The Lancashire Refugee Resettlement Programme (the 'Programme') is resettling hundreds of refugees, mainly from Syria. The Programme seeks to support integration, recognising that, as the new Home Office Indicators of Integration Framework 2019 states, integration is a multi-dimensional and multi-directional process.
Refugee Week is a national festival which takes place every year from the Monday to Sunday of the week around World Refugee Day (20th June). The aim of this umbrella festival is to celebrate refugee contributions to the UK and promote better understanding of refugee experiences.
Each year Refugee Week is based around a theme. In 2020 the theme is Imagine, and we request that all proposals centre on this theme as much as possible. More information about this can be found on the Refugee Week website at www.refugeeweek.org.uk. We also recommend using this website for support with resources and advertising materials.
As well as working closely with the national scheme, we want to ensure that Refugee Week activities and events are coordinated across Lancashire, to maximise participation. In 2019, the Programme supported and hosted numerous Refugee Week projects across the County, which were run by a diverse range of charities and community groups. We also produced a pan-Lancashire Refugee Week brochure which advertised many of the events. We will be producing a new brochure in 2020, and all successful bidders, subject to timing of bid and approval, will be required to provide the necessary information for the timely creation of the brochure. If you would like an electronic copy of the 2019 brochure, it can be made available to you on request, by emailing Lancashire County Council's Refugee Community Development Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Much of our Community Development Work is based on the Home Office Indicators of Integration Framework. We are particularly keen to use Refugee Week activities as a way of strengthening 'social bridges' within local communities: 'social bridges provide the route for the sharing of resource and opportunity between people who are dissimilar. Through the mixing, trust and reciprocity is built up.' (Home Office Indicators of Integration Framework 2019 Third Edition, p.17)
In 2018 the Programme commissioned a Community Integration Assessment with resettled refugees within Lancashire. Feedback from our service users, which is of particular relevance to this Scheme, included their need to feel listened to and understood:
"we need .. people who are interested in us, supporting us and that support and that engagement makes you feel stronger, motivates you." (Dr. Caroline Blunt, Community Integration Assessment: Story of, Window On, Toolkit For Community Integration, UCLAN, October 2018 p.17)
We particularly welcome proposals where members of refugee and asylum seeker communities are integral to the planning and running of an event/activity.
Additional feedback from service users shows that 'refugee voices' commonly focus on the past, loss, and trauma; service users would value the opportunity to talk about their life now, as well as their aspirations and dreams for the future.
Whilst the Programme funding is specifically for refugees who have come through the Programme, we recognise the animosity and segregation that can naturally occur within local communities when asylum seekers and asylum-route refugees are not included within activities and events. Therefore, within the proposals we welcome the inclusion of all those who have sought sanctuary in Lancashire.
Many organisations in Lancashire have shown a long history of commitment to refugee issues and integration and we welcome applications from these groups. However, we know from our evaluations last year that often these events and activities are attended by people who already have sympathetic views to refugee issues or are involved in refugee work. We hope the creation of this Grant Scheme will encourage new organisations to host Refugee Week activities and encourage creative and ambitious events that increase and diversify participation.Page 1 of 5