£75,000 boost for migrants charity

A charity which supports migrants who have settled in Fife has been awarded almost £75,000 by the Big Lottery Fund.

 Fife Migrants Forum will use the cash to help people in hardship access services over a 15 month period from January 1.

The £74,372 grant comes from the Big Lottery Fund’s Support and Connect programme, which aims to improve the support available for people experiencing basic hardship and material need.

Fife Migrants Forum’s application for funding demonstrated that the charity helps people connect to services and to each other so that they are better supported.

Maciej Dokurno, chairman of Fife Migrants Forum, said: “I am proud and delighted that we secured this funding and would like to congratulate our staff and volunteers on this recognition of their skills, dedication and achievements.  

“Bringing this external funding, which will improve people’s access to vital support services, is an example of positive contribution we as migrants are making to the local community which has been so supportive and welcoming to us.”

 Staff and volunteers will offer advice on welfare rights, housing, employability and health issues.

Project manager Sofia Dogan said: “With this funding we will deliver a range of services including advocacy support, financial inclusion, employability and welfare rights advice, not only to local ethnic minority and migrant clients but also to the members of the indigenous community who are experiencing barriers in accessing support services.

“We will also create fantastic job and volunteering opportunities for local people who would like to become part of our diverse, multinational team of staff and volunteers.”

Although based in Kirkcaldy, Fife Migrants Forum’s reach extends throughout the region.

Kirkcaldy MSP David Torrance said: “Groups like Fife Migrants Forum do great work with an increasing migrant population in Fife.

“Many incomers have great difficulty in accessing support and the work that Fife Migrants Forum do not only helps these people but also reduces the strain on public services.

“This award has gone to the right people and I know Fife Migrants Forum will put it to good use.”

Projects funded through Support and Connect are aimed specifically at improving local support for people experiencing hardship.