Having become aware of the increasingly difficult situation faced for those arriving into the UK we invited recently reunited families from the North West to a feedback and social event in Manchester.
Our 46 attendees included Iranian, Yemeni, Syrian and Sudanese families and there was an emphasis at the session on introducing families to others with a shared experience.
Difficulty finding suitable housing and lack of income in the short term following arrival were the key issues raised. Registering for school and GPs, and accessing English classes were also highlighted.
Feedback from the group focussed on where Together Now can better support families in the weeks and months following arrival. In response we are now beginning to work on developing our service to have a clearer pre and post arrival support offer.
This will include:
- Information produced on what to expect in the first few weeks and months, shared and discussed with the sponsor and arriving family members. We will also look into videos produced to cover some of the more nuanced subject areas.
- Providing written information for travelling family members to show airport staff if there is a problem.
- More consistent arrival package including offering arrival grants dependent on funding alongside food bank referrals and sourcing other available support. We will also look into providing SIM cards and credit for the arriving family as well as potentially a children’s welcome pack.
- Developing our network of peer mentors so they are trained and available to be linked in with families.
- Planning further get togethers and consultation sessions so we are aware of the current challenges and families have chance to come together.
We also hope our ‘When the Dust Settles’ research project will help us further understand our client’s longer term reflections on post arrival experiences.