Coventry is a part of the West Midlands (WM)-the most diverse region in the UK outside Greater London and the second most diverse in the whole of the EU. With Coventry contributing to this diversity, it has the highest internal migration after London. Coventry is home to people arriving directly from abroad for economic reasons, seeking asylum and family reunion, the region is also home to many refugees and migrants who arrive from other parts of the UK. The Migration friendly cities will bring Coventry, Wolverhampton and Birmingham (other parts of West midlands) coming together to address the below challenges:
1) WM urban authorities have seen up to 40% cuts from their budgets under UK government austerity measures
2) Refugees and migrants in the region are twice as likely to be unemployed as non-migrants
3) Knowledge of public health messages is consistently low among migrants and refugees in the region.
4) Prejudice in the WM towards refugees and migrants is rapidly increasing
5) Refugees and migrants have low levels of awareness of rights and often struggle to access services.
A MiFRIENDLY Cities is a regional approach that will be underpinned by the voices, skills and passion of refugees and migrants themselves across the region.
1. New job opportunities/accredited training and upskilling employers for better engagement with refugees and migrants,
2. Health champions trained to deliver public health messages and raising awareness in the population to reduce unwanted demand.
3. Mentoring, financing and supporting social enterprises to tackle challenges identified in this proposal.
4. Activities supporting active citizenship and rights, including training refugees and migrants as Citizen Journalists and Citizen Social Scientists to evaluate success of the project.
- Coventry City Council
- Wolverhampton City Council
- Birmingham City Council
- Coventry University
- Interserve - multinational company
- Migrant Voice (MV) - local migration network
- Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre (CRMC);
- The Refugee and Migrant Centre (RMC);
- Coventry University Social Enterprises (CUSE)
- Central England Law Centre (CELC) - NGO
- Migration Work (MW) - NGO
1. Better use of limited financial resource driving long-term lasting change between 3 Local authorities.
2. The employment rate of refugees and migrants in the WM is increased by 15% over 3 years.
3. 20% more refugees and migrants in the WM accessing primary prevention healthcare screening including for latent TB, cervical cancer, breast cancer, HIV leading to improved communitywide public health outcomes
4. Social participation of refugee and migrant communities in grassroots activities aimed at increasing solidarity by 10% and engendering improvements in feelings of belonging.
5. Awareness of rights and how to access them among refugees and migrants is increased by 10%, engendering increased feelings of active citizenship
6. The MiFRIENDLY Cities approach is embedded within existing and future regional and City plans and public policy is positively influenced by MiFRIENDLY Cities activities
March 2018: Launch of project/ Project implementation starts with communication
June 2018: Citizen Social Scientists recruited. Architectural design for Hope house agreed by refugees and migrants. Lease agreed for pop up furniture shop
December 2018: Social Entrepreneurs and Health Champions recruited. ”Share my language” café starts. Pop up shop opens. Career guides published
February 2020: Health Champions trained with an accreditation. 300 Refugees and migrants complete accredited training
December 2020: 100 Local volunteers working in fab labs to upcycle furniture pieces and complete home make overs for 100 homes. Health checks for migrant rights completed/Work placements are started. Social Enterprise start ups
March 2021: Hope house completed. Migration Friendly Project closure celebration
“Coventry has a long and proud history of opening it arms and welcoming people who choose to make the City their home. I’m delighted with this award and I’m excited about the projects it will help deliver not just in Coventry but across the West Midlands. The MiFRIENDLY Cities project recognises the valuable Contribution refugees and migrants make to our communities and how we can all benefit from their integration.”