A new advice service aimed at helping migrant workers in south Lincolnshire integrate into their local communities is launched on Monday.
With their aims of fighting discrimination, challenging harassment and working for equality for everyone, the Citizens Advice Bureaux of South Holland and South Kesteven have collaborated in the joint venture.
We really believe that by meeting our objectives in creating equality of opportunity, eliminating prejudice and discrimination through providing advice, information and support, we can build an integrated communityLisa Barwell, chief officer of South Holland and South Kesteven Citizens Advice service
For the last two years, pilot projects have provided face-to-face advice and a telephone helpline service to migrant workers using fully trained Polish advisers. Providing practical, professional and free advice on a wide variety of general and specialist subjects, the three main recurring issues were employment, housing and benefits.
The CAB’s “Reaching Communities” project was successful in attracting a Big Lottery Fund award of over £250,000 that comes into operation next week. The funding will be used to imbed the support and services available to foreign workers over the five-year lifespan of the project. Face-to-face advice and information delivered in native language will be available five days per week through the Citizens Advice bureaux in Spalding, aimed at migrant workers from Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.
Fully-trained advisers will also help clients with completion of forms when necessary, as well as undertaking casework where a client’s issues are more complex than just providing “one off” advice. They will also look to signpost clients to other support services such as English language courses or other specialist services that will assist with integration.
Lisa Barwell, chief officer of South Holland and South Kesteven Citizens Advice service, said: “Our long term aim is to make migrant workers less dependent on others by encouraging them to learn English and to support the natural integration of second generation families from these Eastern European areas.”
The project is directly targeted at the migrant worker community and will be publicised via local employers, job centres, employment agencies, schools and children centres, local authorities, churches and community groups.
Details will also be available on the database of the Lincolnshire Advice Network. Leaflets and posters will be produced in Polish, Russian, Lithuanian and Latvian and distributed widely across both districts.
Anyone wishing to access the service can simply call in at their local Citizens Advice Bureau or call the dedicated Migrant Workers helpline on 0844 8476128.
Concluding her official launch of the five-year project, Lisa Barwell added: “We now have native speaking generalist advisers available daily for face-to-face and telephone advice across South Lincolnshire. We really believe that by meeting our objectives in creating equality of opportunity, eliminating prejudice and discrimination through providing advice, information and support, we can build an integrated community where everyone plays their part to the full which will benefit us all.”
More in Tuesday’s Lincolnshire Free Press.
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