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- Grants announced as Government stats reveal there are still an estimated 800,000 UK EU citizens to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme
Community groups providing vital help and information to European Londoners about staying in the UK after Brexit have been awarded almost £60,000 in funding by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
As Britain prepares to leave the EU on 31st January, Sadiq is supporting communities across the capital to ensure that European Londoners and their families get the right advice to secure their futures in the UK.
The new grants were announced today as the Government published its latest monthly statistics on applications for the EU Settlement Scheme. The figures mean that approximately 800,000 of the UK’s EU citizens are still yet to apply.
The Mayor has repeatedly urged the Government to fully support London’s more than one million European citizens during the biggest change in rights and immigration status in our country for a generation. Sadiq has warned that if just five per cent of eligible EU citizens in the country fail to secure settled status it would mean 175,000 people being left in the UK at risk from the Government’s hostile environment.
Today’s micro-grants of around £5,000 each have been awarded to 12 different community organisations as part of the Mayor’s work to engage with European communities and help European Londoners get the information they need to stay in the UK.
This is the programme’s third round of funding and brings the total investment to £110,000 in the last year. The grants have already helped nearly 3,000 marginalised Europeans through vital advice and support.
The organisations to receive grants from this round of funding are:
· Coram Children’s Legal Centre (£5,000) – Supporting vulnerable young people, including those in care and care leavers across London.
· Council of Somali Organisations (£5,000) – Supporting Europeans of Somali heritage including the elderly and digitally excluded across London.
· East End Citizens Advice Bureaux (£5,000) – Working with faith groups, and Europeans of Bangladeshi heritage in Tower Hamlets, Newham and Hackney.
· East European Resource Centre (£5,000) – Working across London to support Eastern European Londoners and rough sleepers.
· Islington Law Centre (£5,000) – Supporting European Londoners with complex cases and training frontline workers in Camden, Haringey, Hackney and Islington.
· Latin American House (£5,000) – Working with Portuguese and Spanish-speaking European Londoners including those of African origin, in Brent, Westminster, Camden and Haringey.
· Migrants Organise (£5,000) – Supporting at-risk Polish women aged 18 – 25 in Croydon, Crystal Palace, Ealing, Stratford and Hackney.
· Refugee & Migrant Forum of Essex & London (£4,947) – Working with low income families, rough sleepers and food banks in East London boroughs.
· Settled (£5,000) – Supporting Romanian and Roma communities in Harrow, Brent, Barnet and Waltham Forest.
· Skills Enterprise (£4,977) – Working in Newham to support low income families and those who are digitally excluded.
· The AIRE Centre (£5,000) – Working with European Londoners, including; low-income and part-time workers, individuals with criminal records in Camden, Islington, Westminster, Kensington and Haringey.
· Work Rights Centre (£4,970) – Working in Brent with individuals with limited IT skills, Romanian and Bulgarian nationals, and individuals in low-income work.
Since the EU referendum, Sadiq has been clear that London will always be open to the world, and that European Londoners living in the capital belong here. As part of the London is Open campaign, Sadiq has also been working to ensure European Londoners have information about living in London after Brexit. This has included providing access to free legal advice and support through his EU Londoners online hub, a four-day LondonIsOpen bus tour of the capital, the We Are All Londoners event at City Hall, and advice pop-up roadshow.
The micro-grant scheme is a vital part of this work, with funding from previous rounds being used to host events across the capital, including Q&As with immigration lawyers, and running local surgeries providing support to a wide-range of communities. The first round of funding supported nine community organisations, including an organisation set up by Europeans with disabilities living in the UK and an advice organisation for Eastern Europeans in London. The second round of funding supported six community organisations, including providing legal surgery events for Somali communities, older Italians and Roma communities, and providing multi-lingual information sessions for EU refugees.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It has never been more important that the more than one million EU citizens living in the capital know that they belong here and are welcome. Throughout the entire Brexit process, I have been clear that London is open.
“Our micro-grants have already helped community groups engage thousands of marginalised Europeans through a fantastic variety of events and I am delighted that we will be able to reach many more European Londoners with this round of funding, equipping people with the information they need to understand their rights post-Brexit.
“But today’s national statistics show that the Government has so much more to do to reach all of our EU citizens. It must urgently provide support if it is to prevent another Windrush scandal that would leave hundreds of thousands of Londoners at the mercy of its hostile immigration policies.”
Anita Hurrell of Coram Children’s Legal Centre said: “We’re very pleased to have been awarded this grant by the Mayor of London to help reach more children across the capital who need to apply for pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. It is really important that families, carers and professionals get support to understand which children and young people need to apply and what the process and deadlines are. If applications are not made in time, there is a risk of children being left without any legal status.”
Carlos Huascar Tapia Montes, director of Latin American House: “We are thrilled to receive this grant – It will help many Latin Americans and disadvantaged Spanish and Portuguese speakers across London to stay in London and continue contributing to this vibrant and multicultural city after the UK leaves the EU.”