Community groups supporting refugees to benefit from £100K in National Lottery Grants

Over £100,000 National Lottery grants to community groups supporting refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in Cardiff.

Four community groups in Cardiff welcomed the news that they are getting a share of £123,884 from the National Lottery Community Fund to provide support for refugees, migrants and asylum seekers. These groups are strengthening community connections, helping people adjust to a new life in Wales and supporting new mothers at a particularly vulnerable time.

Oasis One World Choir Community Interest Company successfully applied for a £93,884 grant to support their work with the Ukraine and Afghanistan resettlement scheme. They will improve knowledge and understanding of the refugee community, while increasing the confidence and mental wellbeing of participants.

Laura Bradshaw, Musical Director Oasis One World Choir celebrated the funding saying:

“Being awarded this grant by The National Lottery Community Fund means that we can develop our project, giving even more people seeking sanctuary the opportunity to take part. We can share our work more widely, collaborate with more organisations and continue to celebrate diverse communities. Our goals are to improve people’s wellbeing, have fun and bring about some integration with local people. This grant will let us help our diverse choir members to enhance their sense of belonging in Wales.”

The Birth Partner Project will spend their £10,000 grant to recruit and train more volunteers. They will offer one-to-one support for women who are pregnant and feeling isolated and are refugees or asylum-seeking. The project recognises that women from ethnic backgrounds face a disproportionate number of issues during pregnancy
and as new mothers. The project will increase the number of volunteers from similar backgrounds, and with similar experiences to the refugees. The Birth Partner Project will increase training sessions on cultural sensitivity and trauma awareness.

Amalia Syeda-Aguirre, Fundraising and Communication Officer explained:

“Our work makes a huge difference to the women during what is a very vulnerable time. More often than not, they have no connections in the UK and face the perinatal period completely alone, with very little understanding of how local maternity services work. Looking after a new-born can be a very isolating experience for many, but particularly for mothers forced to leave their birth homes, arriving in the UK without family or friends. Our birth partners offer antenatal, planning support to encourage evidence-based decision making, so each person feels empowered to take control of their birth, while befriending them, and signposting to relevant services.”

Cardiff Kurdish Community Association’s grant for £10,000 means they can provide English, Kurdish, and Arabic language classes for asylum seekers and refugees. These services allow participants to strengthen their cultural links, and learning English language will help them to integrate into their local community. The Association also offers advice and support to help new arrivals feel more at home.

Peace Welfare Foundation will spend their £10,000 grant to provide new migrants, including those from Afghanistan, Syria, and Ukraine, with the skills to help them transition to life in the UK. They will provide English language lessons, and provide information on how to access public and health services, understand their rights as citizens, and offer driving theory classes to help integrate and find future employment.

John Rose, Wales Director at The National Lottery Community Fund,
celebrated the work of all the organisations saying:

“Projects like these four are so vital to those who have experienced trauma and forced migration by helping people new to Wales settle successfully into life here. The Fund is dedicated to supporting projects that bring people together to support their communities, create stronger social connections and help develop new skills. National Lottery players raise over £30 million each week for good causes like these throughout the UK”

These are just some of the 55 projects receiving a total of £5,090,187 of National Lottery funding this month.

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