5th Jul, 2022

Coventry will be centre of £3.5m scheme to support migrants and refugees

Felix Nobes 5th Jun, 2018 Updated: 5th Jun, 2018

COVENTRY will become the centre of a scheme to support migrants and refugees integrate into communities.

The MiFriendly Cities project has been launched today in a ceremony at Coventry cathedral.

Coventry City Council – the project’s lead authority – says it seeks to help migrants into employment, boost their sense of belonging and provide for them sustainable opportunities.

Partnership organisations from Coventry, Wolverhampton and Birmingham will be given an allocation from the EU’s £3.5million Urban Innovative Actions fund to set up schemes.

Coventry council is planning for a new city hub where refugees can get involved in community and social enterprise projects.

More than £150,000 will be available across the region to invest in grass-roots projects of this kind.

Deputy council leader Abdul Khan said: “I’m delighted to see the launch of the MiFriendly Cities project in Coventry, a city with a proud history of recognising and celebrating cultural diversity.

“The unique partnership created by this initiative is a testament to the West Midlands’ commitment to working together to lead in cultural innovation.

“I am excited that this funding will enhance opportunities to strengthen the economic and social fabric of the entire region.’’

Those behind the three year scheme claim they want to enhance the contribution of refugees and migrants.

They say this is especially important as the West Midlands is the second most diverse region in the EU.

West Midlands mayor Andy Street said: “The West Midlands has always been a welcoming place for newcomers and it is wonderful that this new funding will be able to build on that.

“It will help unlock the talent and skills of our refugee and migrant citizens and will benefit the whole region.”

Those behind the scheme say there will also be opportunity for refugees and migrants to benefit from work placements.

One of these would allow migrants to train to become ‘citizen journalists’ and report on their experiences in their new homes.

One possible initiative involves a pop-up factory in Coventry which will train people to repair furniture for households in need.

Coventry council has also launched a Syrian cook book, with recipes from 22 refugee women in the city to commemorate the project.

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