Posted on 13th December 2019

Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner has provided funding for a project in Runcorn and Widnes which offers support to refugees and asylum seeks who have recently settled in the country.

A Better Tomorrow is a new not-for-profit project formed to work with the increasing number of migrants housed in Halton. Its aim is to help not only dis-enfranchised families but also longer term residents who need assistance to integrate fully into the local community.

The project will work with partners including Cheshire police, health providers, the council and local housing providers to address some of the challenges faced by residents who have settled in the area.

PCC David Keane has awarded a £5,000 grant from his Safer Communities Fund to support the group to deliver culture awareness sessions to integrate asylum seekers into the community.

He said: “The challenges faced by the multi-ethnic community are in addition to the complex challenges faced in Halton in relation to deprivation, health inequality, employment and education.

“Residents who have recently settled in the area need our support. Without it they can easily fall into hardship not just socially but financially too, with a risk of becoming involved with loan sharks or criminal activity. They may also suffer from isolation or exclusion which can lead to mental health issues.

“I hope this project makes a real difference to the lives of migrants in Halton and helps them build a positive future in their new home.”

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Ashraf Hamido, chair of A Better Tomorrow added: “Migrants often struggle to access services including employment, education and health.

“Day-to-day tasks such as food shopping or using public transport can also often feel almost insurmountable in respect of language barriers and facing this on a daily basis has a significant effect on mental and physical health.

“This project brings together a number of partners to ensure migrants are given the right support from the right agencies as the come to settle in the area. The funding provided by PCC David Keane will enable us to ensure integration into the community is as smooth as possible.”

A Better Tomorrow is one of hundreds of projects across Cheshire which has received Safer Communities Funding over the last few years to support crime prevention or meet the objectives within the commissioner’s police and crime plan.

This particular grant was awarded by the commissioner in partnership with Halton Clinic Commissioning Group (CCG) through their Well Halton project.

Chris Carlin, a commissioner at Halton CCG and project manager of Well Halton, added: “Well Halton is excited to be able to partner with the police and crime commissioner - together we can tackle the wider determinates of health.

“We are particularly proud to be able to support A Better Tomorrow. Refugees face many challenges such as language, culture and local systems. A Better Tomorrow is a fantastic example of the role that peer support can play. This service will be a key partner to many agencies and will help newcomers to navigate the system and stay well.”

To find out more about the Safer Communities Fund, please visit https://www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk/what-i-do/making-cheshire-safer/safer-communities-fund/