MIFRIENDLY Pop-up factory
Short description
MiFriendly Cities is investing in the launch of two Pop-up Furniture Factories in Wolverhampton and Coventry to support activities aimed at community-led integration as well as addressing the housing issue.

Housing represents one of the most common reasons for migrants and refugees seeking support, but poor quality housing is also a problem faced by the wider community, in particular by vulnerable older people and young people leaving care (see the interactive guide prepared by the project). 
To address this issue, MiFriendly Cities is investing in the launch of two Pop-up Furniture Factories in Wolverhampton and Coventry to support activities aimed at community-led integration as well as addressing this housing issue. The factories will also serve as a long-term investment as part of the sustainability of the project. 
Migrants and non-migrants can join an accredited vocational skills courses in carpentry, painting and decorating, or DIY skills. Participants are then invited to use these skills to upcycle furniture to makeover homes across the West Midlands for those in need.
Conversations with supporting staff, volunteers and tutors helps to improve participants conversational English. Participants are also taught what the appropriate tools are called in English, which will better enable participants to further progress in the UK with employment opportunities or volunteer opportunities in the community. 
The Coventry Factory has now been launched in a space provided by the Coventry University Centre for Trust Peace and Reconciliation – one of the 11 project partners –  and is now trialling the first of its accredited skills courses.
Kevin Taylor, the Coventry Factory Skills Trainer, said: ‘’All of the first participants of our first decorating course have experience of painting and decorating in their home country, however these qualifications are not recognised in the UK. Attending this course provides them with a recognised qualification, and we also work on trade-specific language to better prepare them for employment in the UK industry.’’

Mustafa Touran, a skilled migrant who having completed the course now holds a relevant UK qualification, said: "I am feeling happy of this course, and I also benefited because of the information. Thank you Kevin Taylor".
As course numbers increase following the initial pilot courses, the project will be reaching out for skilled volunteers to join the initiative, offering their own expertise and contributing to the social inclusion and informal language learning element. 

Other news from this project

Case study Mifriendly Cities Ali Abdul

Case study: How a holistic employment and skills initiative is helping migrants to fulfill their goals

MiFriendly Cities was set out in March 2018 to deliver a unique employment and skills programme in the West Midlands, focusing on filling skills gaps ...
Mifriendly Cities Journal 2

MiFriendly Cities Journal 2: Meeting, talking and confidence building

The essential elements of creating communities, innovation and social enterprises...
Coventry Zoom in Mifriendly cities

MiFRIENDLY CITIES Zoom-in 1: How an exemplary city/university partnership gives birth to a wellbeing FabLab

A bottom-up dominated adaptation to the needs of migrants and refugees in building a ‘Coventry for all’...
MIFRIENDLY Social Innovation Pitch Day

Social Innovation Pitch Day

On Saturday 30 March, MiFriendly Cities held its Social Innovation Pitch Day in Birmingham, where a panel of judges and attendees from communities acr...
MiFriendly Cities

Project Implementation: Social enterprise, community innovation and empowering through language

Having moved into the implementation stages of the project, MiFriendly Cities finished 2018 with the successful launch of three initiatives, creating ...

MiFRIENDLY CITIES UIA Expert Journal – recognising the contribution of migrants and refugees to the wider community

UIA Expert, Peter Wolkowinski, gives a first look on how the project is being implemented ...
Project meeting

Reflecting on 6 months of developing MiFriendly Cities in Coventry, Birmingham and Wolverhampton

Managing the complexities of this multi-city initiative has meant six months filled with challenges, learning and innovative developments for the MiFr...
Launch MIFRIENDLY project Coventry

MiFriendly Cities holds official launch to celebrate funding for new opportunities for communities across the West Midlands

The UIA City of Coventry held its public launch for the MiFriendly Cities project at the city’s iconic cathedral on 5th June. The event was both a cel...
MiFriendly project team

An atmosphere of excitement as the MiFriendly Cities partners collaborate to drive the project forward in the West Midlands

What does it take to make city more refugee and migrant friendly? At the beginning of March 2018, the MiFriendly Cities project was officially launche...