Refugee family wellbeing grant scheme

Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, please take into consideration the latest government advice when planning your engagement, activities, and the participation of beneficiaries, staff and volunteers in your project.

Bidders must comply with government guidelines and recommendations when delivering their proposed work, and should indicate how to they are going to do so. Please note that there may be circumstances in which government advice may prevent the fulfilment of grant agreements. It is at the Grant Scheme Panel’s discretion to suspend, postpone or extend particular grant schemes or projects, which will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Background

Since 2016 the Lancashire Refugee Resettlement Programme (the Programme) has resettled 130 refugee families in Lancashire, most of whom are Syrian refugees. In 2019 the UK Government announced a new refugee resettlement programme, the United Kingdom Resettlement Scheme (UKRS). This scheme will resettle refugees from many different nationalities and will consolidate a number of existing programmes. Lancashire aims to resettle up to 40 families in 2020 under UKRS and, in addition to Syrian refugees, we expect that other nationalities are likely to include Iraqi, Palestinian and Sudanese refugees.

Refugee resettlement is one of the durable solutions to the refugee crisis, whereby vulnerable refugees who cannot settle in their original country of refuge become eligible, and are accepted, for resettlement in a third country.

The Programme supports the resettled refugee families in various ways, including the provision of casework support to help the families settle in their new communities and access mainstream services. It also facilitates access to ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes and provides interpreting and translation support to some of our delivery partners, among other services.

Refugee resettlement programmes work with some of the most vulnerable refugees who are selected on the basis of a number of vulnerability criteria.  These criteria include people with medical conditions and disabilities, survivors of torture and/or violence, women or girls at risk, and children or adolescents at risk.

Rationale behind the grant scheme

Throughout the Programme's research, engagement, consultation events and pilot projects many refugees suggested that they appreciate opportunities to take part in accessible activities for children and families, and that these have a positive impact on individual family members' wellbeing.

The Lancashire Refugee Health Needs Assessment also highlights that for refugees, being strong, being with family, and being part of a community, are all crucial aspects of wellbeing. When describing health, many people referenced their efforts to be strong, and very often about doing so for the sake of others in the family. Many participants described both emotional and practical support from family members as important to them. Children seemed to play a significant role in helping people feel better, giving them motivation, purpose, and a reason to look forward rather than back. When children are doing well, this also has benefits for their parents.

This specification has also been developed in the context of the current public health crisis. It is expected that restrictions imposed as a result of Covid-19 will have a long-term effect on the population's mental health.  It is already being reported that there are millions of people across the UK struggling to cope with the effects of the pandemic. Furthermore, Mental Health Foundation's recent study shows that groups affected by socioeconomic inequalities have been more likely to experience anxiety, panic, hopelessness, and loneliness and to report not coping well with the stress of the pandemic. Therefore, it is more important than ever to create culturally competent and accessible programmes for children and families. These will support positive coping strategies and reduce the social isolation which the pandemic has exacerbated and which could have a significant impact on refugee communities. Although the current situation prevents many from being able to seek support, whether in the form of 1-to-1 counselling or in their usual peer support networks, it should not prevent awareness-raising work which normalises conversations about mental health and in turn provides opportunities for people to engage in meaningful wellbeing activities.

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