Project which supports new migrant residents in Ipswich gets £14,000 funding boost

ISCRE's Phanuel Mutumburi

ISCRE's Phanuel Mutumburi - Credit: Archant

A project which supports people who move to Ipswich from overseas to integrate into the community has received a cash injection.

The Ipswich Integration Group (IIG), set up by a group of migrants to the town in 2015, is to get a £10,000 boost from the Big Lottery Fund, thanks to a grant application by the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality (ISCRE).

A further £4,000 has been donated jointly from the Skills Funding Agency fund for the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) lessons, and Ipswich Community Media.

The donations come after funding from the European Integration Fund project came to an end.

The funding will be used to deliver a series of conversational English lessons and workshops to equip participants with basic skills and confidence for people from migrant communities.

IIG is based in Westgate Ward in Ipswich, which is among the top 10% most deprived wards in the country.

Westgate has consistently seen the highest numbers of migrants in the town and the Norwich Road area in particular is characterised by high levels of low cost private rental housing and is a popular ‘entry point’ for new arrivals into Ipswich.

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Currently, there are over 200 people registered on the IIG database. Almost 75% of those currently signed up are either unemployed or economically inactive, and all have English and integration needs that are hindering their employment or confining them to low paid work.

Phanuel Mutumburi, business and operations director for ISCRE, said: “Ipswich Integration Group is a key means by which many of Ipswich’s most deprived and isolated residents will kick start their journey towards achieving more friends and contacts, a job and a chance to more fully contribute to their new home town.

“It is truly a hand up not a hand out for those involved.”