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What is the Project?

Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, the ‘Shaping My Future’ project aims to empower clients to actively build a future in which they can thrive in their new communities in Wales.

Our goal is integration. Not to be confused with ‘assimilation’, we understand integration as a dynamic and mutual social exchange between arriving persons and receiving communities which allows individuals to bring their whole selves to their community to live a happy, fulfilled life.

Cultural and social awareness is key to this process, as such, we aim to build our clients’ knowledge of Welsh culture, social rights and responsibilities, as well as providing and promoting opportunities for growth in society.

Educational sessions form the basis of this project, which then extend to invitations to clients to attend regular social gatherings.

 

What is the background of the project?

Over the years, clients have often remarked “I wish someone told me this sooner” about UK culture. Fed by queries raised during our Advocacy forums, we have collated material which clients feel would prove beneficial to them. In addition to this, DPIA has also noticed a general reluctance of clients to request help from civil authorities when they are the victims of hate crime.

In 2019, the HEAR study (PHW and Swansea University) outlined varying levels of awareness of public health services available amongst the displaced community in Wales. This study found that most are not adequately informed of where to go for the right type of medical support.

Feelings of isolation are common amongst many refugees and asylum seekers. The pandemic  further exacerbated this phenomenon.

The National Lottery Community Fund has supported us in tackling these issues.

 

What is the structure of the Project?

We offer two, repeated educational sessions. On completion, clients receive a certificate:

Cultural Orientation – We explore Welsh culture, practical tips for saving money, improving one’s employability, laws defending rights and safety and hate crime awareness. The session ends with advice on how to engage with one’s community, meet new people and learn new skills.

Health Literacy – This session opens with a focus on how to eat healthily as per NHS advice and food warnings when shopping in the UK . We then move on to examine, in detail, the various levels of support available through the NHS and how/when to access this support. We finish with a discussion of screening services and cancer awareness.

We also run social gatherings on a weekly basis:

Coffee Mornings – Clients will be able to join us for a cuppa and a chance to practice English, make friends and explore various opportunities for skill-building in Cardiff. A relaxed vibe is the goal with the option to learn or engage with a topic such as IT skills, volunteering, caring for one’s health and more.

Walking Socials – A leisurely walk around Cardiff. A chance to discover different parts of the city, socialise and get some fresh air/exercise.

 

What additional Support is offered?

Transport costs are provided. Occasionally, sessions will be offered with interpretation and with play-provision for children. If you will need level access, large print, or have any other accessibility needs, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

   

How can I join?

If you are a refugee or asylum seeker living in or close to Cardiff and are aged 18+, you can sign up here.

Alternatively, you can send us an email and we will signpost you to our next session where you can sign up on paper.

 

Get in touch! 

This project is run by Adam:

Adam Joannou | Integration and Participation Officer | adam@dpia.org.uk | 02920 789 733 | 07939912435