Community-led system of support for Nepalese community

To help newcomers integrate and understand life in UK

15th February 2011: For ensuring Nepalese newcomers to the town are able to become socially and economically active, a community-led system of support has been initiated in Reading.

The rising Nepalese community in Reading will get £45,000 of funding from the town’s borough council.

Under the scheme £25,000 will be passed to the Reading and District Citizens Advice Bureau to offer a series of information sessions in East Reading for Nepalese migrants.

The same amount will help fund a community advisors training programme, open to young members of the Nepalese community.

The vice-chair of the GRNCA Krishna Neupane said the number of Nepalese citizens living in the Reading area had reached close to 5,000 recently.

He added that this number was made up of varied cultural groups, including former Gurkhas and their dependants, highly skilled migrants and students.

Thousands of ex-Gurkhas and their relatives had preferred to inhabit in the UK having effectively obtained British settlement rights in 2009. Reading and Hampshire are focal points for Nepalese migration.

The funding will see three linked projects establish a community-led system of support to allow the Nepalese community to help itself.

It is proposed to make sure newcomers to the town are able to integrate and able to understand life in the UK.

A community training programme will be set up aimed at encouraging Nepalese women, who would in turn become community trainers.

Reading Voluntary Action will receive £16,100 to create the new post of development worker for the Nepalese community.

The worker will ensure community members are accessing services and help already available to them.

An additional £3,900 will go directly to the Greater Reading Nepalese Community Association (GRNCA) to rent office space which will allow them to establish a local base in East Reading.

The council expects the money will offer the essential kick-start to help the Nepalese community train up volunteers.

 The spokesman for the ex-Gurkhas in Reading, Gyanraj Rai asserted that the retired Gurkhas were very happy that Reading Borough Council was funding to assist settling in Reading.

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