Mentoring disadvantaged migrants

Supporting Eastern European migrants since 1984 (1)

East European Resource Centre has been helping Eastern European (EE) migrants in London since 1984 and is the only specialist charity helping these migrants in areas of information, advice and advocacy provided to strict quality standards.

Our mission is giving voice and resources to EE migrants who experience poverty, exploitation and social exclusion in order to help them make choices about their lives and realize their potential as equal members of communities.

We support and advise people on their journey to integration in the UK, we want to develop people’s skills, confidence, experience and capacity to lead fulfilled lives as contributing members of local communities.

1We are currently delivering a job seeking support programme for disadvantaged Eastern European migrants. We offer free, tailored support and specialist advice to Eastern Europeans, preparing them to work and live a fulfilled life the UK and helping them into suitable employment. The key target group are Eastern European migrants who are:

+ Unable to access better employment opportunities on grounds of poor language skills, poor IT skills

+ Are unemployed or stuck in low paid, exploitative jobs

+ Have been out of employment for a long time (e.g. stay-at-home mothers)

+ Are new arrivals and need support to apply for NIN, bank account, jobs, self-employment

+ Impoverished and at risk of homelessness or being evicted

+ Unfairly treated, discriminated against or exploited by unscrupulous landlords as well as employers

+ Unable to access support services because of limited/ no English, lack of knowledge of the system and lack of confidence to approach statutory and/or voluntary services

We offer free practical information and support through tailored one to one advice sessions:

+ advice on vocational training and adult skills education

+ advice and guidance for job seekers

+ advice and casework on welfare and housing

+ advice and support on rights at work and EU rights 

We often find that disadvantaged and vulnerable Eastern Europeans who come through our doors have complex needs and cases. At Eastern European Resource Centre, we offer culturally sensitive support in their own language to people who otherwise find it difficult to access other service providers.

The project is delivered by our Senior Welfare and Housing Adviser, alongside our Information and Outreach coordinator and our trained Romanian, Polish and Lithuanian volunteer peer mentors. The project is supported by our rights at work adviser and our immigration specialist.

Our volunteers act as mentors and accompany and support people in their job search. As migrants themselves, they add value to the project by transmitting their knowledge and experience of life to their peers. Our volunteers are trained and supported and supervised by our core team.

Our Senior Welfare and Housing Adviser and the rest of our team of advisers are providing specialised one to one support in:

+ housing benefits (private and social housing)

+ welfare benefits and tax credits

+ permanent residence and naturalization (citizenship)

+ rights at work

+ debt advice


We are trying to achieve the following changes for beneficiaries as a result of this project:

+ Eastern Europeans are better skilled, resilient and integrated in wider community and achieving improved income, health and skills

+ Disadvantaged Eastern European migrants have access to advice and peer support to engage with authorities and job markets to maximise income, maintain homes and become better integrated and self-reliant

+ East European migrant communities are more resilient and integrated and work together to access advice and support when needed.

We are eager to partner with organisations working with socially and economically disadvantaged people to help destitute Eastern European migrants improve their lives and social conditions.

If you’d like to know more about our programme or refer one of your clients, please contact our Information and Outreach Coordinator:

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