The Awards are run by the MigrationWork Trust for community benefit and are the only UK-wide awards scheme to recognise and reward community integration efforts. The Trust aims to promote integration and social inclusion for the public benefit. It aims to do this by preventing migrants from becoming socially excluded and assisting their integration into the communities into which they settle. The Trust is the beneficiary of MigrationWork CIC, an independent, not-for-profit consultancy. In 2014 the Trust began to develop the idea of an awards scheme to recognise work that:
> Advances local/ neighbourhood integration efforts in a way that offers learning to other areas in the UK.
> Involves migrant communities linking up with ‘host’ communities or statutory services to carry out activities in their common interest and for public benefit.
> Improves public understanding of migration by facilitating greater contact between these communities.
The Trust successfully launched the awards in 2016 and held another awards in 2017. We were thrilled at the quality of applications, the winning and commended projects, and the ceremonies themselves, which shone a spotlight on work that was making a difference in communities up and down the country. All our winners have since gone on to do even more amazing work.
2021 Awards: Shining a Light on Community Responses to Covid-19
The 2021 Community Integration Awards focused on the incredible ways in which diverse communities are coming together to support each other during the Covid-19 pandemic. Even before COVID 19, communities up and down the country were grappling with huge challenges to integration: deep cuts to our public services, more precarious forms of work, growing inequalities, and the rapid pace of social and technological change. The pandemic has exposed and entrenched many of these issues. The 2021 Awards shone a light on the inspirational work happening on the community level to address these challenges and bring people together.
Integrated communities are those in which everyone – whatever their background – thrive by being able to access and participate in all the spheres of community life, from finding a home or job, to cultural life, healthcare or civic activism. All have a stake in that locality, and it belongs to them all. We recognise integration as a series of processes. However, we also understand the way in which inequality and discrimination can impact upon that sense of identity and belonging and so tackling these should be a fundamental part of any integration effort.
Georgia Luling Feilding
Sandra Penaloza Rice