Up to £9m grant scheme announced to support vulnerable EU citizens
The Home Office has today announced notice of its Grant Scheme, expected to award between £5 and 9million to fund VCS organisations to support vulnerable or at-risk EU citizens who need additional help in completing the application process to obtain their immigration status, as the UK exits the EU.
The Home Office has put a range of measures in place to ensure that the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) is accessible and that all applicants are handled with flexibility and sensitivity. However, ensuring that the most vulnerable EU citizens and at-risk communities are engaged and supported is essential.
The voluntary and community sector (VCS) plays a vital role in representing people who are unable to advocate for themselves. Engagement has been carried out with a range of VCS organisations, including NAVCA members, to ensure that the right support and programmes are in place to protect those most in need.
The Home Office will refine the approach and assess provision for support services before formally launching the open competition, expected to begin at the end of November 2018.
Interested VCS organisations are invited to take part in an engagement teleconference to find out more information about the EUSS, the Grant Scheme process and the wider campaign, and to give organisations an opportunity to ask the Home Office questions. There will be several repeat teleconferences taking place on 7 and 8 November, to ensure as many organisations as possible have the chance to take part.
To sign up to attend a teleconference, and for more information on the Grant Scheme, please go to the Contract Finder Notice on GOV.UK. If you have any specific questions, you can email: EUSSgrants@homeoffice.gov.uk.
Commenting on this, Jane Ide, NAVCA CEO, said:
“It is encouraging that the Government has recognised and actively drawn on the local voluntary sector’s expertise in working with the most marginalised and disadvantaged members of our communities in planning for this crucially important programme of work.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Home Office to ensure that the local voluntary sector is given all the tools and resources it needs to effectively enable every EU citizen in this country, no matter how vulnerable, to access the support they need at this time of enormous change.”