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FaithAction to Continue to Support New Arrivals from Hong Kong

Last week, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced which VCSE organisations would be funded as part of Year 2 of the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) Welcome Programme VCSE Regional Grant Scheme. The FaithAction team were delighted to hear that we were one of the organisations selected.

The FaithAction team have been delivering our Café Connect programme since March. Working alongside 7 organisations in 3 regions of England—London, West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber—Café Connect sessions are designed to welcome Hong Kong BN(O) status holders and their dependents into the local area through conversational English language practise, opportunities to find out about local facilities and services, cultural orientation and time to get to know people from the local area. Our hubs have run weekly sessions focusing on topics from Florence Nightingale and St George and the dragon, to how to look for jobs and how to deal with housing issues in the UK.

The programme so far has been a massive success, thanks to our hubs, and we are really excited that we will be able to continue working with both them and those who have recently arrived from Hong Kong.

Some Key Stats

Over 700 have attended a Café Connect sesssion
95% had a greater understanding of UK history, culture and systems
92% felt more connected to people in their community
91% have more friends now

What have our particpants said?

This is a good place to meet people. It's good to talk to English people, and meet people from Hong Kong and speak my own language too. I like learning about the history. It’s good for us to know these things – why the sandwich is called a sandwich, for example.

The activities help my confidence to communicate with neighbours. And I can talk to more people. There can be help then to join in life in the UK.

What’s great is the way of practising speaking and making friends at the same time. Within 2 weeks there’s a warmth between people and a hunger to learn more. It’s great!