A church-led project to give eastern Europeans in Spalding a voice has won backing from the police and a leading bishop.
Community Connectors, to be launched by St Mary and St Nicolas Church, Spalding, in September, plans to reach Polish, Latvian and Lithuanian families in Spalding and find out how they can be integrated into the community.
A £10,500 grant from the Bishop of Lincoln’s Social Justice Fund has been awarded to the project so that three people, fluent in English and either Polish, Latvian or Lithuanian, can work with the church and families to make migrants’ lives better in Spalding.
The Rev John Bennett, vicar of Spalding, said: “People from Poland, Latvia and Lithuania who live here are just as important as anybody else.
“I hope Community Connectors will develop networks of people who can keep lines of communication open with those who would otherwise find it difficult to be heard.”
Inspector Jo Reeves, community policing inspector for South Holland, said: “We fully support this initiative to help support migrants living and working in Spalding.
It is disappointing that Spalding is said to be the fourth least-integrated place in the UK and I feel that we all need to work together to ensure that law-abiding citizens, regardless of background, feel welcomed and valued within the local communityInspector Jo Reeves, community policing inspector for South Holland
“It is disappointing that Spalding is said to be the fourth least-integrated place in the UK and I feel that we all need to work together to ensure that law-abiding citizens, regardless of their background, feel welcomed and valued within the local community.”
Support also came from the Bishop of Grantham, the Right Reverend Nicholas Chamberlain, who said: “In a world of such fast-moving change, one of the most important things we can do is to learn about what is really going on.
“This project will help the people of Spalding to learn more about each other and to build a better future here.”
Meanwhile, Archdeacon of Boston, the Venerable Justine Allain Chapman, said: “Community Connectors sound just like Good Samaritans who go out of their way to care for whoever is in need of a good neighbour.
“I hope and pray that this work will help Spalding to be a good town for everyone who lives and works in it.”