Funding to support migrant projects in West Midlands

Author: bbc.com

Millions of pounds is being given to three West Midlands cities to create new opportunities for migrants.

A pop-up furniture factory, new training schemes and a Syrian cookbook are among projects planned as part of the MiFriendly Cities project.

The EU’s Urban Innovative Actions fund has given Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Coventry €4m (£3.5m) for schemes.

Those behind it said it will help migrants use their skills to benefit the wider community.

Sunairah Miraj, from Coventry City Council, said the three-year scheme will create new work opportunities and improve people’s sense of belonging.

A migrant herself, who originally came to Coventry from India to study, she said: “The message is, as a city, we welcome people from across the globe and they can come and be a part of the city, make it their new home and contribute to the growing development of the city.”

Among schemes planned are:

  • £70,000 to support new social enterprises;
  • a pop up furniture factory in Coventry and Wolverhampton to train people to upcycle furniture to go into 100 home makeovers for people in need;
  • employment information sessions in deprived areas of each city;
  • training for more than 100 refugees and migrants as ‘citizen journalists’;
  • a Syrian cook book, with recipes from 22 refugee women.

The project, supported by the West Midlands Combined Authority was being launched on Tuesday at Coventry Cathedral.

Refugee and migrant volunteers were helping to run the event with catering by refugee social enterprise café, Arabian Bites.

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-44368711