In 2014, the Gurkha Settlement Service (GSS), an exciting integration project funded by the DCLG (European Integration Fund) and managed by CRI, carried out its work in the Gurkha community in London. The project was the first of its kind as it sought to consult the Gurkha community about the support they needed in their daily lives and try and deliver services according to their needs. With the help of Nepalese speaking volunteers, the project was successful in forging strong links with the Gurkha community as well as working as a bridge between them and many local service providers
OUR CONTRIBUTION SECTOR
Advocacy, information, form filling and signposting to key local services, such as, Housing support, Job centre and other services. Support access to services and assist with any interpreting and translation needs.
Access community services, such as, GP.
Community based English language classes and support to access external ESOL.Opportunities to develop and gain new skills through volunteering.
Collaborate on projects with service providers, statutory bodies and any other organisations who want to engage and work with London’s Nepalese Community, including Gurkhas.
The project was successful in
Empowering the community members to speak out about their issues and become more independent
Raising awareness about entitlement to services, like interpreters for GP and hospital appointment. This not only helped with their language and communication difficulties but having a Nepalese interpreter made the experience of visiting the doctors a less daunting
Partnering with local colleges to organize bespoke English classes for local Gurkha
Running conversation clubs which aimed to give the Gurkha community confidence to
Delivering health and social care events to raise awareness of services available to
the Gurkha community
Running weekly surgeries where members of the Gurkha community could go for
Despite these successes there was more work still to be done but GSS project reached its intended end in March 2016. The volunteers of GSS project decided to
continue the work in the community and thus AFNO was established. The main aim of AFNO is to continue the legacy work of GSS, especially valuable services like weekly surgeries, conversation clubs, one-to- one casework and interpreting service, which the Gurkha communities regularly use. Furthermore, AFNO will extend its services to the wider Nepalese community living in London