‘Active Citizens Together’ (ACT) Project – A Very Happy First Birthday

The Strategic Migration Partnership’s ‘Active Citizens Together’ (ACT) Project celebrated its first ‘birthday’ on 1st October with a tremendous set of results.

The project is funded by the European Commission until September 2017 to encourage mobile European citizens to participate in civic life in the East of England. It has been positively received and endorsed by migrant community support organisations across the region.

An overview of the project’s key achievements at the end of this first year:

  • We have run 11 two-hour interactive workshops across the region for European Citizens on what it means to be an ‘active’ citizen here in the UK, and how to exercise their voting rights. The workshops have taken place mainly in the evening or at the weekend in local community venues in order to facilitate access to the sessions.
  • 111 people have taken part in these workshops, with no decrease in numbers participating post-referendum.
  • There have been 44 guests at the workshops, who have talked with participants about the kinds of opportunities available to them locally. This has included representatives from local government; constabulary; voluntary sector and health.
  • We have established a regional ‘Active Citizens Together’ network of approximately 200 people, including European citizens wanting to be more active in their communities, and local organisations and agencies who want to support their ambitions and efforts. We will continue building the network for the remainder of the project as an important part of its legacy.
  • Approximately 100 European Citizens across the region have signed up for the project’s mentoring and shadowing programme, being paired up with fellow European citizens who are already playing an active part in the life of their local areas, such as a Polish councillor; a French councillor; a Polish community worker and a Romanian classroom support worker.
  • We have written teaching materials on active citizenship for English language teachers to incorporate into their classes for adult learners. These have been used in classes at a rate of almost one class per week, with 84 students participating overall.

A comment from a project network member:
“It is good to see European Citizens from around the Eastern Region getting involved in their local communities.  It is so important for integration and learning about the British way of life.  I continue to meet people in my day to day work who sadly have lived in this country for a number of years, and still cannot hold a conversation in English, and who tend to keep to their own cultural community.”

Please visit our project website for more information, and details of our forthcoming workshops: http://smp.eelga.gov.uk/migrant-workers/act-project.aspx

And if you would like an ACT Project workshop for European migrants in your area, or to come along as a guest participant, please do contact Sue Hay e: sue.hay@eelga. gov.uk m: 07920 257964 or Rachel Heathcock e: Rachel.heathcock@eelga.gov.uk t: 01284 758311

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