Refugee-led community integration grant scheme
Lancashire Refugee Integration Team (LRIT) works to support the resettlement of refugees across the county who have arrived through government funded resettlement schemes. Through the refugee-led community integration grant scheme (the scheme), we aim to support projects which enable new arrivals to build social bonds and bridges and feel a sense of connection within their local communities across Lancashire. Our vision is to facilitate projects which support integration, empower communities and create opportunities "where people, whatever their background, live, work, learn and socialise together, based on shared rights, responsibilities and opportunities" (The Home Office Indicators of Integration 2019)
The work of Lancashire Refugee Integration Team is guided by the principle of integration as a two-way process: we seek to encourage refugees to take steps to integrate into their local community, and also to help communities to identify how they can remove barriers to participation for refugees. The needs of our service users, and their relationship to the local communities in which they live, are at the heart of our work.
Our dedicated Community Development Officers regularly engage with community feedback from our service users, and our research consistently confirms that successful community integration is crucial for wellbeing, mental health and achieving a greater sense of independence. This grant scheme aims to support wellbeing by encouraging community connections through social engagement projects and also to promote independence by facilitating refugees and people seeking asylum to develop and run their own projects which may benefit other refugees and asylum seekers in the community.
Whilst the funding available in this grant scheme has been made available specifically to support those who have arrived in Lancashire on Government funded schemes, 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 very much welcome the inclusion of all those who have sought sanctuary in Lancashire.