Applications are now closed for the Welcoming Hongkongers Fund. The deadline was 15th April 2022.
What is the Welcoming Hongkongers Fund?
London, as a beacon of openness, diversity and equality, wants to extend a heartfelt welcome to new arrivals from Hong Kong. The Mayor’s Social Integration Strategy All of Us is committed to supporting Hong Kong BN(O) status holders to be able to live, work and study in the UK and to feel fully part of British society.
It is evident there is a rapidly growing network of active grassroots and unconstituted community groups led by and for Hongkongers in London. A significant proportion of community leader roles are voluntary due to safety and privacy concerns attached to more public roles and formally registered organisations. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced most activities to take place online preventing Hongkongers from experiencing a real sense of belonging within their new communities, increasing feelings of social isolation and unmet wellbeing needs. There is also limited funding available for small and unconstituted groups due to traditional eligibility requirements generally offered to more formalised and established organisations.
The Welcoming Hongkongers Fund aims to address some of those issues.
Who can apply?
Grants will be awarded to grassroots groups, organisations and communities that have the greatest understanding of what Hongkongers need to feel welcome and included in their new communities, with activities that can contribute to their welcome and integration in London.
What support is available?
We have a total grant pot of £75,000. We expect to fund approximately 10 microgrants and 10 small grants.
There are two types of grant available:
- Micro grants of up to £1,000 (for organisations with up to £50k turnover in the last financial year)
- Small grants of between £1,001 and £10,000 (for organisations with up to £200k turnover in the last financial year).
What activities can be funded?
We are seeking to fund work/projects that; –
- Promote a sense of welcome for new arrivals: orientation and support during Hongkongers’ first few months in London
- Champion Hong Kong cultures, identities and heritage: celebration of Hongkongers’ language and cultural identity are fostered
- Create feelings of connection across communities are increased: improving access to mainstream services and connections between Hong Kong-led groups and wider voluntary and community services
- Support the wellbeing needs of Hongkongers: including buddy schemes, mindfulness activities and spaces for Hongkongers to feel safe and nurtured
- Increase Hongkongers’ confidence to navigate their new communities/ environment, including English conversation clubs, accessing services, understanding rights and entitlements
- Enable Hongkongers to access and thrive in employment, skills and training: including support to access to further and higher education, English language (ESOL), employment support, and information on starting a business
- Grow the capacity of Hong Kong led civil society: costs incurred to become constituted, undertake DBS checks, training, qualifications, back-office costs and expenses incurred by volunteers
The application window is now closed as of 15th of April 2022 (5pm).
Microgrant case studies:
London’s Arabic Choir
Funded by the Culture Seeds fund that supported small or informal organisations and groups including individuals, this was a new choir to bring together Arab and non-Arab communities in the City of Westminster.
Dancing Together was a three-month project funded by Community First and addressed elderly isolation, health and wellbeing in the over 50s in the Bow East area of Tower Hamlets. While aimed primarily at local communities, it was not exclusive and was open to people from all communities.
This lively and fun weekly gathering brought different groups of people together to enjoy and practice dance and movement. It also provided a relaxed environment to meet people, develop new skills and have the opportunity to seek health-related advice and specialist support.
Small grant case studies:
Based in Lewisham, South London, a partnership was created between Lewisham Homes, Grow Lewisham and Discussion Thursday, to support BAME community garden spaces using funding for participative research as to why communities often find it challenging to engage. This was a partnership funded by the GLA’s Civil Society Roots Incubator, which brought together expertise in engaging with communities and access to space.
Funded by the ESOL Plus Arts grant. This project included weekly conversational English sessions across London, interweaving language learning with arts sessions facilitated by a professional artist. Learning was facilitated by bringing English learners together with English speakers and engaging them in practical art projects that tested and expanded their English proficiency. The project integrated participatory ESOL at its core by choosing an art form based on participants’ interests and promoting the sharing of existing skills.
Integrating residents from different backgrounds and cultures is a priority for London. But true integration is hard to achieve when people carry a history of prejudice, fear and disappointment in dealing with differences. Healing circles are a support group where people share their pain and listen to each other. Members of healing circles commit to helping one another solve their deep issues and heal from individual struggles. They also commit to work together to cure existing cultural traumas in their community.
After the City of Chicago launched the “Together We Heal” campaign, many Chicagoans started to organise their own healing circles with a focus on racial trauma. Mediated by professionals, they can also become safe havens for people who need help to overcome other cultural stigmas, such as suffering with anxiety and mental health conditions.
If you have any questions about applying or about the grant scheme, we’re here to help. Please get in touch with us via phone on 020 7239 1292, or email email@example.com.