On the 25th March 2022, we hosted our first Walsall Project Showcase to celebrate 5 years of RMC working in Walsall. It was a day of bringing together those that have supported RMC, and those that have been supported by RMC. Sharing stories, getting to know each other and having a meal together.
The event was a chance to bring together Walsall Council officers and leaders in the community with service users. Both groups had the chance to share and build real life connections.
Having run the event in Wolverhampton previously, we saw the impact of giving people a chance to connect, to speak, and better understand each other.
Eddie Hughes (Walsall North MP and Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing), Councillor Adrian Andrew (Deputy Leader of Walsall Council) and Fay Shanahan (Corporate Director of Operations for Walsall Housing Group) all spoke at the event, speaking about the importance of services like RMC in supporting the local community.
This country made up of many communities is a better place for it. Walsall provides a warm welcome through its resettlement programmes – the Syrians, Afghans and now it will be the Ukrainians and has government backing. We need specialists like RMC to support this integration work.Eddie Hughes, MP for Walsall North
It was an honour to have some of our clients attend and speak of their experiences and to see the impact of the support they have received.
Nicoleta spoke of her work with the EU Settlement Scheme and working with the Roma community, including her client Georgeta. See the full story here
Asia has been supported as a third country national to settle in the UK through RMC”s AMIF project:
“I am thankful to those who set up this institute. They help a lot of people every day without charge. I think it’s important to help those who are coming new.”
“RMC showed us we can continue our goals. It’s not easy to start again and settle in a new country but I found it easy because RMC supported me. As a result of their hard work, we are continuing with our goals. Masuma is an artist and has joined an art course and I am working and getting further qualifications in my career of Human Resources.”
Fay Shanahan spoke of the 21,000 social housing homes WHG provide and the importance of working holistically with partners such as RMC to provide full wrap around support.
“We want people to feel welcome, safe and at home across this borough. Walsall used to be called a place of a thousand trades, but is now a place of a thousand communities. We will do what we can to connect communities.”
“RMC helped me to adapt and understand life in the uk when I arrived in Walsall and I wanted to give back to the community who supported me and started by volunteering… I am now proud to be an employee of RMC working with Afghan refugees…. I know the challenging journey that people go through and hope to support and inspire others as they settle here.”
“RMC touches people’s lives. When you welcome a migrant and understand what they need, you can really change a life with some action. Many people started off as our clients, were supported on a journey of integration and are now serving others. There is the humanitarian aspect, but over time many will be an asset and become significant economic cogs in our community. They just need RMC to support them, and then you see what a difference it makes and what they become!”
Pam spoke of the history of RMC in Walsall. Starting five years ago with the resettlement of Syrians, to seeing nearly 3000 people in the last 12 months with a one stop holistic service in over 45 community languages.
Having led on the Syrian Resettlement project that started the work in Waslall initially, Sandra spoke about the level of integration support families are offered through the programmes and how RMC met the community needs by expanding services.
With a few staff and clients unable to attend, some videos were shown of their speeches.
Bhumika spoke of the wide range of support the Walsall community can get from RMC before being joined by one of her clients. A survivor of domestic violence, she shared the difficulty and uncertainty she faced before coming to RMC for support. See her story here.
Eddie also spoke about his experience of attending the showcase event:
“The buzz at RMC’s event was infectious. I was delighted to learn more and believe RMC’s energy and commitment will encourage people to access their services and get support.”