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This project was originally funded for two years by the Big Lottery Fund and is building on the work we previously did on the ‘Welcome to Swansea’ project within the Wales Cities of Sanctuary funded project, in partnership with Displaced People in Action (DPIA), which ended at the end of June 2018. It is continuing with support from Swansea Council of Voluntary Service (SCVS).

The ‘Better Welcome to Swansea’ project is a mentoring scheme running in partnership between SCVS and Swansea City of Sanctuary, and is based within the Involve project. Volunteer Mentors are recruited and trained to support people seeking sanctuary (primarily newly-arrived asylum seekers), to feel welcome. The aim of the scheme is to promote integration between asylum seekers and refugees and people in local Swansea communities.

The project provides support both in groups and individually to increase sanctuary seekers’ knowledge of the Swansea area and its attractions, whilst encouraging active participation in day to day activities. The scheme’s aim is to build confidence and reduce isolation among its participants, by empowering them to do things for themselves rather than becoming dependent on a service. It is a short-term intervention, typically comprising of 2-8 sessions, depending on assessed needs, which enables participants to ‘find their feet’ in their new community.