Engage for Ukraine scheme awards £270,000 in grants to community groups
Birmingham community groups supporting Ukrainian refugees have received grants totalling £270,000 from the Engage for Ukraine Community Grants Scheme this week.
The scheme – which was launched in August – is funded by Birmingham City Council and administered by Birmingham Voluntary Services Council (BVSC). It aims to support groups helping the city’s growing Ukrainian community establish new lives in Birmingham.
Applications were made from a range of community, voluntary and social enterprise organisations helping Ukrainians resettling in the city to navigate their way through the system of support available to them by providing practical information, advice and access to essential services.
The council received 16 bids in total, of which 14 have been awarded – the remaining two will receive support to apply for any future funding.
These ranged from improving mental health support, to taking on dedicated staff to work with Ukrainian refugees and proving arts-based activities for the community.
Centrala were among the organisations who made successful bids – who will be providing a range of activities from mental health support to in person advice sessions within Birmingham’s Ukrainian community.
Alicja Kaczmarek, director of Centrala – a Birmingham-based arts organisation – said: “We’re delighted to receive this vital funding from the Engage for Ukraine Community Grants scheme, which will help us provide activities and services aimed at helping Ukrainians settling into the city access the essential advice and support they need.”
Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Justice, Community Safety and Equalities, said: “Birmingham is well known for its warm welcome and we are proud, as a City of Sanctuary, to have opened our arms to those arriving from Ukraine and starting new lives here. The Ukraine Grants Scheme is helping these community and voluntary groups, so I am glad to see funding awarded to a range of providers to further support those refugees to get on their feet and establish themselves in our city.”
Jasbir Rai, Deputy Chief Executive of Birmingham Voluntary Services Council, said: “BVSC have been working in partnership with Birmingham City Council and are pleased to see the response to the Community Grants for voluntary and community organisations supporting Ukraine citizens arriving in Birmingham, we hope to see these resources make a real difference to their experience of Ukrainian refugees settling in our city.”
Birmingham is a City of Sanctuary which has a long history of welcoming asylum seekers, refugees and migrants fleeing persecution and war in their homelands.
The funding was split into two phases: this phase has so far seen £270,000 award to organisations supporting the Ukrainian community.
A second phase of smaller grants of up to £2,000 being awarded to micro-organisations working with the refugee community for events and activities to help Ukrainians in Birmingham.
More information of services and support available to Ukrainian refugees, can be found on the council’s website.