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Refugees to get more community integration support

The government has published details on how they plan to help refugees better integrate into communities.

The Integrated Communities Action Plan follows on from a consultation on the government’s Integrated Communities Strategy which was published in March 2018.

Over 3,400 responses from individuals and organisations were received to the consultation spanning a wide range of sectors including, faith, education, local authority, social and academic.

The plan includes efforts to improve the English-language skills of refugees entering the country by developing a ‘new national strategy for English language’. They also plan to provide a ‘package of practical information’ to help them build social connections with neighbours and the wider community.

The government says they are currently working in partnership with 5 Integration Areas (Blackburn with Darwen; Bradford; Peterborough; Walsall and Waltham Forest) to develop ‘bespoke’ local integration strategies, trying new bold and innovative approaches including helping more marginalised women into work.

The government will also collaborate with civil society to support refugees to rebuild their lives in the UK by providing language, employment and mental health information services for refugees.

According to UNHCR statistics at the end of 2017, there were 121,837 refugees, 40,365 pending asylum cases and 97 stateless persons in the UK.

The plan is backed by £50m of funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said: ‘We are a successful, diverse democracy – open, tolerant and welcoming. These characteristics are as British as queuing and talking about the weather.

‘However, we cannot ignore the fact that too many places across the country have divides, the benefits and opportunities our great country offers are not always felt by everyone equally.

‘Our new action plan charts a course for how we will engage and work with communities to bring people together in recognition that there is more that binds than divides us.’

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