The Social Policy Research Centre at Middlesex University is currently working with Hounslow Borough Council to map the characteristics, needs and current use of services of 6 communities identified by the council as ‘newest and emerging’. These include: Afghan, Burmese, Sri-Lankan, Algerian, Bulgarian and Romanian.
Hounslow is one of the six major boroughs in West London (others are Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hammersmith & Fulham, and Hillingdon). These boroughs have seen significant numbers of new arrivals in recent years and have seen a large increase of non-UK born residents. The project was conceived based on information from the 2011 Census, which shows the LBH has among the highest proportion of Afghan, Burmese and Sri Lankan ethnic communities in the UK. The Algerian community was identified by the Council as an emerging community based on feedback from
frontline service providers. The Council was also keen to explore the potential impact for new communities arriving from Bulgaria and Romania when the restrictions on entering the UK were lifted on the 1st January 2014.
Members of these six communities are considered to be isolated in the Borough and may not approach the Council or other organisations for support and advice services. The research project aimed to help the LBH better understand the current position of these communities in the Borough through the following objectives:
• Map the location, size and defining characteristics of the six ‘emerging communities:’ Afghan, Algerian, Burmese, Sri Lankan, Romanian and Bulgarian;
• Identify the needs of these communities and any gaps in service provision;
• Investigate whether (and how) these communities are engaging with the LBH or other service providers;
• Explore how best to engage effectively with the six communities, and identify best practice in this area both within the Borough and from national examples;
• Identify which voluntary and community organisations are working with and within each of the
As part of the research, the SPRC also produced a directory of relevant voluntary and community organisations working with the six groups, identifying examples of best practice, both in Hounslow and across London.
The project adopted a community engagement approach and was undertaken in partnership with the West London BMER Network and Acton Community Forum.
The final report can be read here.