By Oliver Thompson
Based in Yorkshire, WomenCentre has launched a toolkit to help organisations better support women migrants, with the aim to help employers in the region attract more women from migrant backgrounds.
The toolkit was developed whilst working in collaboration with the local-authority-led Connecting Opportunities in the Leeds City Region.
Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and European Social Fund, Connecting Opportunities is a partnership that works with new migrants, to develop their skills and opportunities to be part of the local community.
The toolkit offers many avenues of support including volunteer befriending which allows migrants to practice English and feel part of the community.
Figures released by migration Yorkshire showed that in the Kirklees area the overall number of new migrant workers fell to 2,100 in 2017; a small decrease of 420. Near 1,150 short term migrants visited Kirklees in 2015 of which 80% were short term students rather than workers.
The project has had over 500 participants in their first year with more than half being women, Amreen from Halifax commented:
‘There were lots of things I didn’t know about myself, I didn’t know what skills I had.
‘I feel independent and proud of myself and that happiness when you get your first wage.’
WomenCentre is an initiative to encourage the design and delivery of more effective services for women who are facing multiple disadvantages. The centre based in Yorkshire provides emotional and practical support on issues such as debt, mental and physical health. Practitioner Manager, Kate Smith and Women Centred Trainer & Advisor, Veronika Susedkova commented:
‘The time is absolutely right for a dynamic approach which fully supports, integrates and learns from women centred working
‘Now, more than ever, there’s a strong call to make progress around gender.
‘Our women-centred approach will appeal to anyone working to address gender disparity and counter the hostile environment in the UK.’