依士靈頓華人協會歡迎地方發展、房屋及社區部宣布繼續支持「歡迎香港人計劃」，為 40 多個志願、社區和社會企業 (VCSE) 組織提供 300 萬英鎊的額外撥款，資助全國及地區性的項目，內容包括心理健康、社會融合、就業支援和打擊仇恨罪行。
今年 1月，本會是 47 間獲得政府撥款幫助 BN(O) 香港人在英國定居生活的機構之一。在四個月的資助期內，ICA 歡迎香港人計劃專注於提供迎新、促進凝聚和協助適應生活。ICA擁有寬敞的社區中心，提供多元化的聯誼活動、興趣班、健康和各式課程，成為一個社區平台，讓香港人可以通過實體和線上活動互相認識、交流分享。義工和夥伴組織亦積極創造合作機會，善用網絡支援香港人；並且提供適切的諮詢服務，以及健康/興趣/教育課程等多樣化活動，以幫助香港人提升語言和溝通技巧、增加對本地社區和文化的了解，掌握求職和適應新環境的技能和知識。
第一期歡迎香港人計劃於 6 月完成後，地方發展、房屋及社區部為受資助機構提供第二輪資助，延展服務多九個月至2023年3月。
Islington Chinese Association (ICA) welcomed the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities’ announcement of its continuing support of the Welcome Programme with a further grant of £3 million for over 40 voluntary, community, and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations to deliver their national and regional projects across mental health, social integration, employability and tackling hate crime.
ICA is pleased to be one of the grantees. The extension of the VCSE grant schemes will enable ICA to build on what has been achieved in the first year of its Welcome Programme and further its support of more Hong Kongers. Its programme aims to create a platform to facilitate mutual support among the newly arrived Hong Kongers and to inspire exchange of skills, training and knowledge in cultural heritage with the local communities.
In January this year, ICA was one of the 47 organisations being allocated government funding to help BN(O) Hong Kongers settle into life in the UK. Over the four month funded period, ICA’s Welcome Hong Kongers Programme focused on providing induction, promoting cohesion and facilitating adaptation. Having ample community space, ICA delivered a wide variety of social gathering events, interest classes, wellbeing and educational courses at its Centre, which has been serving as a social hub where BN(O) communities meet and communicate physically as well as virtually through online activities. Volunteers and partner organizations were actively engaged in creating opportunities to collaborate and leverage their networks to support Hong Kongers. Culturally sensitive and advice services, wellbeing/interest/一educational classes and diverse activities were offered to help Hong Kongers enhance their language and communication skills, understanding of local communities and cultures, skills and knowledge for job seeking and adaptation to life in their newly adopted country.
The initial funded Project was completed in June. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities avails the opportunities for the funded organisations to apply for the second round of funding which aims to extend the delivery period for a further nine months to March 2023.
The extended grant will enable continuation and enhancement of ICA’s work plan along the same themes of support for Hong Kongers in health/wellbeing, employability, social integration, community safety, cultural exchange and improving language skills. The extended work will also continue to provide additional support to the Hong Kongers the Association has already reached out to and working with so far as well as benefiting a further and greater number of BN(O)s who are gradually settling in the UK and those who are about to arrive over the coming months.
Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, ICA is an inclusive community organisation and has a long history of supporting people of Chinese heritage, in particular those originated from Hong Kong, and initiating much-needed services to help newcomers acquire the skills and resources for effective settlement and building strong community cohesion.
Announcement of Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities