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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).
Over the summer of 2021 the government pledged £2.6 million to VCSE organisations who could welcome Hong Kong British National Overseas status holders and their families into the UK. The successful applicants whose role it is to help integrate people arriving into the UK on the Hong Kong British Nationals Overseas visa route are listed below: As of February 2022 these projects have only just started, more information on these projects is being uploaded all the time so please revisit this page again.
- Hong Kong National VCSE Grant Scheme
- Hong Kong Regional VCSE Grant Scheme
- Hong Kong Hate Crime VCSE Reporting Grant
- Hong Kong VCSE Educational Grant
The Hong Kong National VCSE Grant scheme
The purpose of the National VCSE Grant Scheme is to fund national projects across the UK to provide infrastructure support in areas such as employment, mental health and wellbeing, which complements what is being delivered locally, and contribute to delivering sustainable support to BN(O) status holders. The sucessful applicants are:
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
UKHK is a network of volunteers from churches who want to help people from Hong Kong to get settled in the UK. Under the VCSE funding they provide three fold support for new arrivals from Hong Kong including educational, professional and social integration support.
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
Migrant Help are running a Hong Kong Welcome Programme for HK BNO visa holders. This work will focus on assisting new arrivals into employment via a tiered approach targeted according to the language skills of the beneficiary. Their support will focus on employability, both self-employment and as business training needs.
The Hong Kong Regional VCSE Grant Scheme
Regional funding to provide community support to BN(O) status holders in the South East of England has been awarded to the following organisations:
City Life Church, Southampton
The City Life Church project Southampton hopes to make all Hong Kong citizens arriving in the region feel welcomed. This may be through accessing their well-advertised and bespoke website or by joining a local community group that has reached out to them.
At least 20 churches will be providing volunteers to welcome English classes in the region as well as informal conversation opportunities at social events. They will find the advice they need to access public services, and when they need help and answers to their problems to help them successfully establish in the local community. Newcomers are connected to a well-established local Hong Kong community and community supporters for help. They will be supported to find school places. They will also be assisted to find purposeful jobs. The intention is to help newcomers find friends from Hong Kong but also from the South East Region as they integrate.
Chinese Association of Southampton – Southampton
The Chinese Association of Southampton‘s ‘HK BNO immigrants orientation course’ for HK BNO status holders and their family members aims to help people learn more about the British way of life in the UK including culture, lifestyle, religion, language, education , housing, travel, NHS Services, local council services and UK taxation systems amongst other things. The aim of the course is to help newly arrived BNOs and their family members to be able to quickly adapt to the new living environment in the UK and successfully integrate into society and make contributions to the local community.
Citizens Advice in North and West Kent and HK-Brits – Kent
Citizen‘s advice in North and West Kent and Hong Kong Brits (HKBrits) project will develop the HKbrits website to provide more detailed information about
1) BN(O) visas and how to access support
2) Settling and living in Kent including specific information on schools, employment, housing, recreation, transport etc,
3) How to access the right help and support services in Kent when needed.
Many BN(O) status holders initially settle elsewhere so this information will be helpful for them when thinking about moving to Kent and therefore the reach will extend beyond just Kent. In addition, BN(O) status holders from across all of Kent will be able to access CANWK’s free specialist immigration advice.
Website: https://www.hkbrits.com/ & https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/local/north-west-kent/ Contact: Contact SESPM for a contact
Oxfordshire Chinese Community & Advice Centre – Oxfordshire
The Oxfordshire Chinese Community & Advice Centre project aims to help BN(O) arrivals settle in Oxfordshire and nearby areas (OCCAC being the only trilingual Chinese community and advice centre in Thames Valley), and support their social, economic, linguistic and cultural integration by providing engaging activities and services:
This project aims to help BN(O) arrivals settle in Oxfordshire and nearby areas (OCCAC being the only trilingual Chinese community and advice centre in Thames Valley), and support their social, economic, linguistic and cultural integration by providing engaging activities and services:
1) Advice and information – Bilingual (Cantonese/English) general advice/information to facilitate access to services, signposting as necessary
2) Talks and workshops
3) Training courses, e.g. emergency first-aid at work, mental health first aid, vocational training to improve employability (up to 50% subsidy for 1 course per BN(O))
4) Survival English lessons and 10 conversation groups
5) Peer support groups and festival celebrations
Coffee & Craft Reading – Reading
Coffee & Craft’s project is aligned with the national UKHK proposal and will support three core areas: Educational, Professional and Social Integrations. In Reading we are working across Chinese and non-Chinese churches and other organisations to ensure wider integration across communities.
Educational – Every child welcome in Reading – We will promote and facilitate extra-curricula events for BN(O) children in local schools within the Reading, Berkshire area, to help develop conversational English and accessing pastoral support. Parent support events – Working with schools with high numbers of BN(O) children, we will offer parenting events to help BN(O) parents talk through their experiences. They will be signposted to services, volunteering opportunities and community activities.
Professional Integration – Local BNO professional networking events. These present opportunities for new BN(O) arrivals to make connections in businesses and sectors of interest.
Social integration – The Welcome Course, produced by UKHK for launch in January 2022, is a 6-week course for BN(O) arrivals to develop their English, make friends, learn about British culture, be signposted to services and share Hong Kong culture in a fun, friendly way. Topics include Mental Health and Wellbeing, Volunteering, Making Friends, British Culture, and Accessing Services. “Friendship festival”
Diversity Resource International – East Sussex
Diversity Resources International is social enterprise set up in 2004 in Hastings and St Leonards to support ethnically diverse communities.
DRI supports Sussex’s diverse communities and they will extend these community support services to new arrivals from Hong Kong (HK) across East Sussex, Brighton and Hove City Council and West Sussex County Council. DRI’s bilingual community outreach workers will work with the migrants to make them feel connected, integrated, signpost to services and provide them with the right information.
- Bilingual advocates, needs assessment, 40-50 individuals /families will have 6 sessions with a bilingual advocate
- Signpost with 1:1 assistance
- Information awareness campaign
- Website (English/Chinese)
- Business Start-up training
- Social gathering 10 sessions
The Hong Kong Hate Crime Reporting VCSE Grant
A national hate crime reporting helpline and wrap around engagement services for people with BNO status and people of East and Southeast Asian (ESA) descent was awarded to Protection Approaches
Protection Approaches works to change how the world views identity-based violence – and by so doing, change the way people respond to and prevent it. Their mission is preventing identity-based violence worldwide. The project they are running for Hong Kong BN(O) status holders is “the HKBN(O) status holders and East and Southeast Asian third-Party hate crime support and reporting service”. The project will include delivery of: community consultations and an external hate crime consultative group, 24/7 helpline, website, ongoing support and casework, data sharing and community outreach.
The Hong Kong Education VCSE Grant
Hongkongers in Britain
Hongkongers in Britain were also awarded the grant to support the development of educational resources for schools and Further Education (FE) settings.
Their Bridging Britain and Hongkong Education (“BRHK Education”) project will develop a set of school education resources directly aligned with the 4 national policy objectives of the UK Welcome Programme and the key principles stated in the Educational Resources grant scheme. Specifically, educational resources will be created for primary and secondary schools and also Further Education (FE) settings which:
- Facilitate an orientation for students to get to know new Hong Kong classmates;
- Teach the historic connections between British and Hong Kong people;
- Describe the Hong Kong-British diaspora’s contributions to the UK; and
- explain the Hong Kong situation and the British commitment in providing BN(O)s a new home.