Migration

Migration

Migration

Introduction

Our Covid-19 Action Fund provided grants for Churchill Fellows to run projects combating the effects of Covid-19 in all areas of society. Hundreds of pandemic projects nationwide are being run or assisted by Churchill Fellows, using the international expertise they gained during their Fellowships overseas. Here are the Action Fund recipients working on migration issues.

January 2022 awards

Tim Holtam: helping refugees to integrate into the community

Tim Holtam (CF 2018) from Brighton in East Sussex is the founding director of the Brighton Table Tennis Club.

Tim will use his grant to set up a programme of support to help refugees and asylum seekers integrate into the community Refugees are some of the most marginalised and vulnerable people in communities and have been affected by issues such as loneliness and isolation as a result of the pandemic. Tim will work with local refugee organisations including The Refugee Council and social services to deliver weekly coached table tennis sessions at the Brighton Table Tennis Club and integrate refugees with other members of the community. He will also work with The Real Junk Food Project Brighton to provide food. Tim hopes that this will provide a friendly environment where they can meet new people, practise their English and receive information about other community activities and services, with a positive impact on their social, emotional and physical wellbeing.

Tim’s Fellowship to Italy, Jordan and the Netherlands in 2018 explored refugee and community integration through sport. It was supported by The Linbury Trust.

Jem Stein: tackling isolation in the refugee community

Jem Stein (CF 2018) from London is the founder and CEO of The Bike Project, a social enterprise that supplies second-hand bikes to refugees. During the pandemic, many refugees they support were struggling with loneliness and isolation. To address this, the charity developed Cyber Cyclists, a programme for refugees to connect and engage in online activities with other refugees and volunteers.

Jem will use his grant to develop a 12-week pilot that will test their existing online programme. To do this, Jem will engage 68 trained volunteers and 70 refugees and asylum seekers, asking them to gather feedback and recommendations that can be implemented to improve the platform. Jem also plans to increase the accessibility of the platform, by including translation services so that users can engage in their preferred language. Jem hopes that these improvements will help to increase social interactions and the number of social bike rides undertaken by refugees and asylum seekers, and ultimately reduce their feelings of loneliness and social isolation. When the pilot has been completed, Jem plans to share the findings and recommendations with other charities and social enterprises.

Jem’s Fellowship to the USA in 2018 explored effective large-scale social enterprise through collaboration. It was supported by The Rank Foundation.

June 2020 award

Amanda Walters: protecting low-paid migrant cleaners during the pandemic

Amanda Walters (CF 2018) from Hackney, London, is a community campaigner. She has been building a labour community alliance of trade unions and community organisations that work with low-paid migrant cleaners. The aim of the alliance is to create a unified force that can organise for the interests of cleaners and ensure their protection as key workers during this time. Amanda will use her grant to develop this work.

This will include running an online listening campaign for cleaners to see what their key issues are at this time and where they most need help; creating an online platform to facilitate organising and campaigning through the lockdown; carrying out targeted advertising to reach as many cleaners as possible; and creating an online training site with a series of videos offering advice and guidance on how to campaign effectively. Amanda will collate the resulting data to focus on key issues and then campaign to influence policy.

Amanda's Fellowship to Brazil and the USA in 2018 explored best practice in building a powerful movement of low-wage migrant workers. It was supported by The Linbury Trust.

January 2022 awards

Tim Holtam: helping refugees to integrate into the community

Tim Holtam (CF 2018) from Brighton in East Sussex is the founding director of the Brighton Table Tennis Club.

Tim will use his grant to set up a programme of support to help refugees and asylum seekers integrate into the community Refugees are some of the most marginalised and vulnerable people in communities and have been affected by issues such as loneliness and isolation as a result of the pandemic. Tim will work with local refugee organisations including The Refugee Council and social services to deliver weekly coached table tennis sessions at the Brighton Table Tennis Club and integrate refugees with other members of the community. He will also work with The Real Junk Food Project Brighton to provide food. Tim hopes that this will provide a friendly environment where they can meet new people, practise their English and receive information about other community activities and services, with a positive impact on their social, emotional and physical wellbeing.

Tim’s Fellowship to Italy, Jordan and the Netherlands in 2018 explored refugee and community integration through sport. It was supported by The Linbury Trust.

Jem Stein: tackling isolation in the refugee community

Jem Stein (CF 2018) from London is the founder and CEO of The Bike Project, a social enterprise that supplies second-hand bikes to refugees. During the pandemic, many refugees they support were struggling with loneliness and isolation. To address this, the charity developed Cyber Cyclists, a programme for refugees to connect and engage in online activities with other refugees and volunteers.

Jem will use his grant to develop a 12-week pilot that will test their existing online programme. To do this, Jem will engage 68 trained volunteers and 70 refugees and asylum seekers, asking them to gather feedback and recommendations that can be implemented to improve the platform. Jem also plans to increase the accessibility of the platform, by including translation services so that users can engage in their preferred language. Jem hopes that these improvements will help to increase social interactions and the number of social bike rides undertaken by refugees and asylum seekers, and ultimately reduce their feelings of loneliness and social isolation. When the pilot has been completed, Jem plans to share the findings and recommendations with other charities and social enterprises.

Jem’s Fellowship to the USA in 2018 explored effective large-scale social enterprise through collaboration. It was supported by The Rank Foundation.

June 2020 award

Amanda Walters: protecting low-paid migrant cleaners during the pandemic

Amanda Walters (CF 2018) from Hackney, London, is a community campaigner. She has been building a labour community alliance of trade unions and community organisations that work with low-paid migrant cleaners. The aim of the alliance is to create a unified force that can organise for the interests of cleaners and ensure their protection as key workers during this time. Amanda will use her grant to develop this work.

This will include running an online listening campaign for cleaners to see what their key issues are at this time and where they most need help; creating an online platform to facilitate organising and campaigning through the lockdown; carrying out targeted advertising to reach as many cleaners as possible; and creating an online training site with a series of videos offering advice and guidance on how to campaign effectively. Amanda will collate the resulting data to focus on key issues and then campaign to influence policy.

Amanda's Fellowship to Brazil and the USA in 2018 explored best practice in building a powerful movement of low-wage migrant workers. It was supported by The Linbury Trust.