tranche of £20,000 given to nine community organisations at the end of last year. Grants are being awarded to:

 

·         Latin American Women’s Rights Service (LAWRS) – helping Latin American women and families with EU citizenship or EEA family permits. Workshops and community events will be held across Islington, Southwark and Haringey, with outreach work in Lewisham, Wandsworth, and Tower Hamlets.

  • Work Rights Centre - Weekly Q&A sessions for Eastern Europeans on the settled status application in community hubs across the city.
  • New Europeans – Legal surgery events for Somali communities, older Italians and Roma communities across Barking, Camden, Ealing, Islington, Lambeth, Ealing, Newham, Tower Hamlet and Waltham Forest.
  • Migrant Resource Centre – working across Brent, Westminster, Camden, Islington, Hackney, Haringey, Waltham Forest to help all EU Londoners, through training volunteers and staff and holding IT and practical support sessions.
  • Refugees in Active and Effective Partnership (REAP) - working with EU refugees primarily in Hillingdon, Harrow, Ealing, Hounslow, Hammersmith and Fulham, including training 15 staff to run multi-lingual info sessions.
  • Bulgarian Centre for Social Integration and Culture – Working with Bulgarian and Roma communities, and other Eastern European communities in Edmonton and Enfield, including drop-in sessions and events.  

The Mayor has been clear that London is open to all, and that EU citizens living in the capital belong and are welcome. To make sure they have all the information they need about living in London after Brexit, he has created the online EU Londoners Hub, to which 19,000 people have already signed up. The Hub directs users to up-to-date information and advice about their rights after the UK leaves the European Union.

 

The micro-grant scheme builds on this work, and over the last few months community groups awarded in the first round of funding have staged events across the capital reaching hundreds of people, hosting Q&As with immigration lawyers, distributing leaflets, training volunteers and running local surgeries for Roma communities, disabled people, rough sleepers, and other vulnerable groups.

 

This work is part of the Mayor’s London is Open campaign, launched in 2016 after the Brexit Referendum to show that the capital is united, open to talent, and open to business.

 

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Throughout the entire Brexit process, I have been clear that London is open, and that EU citizens living in the capital belong here and are welcome. It’s critical that they get good quality advice and support around what Brexit means for them and how to apply for settled status, particularly those who are vulnerable. Thousands have already signed up to my EU Londoners Hub, and these micro-grants have helped community groups engage hundreds of people through a fantastic variety of events. This second round of funding will help local organisations reach even more European Londoners with the information they need to understand their rights post-Brexit.”

 

Dr. Dora-Olivia Vicol, Chair of Trustees at Work Rights Centre, said: "We're very happy to be able to use this grant to reach out to EU communities across the capital. At this time of uncertainty,  it is important for all Londoners to feel welcome, to feel valued, and to trust that there is support at hand no matter where they come from. This is a small grant, but a step in an excellent direction. We welcome the Mayor of London's commitment to keeping the city open."

 

Lucila Granada, Director at Latin American Women's Right Service (LAWRS) said: “"We are very grateful for this EU Londoners grant. In spite of being amongst the most vulnerable groups, BME EU nationals and EEA dependants are often forgotten by authorities when planning support in the context of Brexit. This grant will help us reach out to Latin American women affected by Brexit and disseminate information in a way that is accessible to the most excluded, including women in domestic violence and severe poverty.”

 

Tamara Flanagan, Advisor of London Projects at New Europeans said: “We are really happy to support the excellent work the Mayor and his team are doing with EU Londoners. We were awarded a micro grant last November, which enabled us to support a range of people, including older people and people with disabilities, many of whom have lived here for decades. All these people were very worried and confused about Brexit and Settled Status, but now feel they understand more and know where they can get help to apply. The Hub is also a great asset with information in all languages. We hope this help goes some way towards letting people know how welcome they are in London.”

Notes to editors

  1. Visit here for more details around upcoming events across London: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/business-and-economy/representing-london-brexit-talks/eu-londoners-hub/brexit-information-events-eu-londoners
  2. The organisations who received micro-grants in the first round of funding were:
    1. Citizens Advice Bureau Enfield  - £1,925
    2. Citizens Advice Bureau Wandsworth - £2,000
    3. DISIRE - £1,850; an organisation set up by Europeans with disabilities living in the UK.
    4. East European Resource Centre - £2,000; advice organisation for Eastern Europeans in London.
    5. Indoamerican Refugee and Migrant Organisation - £1,980;  supports Latin Americans with EU passports
    6. Lambeth Law Centre - £2,000
    7. London Bulgarian Association - £850
    8. New Europeans - £2000
    9. WLM Seymore Place homelessness charity - £2,000
  3. For more information on the Mayor’s London is Open campaign, visit https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/arts-and-culture/london-open
  4. City Hall are also working with local community groups and businesses on a range of events across the weekend of Friday 29th March – Monday 1st April 2019, providing free advice and guidance:

Friday 29th March:

·         Woolwich Centre library/General Gordon Square, 2.30-4.30pm

Saturday 30th March:

·         Polish Social and Cultural Association, Hammersmith, 11.30am – 1.30pm

·         Jamie’s Italian restaurant, Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush, 2-6pm

Sunday 31st March:

·         The Mall, Wood Green (near the library) – 10-12.30pm

·         Church Lane, Leytonstone – 1.15-3.15pm

·         Asylum Aid – Migrant Resource Centre, Haringey, 4 – 6pm

Monday 1st April

·         Willesden Green high street, opposite Costa Coffee, 1-3pm

·         Latin America House, Camden, 4-6pm