We recruited and trained 18 volunteer Community Ambassadors to help people from various countries, including Belgium, Germany, Romania, Spain and Portugal, but also from the outside Europe, such as Australia, Brazil and Thailand apply for settled status.
Approximately 30% of these clients were considered vulnerable due to them being of old age, potential asylum seekers, victims of domestic violence, suffering from depression and anxiety, needing employment support, having low level English or other complex needs. These more complex clients, whose needs were beyond just applying to the EUSS, were assessed holistically and referred for appropriate support from other organisations.
One community ambassador said: “Given that I have many friends from all around the Europe, I applied to volunteer as a Community Ambassador. I found the thought of any of them, or others in a similar position, losing their rights in the UK as a result of Brexit very upsetting. Although the application process was very straightforward for myself, I realised that for many others the application process proved to be quite complex: they might live in challenging circumstances or have barriers that prevent them from applying or getting the support they need to navigate the application process.
Therefore, I felt it was important to raise awareness of the scheme and the available support for those who may need it; to reach as many European nationals as possible and to help them understand their rights, as well as support them by listening and providing information.
It has been rewarding to be one of the Community Ambassadors. Not only because of the feeling of achieving something purposeful by supporting others, but also being part of such a diverse group of volunteers was incredibly fascinating. Through the role I had an opportunity to gain experience of frontline community support work and receive training around safeguarding, confidentiality and advocacy."
The official deadline has passed, but you can still get support and advice from Settled via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call them on 0330 2235336. There are options for different languages.