Government grant boosts support for Wiltshire’s young refugees and asylum seekers

19th July 2019, 9:44am | By Ros Griffiths |

Government grant boosts support for Wiltshire’s young refugees and asylum seekers

Young people who have made Wiltshire their home after fleeing persecution in their own countries will soon have additional support to help adjust to life post-trauma.

 

Many young asylum seekers and refugees are still traumatised when they have settled in Wiltshire and will require additional support for their emotional wellbeing and mental health.

 

Currently there are around 50 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in Wiltshire. The county was also one of the first local authorities to welcome Syrian refugees and to date more than 120 are settled here.

 

Wiltshire Council has successfully bid for more than £124k of Government funding recently, via the Controlling Migration Fund. This funding will be used to provide specialist training and fund the creation or expansion of projects that support the emotional wellbeing and mental health of young asylum seekers and refugees in Wiltshire.

 

Now the council wants to identify local or regional partners who can support the development of more accessible, local support for young people. Partners could include voluntary groups or charities.

 

Organisations could benefit from this funding to support or expand projects that offer:

  • Craft or sporting opportunities accessible to asylum seeking or refugee communities
  • Mentoring or befriending programmes targeting asylum seeking or refugee communities
  • Programmes, projects or events that connect ethnic, linguistic or religious communities across Wiltshire
  • Programmes, projects or events that enable asylum seeking or refugee communities to share their culture with local residents or participate in local life.

 

Pauline Church, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for children said: “Wiltshire has provided a warm welcome to people fleeing persecution and we want children, young people and families to settle and enjoy their new life in our county.

 

“However for some it will take time to recover from past experiences. By directly targeting support and help we hope to make a real difference to both their recovery and future choices.

“We now want to hear from local organisations who can work with us to provide that important support for these young people.”

 

Voluntary Organisations, charities and other partners who would like to find out more information or would like to be involved in providing support or training can get in touch with Wiltshire Council by emailing childrensservicesbuyers@wiltshire.gov.uk.

Applications will need to be in by midday on Friday 9 August 2019.

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