Cash to help newly arrived families with Hong Kong British National (Overseas) status settle into communities, register for local services, and find jobs, has opened for bidding on June 29.
Community groups across the United Kingdom now have the chance to bid for a share of a £2.6 million fund to support programmes that will help newly arrived families make the best start to rebuilding their lives.
This money can be used to support people through buddying schemes, help families to access services like registering for GPs or opening bank accounts, or find employment.
The Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) grant schemes will provide community support in every region across England and nationally for Hong Kong BN(O) status holders.
The UK government is also making £100,000 available for an organisation to develop education resources for schools and colleges in the UK to teach young people about the nation’s historic connection and commitment to Hong Kong.
An additional £300,000 will be available for hate crime reporting services in England, including a helpline and website for BN(O) status holders and all others of East and Southeast Asian (ESA) descent to report hate crime incidents. This will help the government monitor and tackle hate crime against these communities.
Communities Minister Lord Greenhalgh said: “Today’s launch is the next major step in delivering on our commitment to the people of Hong Kong. These programmes totalling £2.6 million will deliver practical support that will make a real difference to those settling in the UK, giving them the best possible start as they build a life in this country. I encourage organisations across the country to bid for this funding and help us deliver the assistance these families need and that will build community cohesion.”
In April, the government announced a Hong Kong British Nationals (Overseas) Integration Programme, backed by over £43 million, to help status holders access housing, work and educational support.
In addition to the VCSE grant schemes, councils in England will benefit from £30.7 million to provide targeted support for new arrivals, offering help with English language and to those whose circumstances change and are at risk of destitution.
The government has issued new guidance for local authorities in England today to deliver this work.
£5.8 million will also be provided to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to deliver similar activity.