Coventry

Integration of migrants and refugees

MiFRIENDLY CITIES

“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.”

Cllr Abdul Khan, Deputy Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Policing and Equalities
The project in numbers
21%
of Coventry's population was born outside the UK.
>100
languages spoken in the city
33%
of Coventry's inhabitants from ethnic minority communities
EUR 4,280,639.20
Total ERDF budget granted
Challenge addressed

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.

 

Solution proposed

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.

Solutions include:

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.

 

Partnership
  • 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

 

Expected results

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

Main milestones

June 2018: Laying the foundations
October 2018: MiFriendly cities basic structures set up
April 2019: Getting our key projects delivered
October 2019: MiFriendly cities progress so far
June 2020: Active Citizenship and Social Enterprising in MiFRIENDLY CITIES
February 2021: The legacy continues

 

The project in numbers
21%
of Coventry's population was born outside the UK.
>100
languages spoken in the city
33%
of Coventry's inhabitants from ethnic minority communities
EUR 4,280,639.20
Total ERDF budget granted
Contact of the project
Sunairah Miraj
Programme Delivery Manager
Peter Wolkowinski
UIA expert

Project News

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...

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