Minister visits Midlands charity supporting thousands to apply to EU Settlement Scheme
The Refugee and Migrant Centre provides invaluable support to help vulnerable EU citizens apply to the EU Settlement Scheme in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Walsall.
Home Office Minister Kevin Foster visited The Refugee and Migrant Centre’s offices in Birmingham on Thursday 23 July 2020 and thanked them for their hard work and the sterling support they have been providing to help vulnerable EU citizens apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
The Refugee and Migrant Centre has engaged with and supported more than 9,000 people with their EU Settlement Scheme applications in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Walsall. They are also supporting local authorities and Public Health England to help overcome barriers and engage the large Roma Gypsy community living in Birmingham.
They have also provided invaluable support throughout the coronavirus pandemic to some of the most vulnerable in society including victims of human trafficking or domestic abuse, those with severe mental health conditions, those without a permanent address, and those who are elderly or isolated.
The Refugee and Migrant Centre is one of 12 charities in the Midlands, and 57 organisations and local authorities across the UK, being awarded up to £17 million in Home Office funding to help vulnerable EU citizens apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster said:
EU citizens are our friends, family and neighbours which is why I am pleased there have already been more than 517,000 applications to the EU Settlement Scheme in the Midlands with more than 3.7 million across the UK.
The scheme is free and simple to use but it’s vital everyone receives the support they need to apply. Charities like The Refugee and Migrant Centre, which the Home Office has funded, have been doing an excellent job providing people with easily accessible help and support in order to make their applications.
The Home Office has held a series of pop-up events across the UK to help raise awareness of the scheme at a local level. Staff have been on hand to answer questions and provide support in person.
In September to October 2019, and February of this year, the Home Office ran local events in 9 locations across the UK, including Birmingham, Great Yarmouth, London, Nottingham, Leeds and Aberdeen.
The Home Office also ran a £4 million marketing campaign in 2019 to encourage EU citizens to apply and a new wave of advertising began earlier this year to encourage those who have not yet applied to do so.
Pam Gill, Deputy CEO of the Refugee & Migrant Centre - Birmingham & Black Country said:
We have already engaged with more than 9,000 people who are in need of extra help applying to the EU Settlement Scheme through our centres in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Walsall.
And we are supporting local authorities and Public Health England to help overcome barriers and engage the large Roma Gypsy community living in Birmingham, particularly in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
We are passionate about supporting those who often need it most and will continue to work alongside the Home Office to make sure people secure their status and can continue to live and work in the UK.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, people in the Midlands have also had access to a range of support either online, by email or by telephone to help them apply. The latest official statistics show there were 517,960 applications in the Midlands by 31 March 2020.
There are also over 1,500 Home Office staff working on the EU Settlement Scheme with 250 Settlement Resolution Centre staff in place to provide assistance to applicants with any questions about the scheme or who need help applying.
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