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On the 29th July 2021 the government announced a funding package of £2.6 million HMG funding to welcome Hong Kong British National Overseas status holders and their families who choose to come to the UK via the Government’s new visa route.
This funding falls into 4 categories:
- Hong Kong National Grant Scheme
- Hong Kong Regional Grant Scheme
- Hong Kong Hate Crime Reporting Grant
- Hong Kong Educational Grant
Events – The MHCLG ran two events on 10th and 11th August to talk about the grant schemes in more detail aimed at VCSE organisations. We are anticpating an FAQ from these events shortly.
The Hong Kong National 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 will complement what is being delivered locally, and contribute to delivering sustainable support to BN(O) status holders. We are inviting bids from organisations that can deliver support across the UK.
The National Scheme is open to VCSE organisations or consortiums with UK wide reach. The aim is to provide national support to BN(O) status holders in areas such as employment, mental health and wellbeing, to complement what is being delivered locally.
The Hong Kong Regional Grant Scheme
The regional scheme is open to VCSE organisations in England only. The aim is to provide community support to BN(O) status holders in regions across England in areas such as ‘buddying’ and befriending schemes, help to access services, such as registering for GPs or opening bank accounts, and employment support. This is being delivered in partnership with the SMPs and applications should align with regional priorities. Please see SESPM’s list of regional priorities below.
Please be advised to read the prospectus very closely, paying attention to each guidance (e.g not exceeding the word count in each section) and linking the work directly with the regional priorities. The application form can be found – The Regional VCSE fund application form can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regional-vcse-grant-scheme
The Hong Kong Hate Crime Reporting Grant
The government are providing £300,000 to deliver a BN(O) and East and Southeast Asian (ESA) Hate Crime Reporting Service, translated into relevant languages, and a hate crime helpline and website.
The service will provide reporting and engagement services, including a helpline and website, for BN(O) status holders and their eligible family members living in the United Kingdom and also for other people of East and Southeast Asian (ESA) descent, to report incidents of hate crime in the UK. The Hate Crime Reporting Service will provide support to both resident communities and BN(O) status holders to make them feel safe and welcome.
Please click here for further information and contact HKHateCrimeReportingGrant@communities.gov.uk if you have any questions.
The Hong Kong Education Grant
The Educational Resources Grant Scheme is available to develop educational resources for schools and Further Education (FE) settings which:
1. Factually inform about the historic connection and commitment of the UK to Hong Kong and its people.
2. Celebrate the contribution of Hong Kong-British diaspora to the UK.
3. Support the integration of the BN(O) community – enabling schools to ensure new classmates are welcomed.
The government would like the successful organisation to provide tools to support the delivery of the resources into schools and FE colleges that can easily be accessed and used by teachers and pupils across the phases of education (primary, secondary and FE college) such as guidance/videos for teachers on how to use the resources and other materials for use with pupils and students that will fit within assembly and lesson plans
The Hong Kong Regional Grant Scheme – Regional Priorities
As part of the MHCLG’s Hong Kong Welcome Programme, funding has been allocated to Regional Strategic Migration partnerships (RSMPs) to facilitate the integration of new arrivals from Hong Kong. Click here for the full MHCLG prospectus. Each region has their own funding priorities for this scheme, below are those for the South East.
South East priorities
Whilst we have listed our regional priorities below, we also welcome bids based on other needs identified in conjunction with people from Hong Kong. You can find out more about SESPM’s strategic objectives for the South East here.
Given that the funding granted through this programme needs to be committed by March 2022 we are keen to see bids that include elements that seek to lay the foundations for continued support for the integration process beyond that point. We see the programme as an opportunity for building and embedding partnership working, establishing capacity to provide support to people from Hong Kong, and to develop specialisms (expertise) that take into account the specific needs of this cohort. In that context we would encourage the following approach from applicants to the funding:
- A demonstration of how they have considered, engaged with or partnered with the target group of people that their bid intends to support.
- We encourage partnership bids between new/small organisations and larger more established organisations to provide opportunities for mutual development for the benefit of people from Hong Kong. This may include assistance to help these groups to become constituted organisations.
- In the absence of a partnership bid, we expect all bidders to be able to demonstrate how they are engaging with other partners including, where appropriate, their local authority, diaspora organisations and other service providers.
- We encourage bidders to consider the long-term legacy of the work that they are proposing, beyond the initial funding period, to help build specialism and capacity to support people from Hong Kong. This could include training or the creation of resources that can be used to support others to understand the particular needs of people from Hong Kong.
- We encourage bids to be creative testing and piloting interventions to support the social integration of new arrivals, that could be expanding in future years subject to funding or embedded in existing services.
- We particularly welcome bids from organisations that are led by people from Hong Kong and bids that include the lived experienced of this cohort in their work plans
- Bids will need to be able to demonstrate an understanding of the unique migratory context of people from Hong Kong.
- Bids should aim to be as accessible as possible to people from Hong Kong with material in Traditional Cantonese where feasible or with access to translators.
Activities the funding aims to support
Based on engagement with our sub-regional leads, Hong Kong diaspora organisations, MHCLG, representatives from the House of Lords we have identified the following support needs (in no particular order):
- Business and employment – People from Hong Kong may need support in order to make the most of opportunities in the South East. We encourage bids that seek solutions to breakdown barriers to accessing economic opportunities in the South East.
- Immigration Advice – Some people from Hong Kong may require advice on change of conditions applications to remove the no recourse to public funds condition if they are facing destitution. We encourage bids that increase the capacity of the immigration advice sector or support effective signposting into qualified services for this cohort.
- Mental health and wellbeing –we encourage bids that consider ways to increase the capacity of mental health services for people from Hong Kong which may include Hong Kong Cantonese speaking services.
- Access to health – Support to people from Hong Kong in this area might include, explaining the health surcharge, registering with a GP practice, accessing the Covid vaccine and ensuring new communities are reached with appropriate health messaging.
- Combatting hate crime – We know that hate crime against members of Asian communities increased during the pandemic and are underreported. We welcome bids which aim to raise awareness of the right to report hate crime and support available.
- Access to generalist advice –Accessing other services and understanding their rights and entitlements in the UK (e.g in regards to housing).
Safety and confidentiality
Our priority is ensuring the safety of people from Hong Kong and all bidders should be able to demonstrate how they will ensure their services will be accessible, friendly and safe space