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This page provides information on support for Hongkongers living in the South East.
Support from SESPM
The South East Strategic Partnership for Migration (SESPM) is the official welcome hub for Hongkonger settling into the South East supported by funding from DLUHC. SESPM pays for immigration case work support from Citizens Advice North and West Kent (CANWK) for any Hongkonger in the South East, as well as providing trainings, professional conversion sheets, business support advice and linking Hongkongers in with local authority funded ESOL provision amongst other things.
Support from your local authority
Local authorities in the South East provide a variety of services. They are responsible for providing up to £850 of English language classes (ESOL) per HK BNO in their area each year. Find out who to contact to sign up for an ESOL class in your area here.
Local authorities also receive funding from SESPM to help them support HK BNOs directly. From July 2021 to April 2023 over £650,000 was given by SESPM to local authorities. This funding has been used in the following ways; to buy library books in Traditional Chinese, fund Business start-up courses, adult education classes, translate schools admissions documents, support supplementary school education, provide mental health support services, assist the youth and elderly, provide SEND training for children and parents as well as many other activities
Support from the voluntary, community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations
Support is available from a wide number of VCSE organisations in the South East. Click here for a full list.
To view events and activities organised for Hong Kongers in the Southeast region by VCSEs and Hong Kongers diaspora organisations, click here.
The Hong Kong National VCSE Grant scheme
Hongkongers in Britain
Hongkongers in Britain (HKB) support integration areas such as employment, mental health and wellbeing. HKB, alongside seven other organisations will deliver Mission PERM, their project to provide UK-wide support for BN(O) integration in line with the four UK government national objectives of welcoming Hongkongers. The project’s strategic focus is on key pillars of integration during the initial period of settlement:
1.Encouraging Participation in local community life
3.Building community Relationships
4.Safeguarding Mental health/wellbeing
Barnardo’s is the UK’s largest children’s charity. Every year we help over 300,000 children, young people and their families. We run services in all four UK nations which range from help for young people, to counselling and therapeutic support, to providing advice and support to refugees and asylum seekers. Our Helpline provides advice, support and counselling to Hong Kong British Nationals settling in the UK. Support is available anyone who is a Hong Kong British Nationals (Overseas) including adults and children. We provide advice on a wide range of issues e.g. housing, employment, accessing health services, etc. We can provide you with baby items, food vouchers, devices, sim cards, internet access, toys and more. Living in a new country can be difficult at times, so if you want to talk to someone about how you are feeling and adjusting to life in the UK, we have a team of psychotherapists available for you to meet with over the phone or virtually. Staff can speak to you in English or Cantonese.
Welcoming Committee for Hong Kongers
Welcoming Committee for Hong Kongers are conducting research on the issues surrounding Hong Kong integration and will be producing a policy report from this. Their mission is developing a welcoming and inclusive Britain. Under this VCSE funding they are supporting a welcoming Committee for people from Hong Kong. This is an independent, non-profit umbrella group for all those who care about the integration of new arrivals from Hong Kong. Their aim is to connect the ‘welcomers’ and the ‘welcomed’, and to help coordinate efforts across the UK’s nations and regions from civil society, communities, business, education and government.
Website: Welcoming Committee for Hong Kongers (welcomehk.org) Contact: email@example.com
On Your Side is the UK-wide support and reporting service for East and Southeast Asian communities who experience racism and/or any forms of hate. The service includes a 24/7 freephone helpline available in East and Southeast Asian languages; a website with reporting forms and resources; and ongoing community-based support delivered by trained casework advocates. On Your side has community members at the centre. That means anyone can feel safe using the service. Unless somebody is in danger, we will never pass on anything we have been told to anybody else without permission.
On Your Side is delivered by a consortium of 9 organisations including East and Southeast Asian led community groups alongside national hate crime reporting and hate crime prevention organisations.
Contact: Call free on 0808 801 0393 or visit https://www.onyoursideuk.org/report/ to report
The Hong Kong Regional VCSE Grant Scheme
Guildford Hongkongers has been serving the Hongkongers community in Guildford and the surrounding areas. We will continue our work on this project, including but not limited to:
● Providing information in accessing local resources and general enquiries;
● Hosting practical workshops and thematic seminars in response to Hongkongers integration needs;
● Arranging English language skills training and workshops for developing skills for employment and socialising;
● Arranging language and culture classes and/or training to preserve and promote Hong Kong culture and identity;
● Building community relationships through social events and hobby classes;
● Providing support services in Cantonese
Options Wellbeing Trust
Options Wellbeing Trust is a charity that is committed to helping people with their wellbeing and mental health in Southampton and Bournemouth either in person, over the phone or via our Telehealth online platform.
In year 3, We are delighted to offer FREE wellbeing check-ins and counselling to Hong Kongers settling in Southampton and Bournemouth with a range of trusted counsellors.
Options Wellbeing’s aim is to help clients understand and feel more in control of their emotions surrounding their move the UK, who may be feeling displaced, anxious or stressed, those experiencing a sense of loss or trauma or experiencing isolation, loneliness or guilt having left social and support networks behind.
We provide people with the skills, tools and strategies to manage unhelpful emotions and behaviours so they can better support themselves, feel more connected and settle in their communities.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (For seeking support)
email@example.com (For collaboration)
Harbour Sports Club CIC
Milton Keynes Chinese Christian Church
MKCCC has a large Cantonese congregation with many HK BNO recent arrivals. We have a vibrant and welcoming community providing various targeted supports for new arrivals in the Milton Keynes area. These include social integration, access to advice and information, youth works, support groups for women, men and seniors.
Citizens Advice in North & West Kent (CANWK)
Citizens Advice in North & West Kent (CANWK) is an independent charity who support people living in North & West Kent. We are part of the Citizens Advice network across England and Wales. We provide specialist housing, immigration, employment, and debt advice. CANWK is also a Hate Crime reporting centre. If you have suffered a hate crime or have been discriminated, you can report it to us by calling our freephone Adviceline number.
Under the DLUHC funded HKBN(O) project, we are supporting the HKBN(O) community with their settlement in Kent. Through our bi-monthly online advice sessions, providing both generalist and immigration advice, and social integration events such as employment workshops and community events. We aim to help the HKBN(O) community to build community cohesion and integration.
Freephone Adviceline: 0808 278 7810 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) | HKBN(O) Project email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Oxfordshire Hongkongers CIC
In addition to these DLUHC funded organisations, there are also the following voluntary sector organisations in the South East providing support to Hongkongers.
HK Welcome of City Life Church Southampton
Hong Kong Welcome is a project of City Life Church Southampton with the aim of welcoming BN(O)s to the Solent region in the South of England. We have a dedicated Cantonese speaking outreach worker who provides support to all Hongkongers who have relocated to Southampton and the surrounding area.
Voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE) and diaspora organisations support to Hong Kong BNO holders
New arrivals from Hong Kong have a variety of VCSE and diaspora organisations they can receive support from. Please see the map below to identify those organisations closest to you (please note only those authorities in purple currently have services, click into the purple box for further information).
You could find all the information listed in the regional map from this raw data spreadsheet (English and Traditional Chinese information). (Please right click the hyperlink (in blue color), copy link address and paste the link into a new browser address bar to download the spreadsheet.)