Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles has met with members of the Roma community to learn more about an innovative social integration project.
Mr Charles was introduced to the people behind Derby’s Roma Community Care project – an advocacy service that provides members of the Roma community with access to regular advice on issues of housing, benefits and education. Sessions are held twice weekly to provide those attending with advice on a range of practical issues including landlord and welfare rights and general cultural misunderstandings in the benefits or housing system. The aim of the project is to strengthen relationships between members of the Roma community and those behind key services such as the fire service, police, health and education.
Commissioner Charles is committed to strengthening community cohesion and promoting equality across all Derbyshire’s diverse neighbourhoods. During the meeting, members of the Roma community shared their stories about how they came to live in the UK and the discrimination they had faced as well as their employment difficulties.
Mr Charles said: “With the help of projects such as Roma Community Care, members of the Roma community have much more confidence to contact local police when they need them which is a very positive step and something I’m keen to increase across all our communities.
“A key focus of this work is encouraging integration and building confidence and understanding so that members of the local community can utilise public services in a more effective way.”
The Roma Community Care project, led by Michal Daduc, provides a weekly youth session for young people at Peartree Baptist Church so members of the Roma community can come together to take part in activities such as sport, music and games in a safe and relaxed environment.
Mr Daduc said: “It was a historical day to meet Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles. The Roma leadership group talked about their experiences in their country of origin and the UK and also about their work within the community.”
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Posted on Friday 28th March 2014