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PREVIOUS PROJECTS

Since we began in 2001, DPIA has delivered over 21 successful projects. Here’s some information on just some of the projects that we have previously run…

AFGHAN RELOCATION SCHEME
In 2013 the UK government set up the Afghan Relocation Scheme. This scheme invited certain Afghan citizens who had been employed in dangerous roles for the British Armed Forces in Helmand to relocate and settle in the UK with their immediate family members (read more here).

From 2015-2016, DPIA provided these individuals with a four-month programme of support and orientation to integrate them into their new lives in Monmouthshire County Council (The only Welsh council to participate in the scheme). Among other support, we welcomed individuals at the airport, explained essentials such as how to use public transport or apply for a national insurance number. Importantly, we also advised these individuals on finding new employment. 

In total we assisted 23 people and provided each with the necessary support to begin their new lives in the United Kingdom.

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION IN WALES

In 2015, we recognised a need to promote integration between refugees and the local community in Ely and Caerau. We got funding from Community Foundation In Wales to deliver a 6 month project in partnership with Action in Caerau and Ely (ACE), to bring refugees, asylum seekers and other people in the community together.

As part of this project we:

  • Ran weekly classes where sanctuary seekers practiced their English one to one with a local volunteer.
  • Started a weekly Friends and Neighbors (FAN) group where community members meet for coffee and casual conversation. This created a relaxed space for sanctuary seekers to build up their English skills and confidence.
  • Ran a weekly cooking group where sanctuary seekers and the local community cooked and eat together, sharing dishes and cultures from all over the globe.

Quotes from Participants and Volunteers:

About English Classes and the Cooking group: “I love coming to classes. I look forward to them every week. My confidence with English has grown and I have cooked my food for 20 people!”

About the FAN group: “I enjoyed the morning! What a fantastic group of countries for one small group- England, Wales, Pakistan, Eritrea, Zambia, Poland and the Ukraine.”

DFID

From 2010 to 2013, DPIA managed the Swansea City of Sanctuary Project through DFID funding. This project encouraged communities to provide better welcome through a better understanding of why people seek asylum, and listening to the voices of those who have.
Through our Swansea Refugee Awareness Speakers team, we:

  • Delivered awareness training sessions at organisations including educational institutions, key service providers, and community groups.
  • Delivered workshops to service providers, allowing sanctuary seekers to share experiences of accessing services and educating on best practice, legal obligations and reducing barriers.
  • Organised speakers to address city-wide events with the goal to educate the public about life in countries from which refugees have fled and the realities of the UK asylum system. Women from Iraq and Sierra Leone delivered eloquent anti-war messages at Swansea Council Holocaust Memorial Day events.
In 2011 alone, 14 volunteer speakers from 9 different countries of origin participated in these refugee awareness events. As part of Refugee Week we created alongside partner organisations and community members an exhibit for Swansea Museum on why refugees fled their origin countries and what they experienced on arrival in the UK. Created and updated educational leaflets, including a general fact pack and country of origin info sheets.

By recruiting new speakers; delivering developmental training and helping with preparation for each event, DPIA helped the speakers team to gain in confidence and make their claim for acceptance in the community.

REFUGEE EMPLOYMENT PROJECT

A Big Lottery Funded project which:

  • Provided advice, support, information and refugee awareness training for mainstream agencies such as JobCentrePlus, Careers Wales, Further and Higher Education Institutions and other training and advice providers.
  • Provided refugee awareness training for employers to address the barriers to employing refugees.
  • Influenced policy and supported the Welsh Government with the aim of increasing access to education, training, volunteering and employment.
  • Provided accredited Readiness for Work training in partnership with colleges and community based education providers.
  • Undertook research to increase understanding of employers’ attitudes and perceptions to employing refugees.
  • Provided 1-to-1 advice and guidance to service users on:
  • Education (support for ESOL, further and higher education)
  • Training (finding appropriate courses and support to enrol and complete)
  • Volunteering (contextualised volunteering and work placements)
  • Employment (job search, CVs, application process and interview skills)

ENGAGEMENT GATEWAY / ENGAGEMENT GATEWAY PHASE II / REFUGEE ENGAGEMENT PROJECT

From 2013-14 DPIA delivered the Engagement Gateway Project, supporting unemployed and economically inactive refugees in Swansea to access education, volunteering and training through specialist advice and guidance. This project was funded by the European Social Fund and the Welsh Government through the Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

The project delivered the following three key engagement activities for refugees living in Swansea:

1. One to one advice, guidance and support (using Action Planning Approach)
2. A Readiness for Work (RfW) training programme
3. Pathways to ‘Recognised Prior Learning’ (RPL)

SANCTUARY IN WALES

‘Sanctuary in Wales’ was a Big Lottery funded project coordinated by Oxfam. It brought together a partnership of organisations, including DPIA, whose aim was to help female asylum seekers and refugees access education, employment and training and to integrate successfully into their new communities. The project also engaged employers and service providers to inform and support them to improve accessibility for sanctuary seeking women. Community English classes and regular women-only drop-ins aimed to reduce isolation and help women build social networks and access support services. The project recognised the importance of English language skills and had provision to train women to become ESOL teachers. They could then use these new skills to support and enable their peers to improve and enhance their language skills. The project team offered advice on accessing these and other courses
with a view to improving and sustaining the livelihoods of the women who engaged with the project.

“Thank you for bringing interesting events to my life here, it has added aspiration in me, and gives me hope!” (Emily: asylum seeker)

“I have just completed a five week E.S.O.L teacher training course which was run by Oxfam together with Swansea University and it has given me some confidence to be able to do something with my life instead of just sitting around and feeling useless.” (Amina: asylum seeker)

“The Sanctuary in Wales programme is a great way to integrate refugees into everyday work places.” (Nicola: Manager, Boots, Newport)

Work placements “raise awareness of cultural issues affecting people living in our country and help them gain valuable experience.” (Amy: Manager, Boots, Newport)