In February 2010 The Polish British Integration Centre (PBIC Ltd) were awarded Big Lottery Funding from the Reaching Communities Fund to deliver the Polish British Integration Project.
Activities under the project will be delivered across Bedfordshire and include the delivery of a specialised ESOL program entitled ‘ESOL for Integration’ and aimed at supporting both Polish and Eastern European migrants in overcoming language barriers through advice and advocacy sessions. The project also involves engaging volunteers, organizing social events and supporting those individuals interested in a career in childcare.
Integration is perceived as an important process that needs to be worked on and supported.
During the projects 5 year duration we aim to enhance integration of the newly arrived Polish migrant workers and their families into the local community and develop strong community cohesion. In its lifetime the £100,000 a year funding from the Big Lottery will go towards venues, the employment of project tutors, coordination, administrators and also cover project support costs.
On Sunday 14th November 2010, during an event that also embraced Remembrance Day and Polish Independence Day, the project was officially opened at its new venue in Bradgate Road by Bedford mayor Dave Hodgson. The mayor expressed his belief that the work being done at the Centre will greatly aid integration. Also present were project staff and volunteers, as well as other prominent members of the community, including a 94 year old WW II veteran who represented the Polish combatants. Those present were entertained by a performance from the Promethidion children’s singing and dancing group.
The project was officially confirmed open to beneficiaries, individuals and all groups / organisations wishing to reach the Polish and Eastern European migrant communities.