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Civic Welcome for Hong Kong community at Nottingham Council House

EMC Civic Welcome

Hongkongers from across the East Midlands have been welcomed to the region at an event held at Nottingham Council House.

East Midlands Councils, a consultative forum for local authorities across the region held the event last week [Thursday 11 August], providing guests with refreshments and entertainment by musicians from Hong Kong.

The event was attended by members of the Hong Kong community from across the East Midlands as well as local MPs and councillors.

Guest speakers included Cllr Tracey Taylor, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services at Nottinghamshire County Council, The Sheriff of Nottingham, Cllr Nicola Heaton, and Cllr David Mellen, The Leader of Nottingham City Council

Since the BNO visa was introduced in January 2021, there has been a number of Hong Kong migrants choosing to make the East Midlands their home, a majority of which have lay down roots in Nottinghamshire.

The Leader of Nottingham City Council, Cllr David Mellen, said: “I would like to thank East Midlands Councils for arranging this event to welcome the new Hong Kong community to Nottinghamshire.

“We have a proud tradition of welcoming new communities to our city and hope that our newest residents are settling well in the East Midlands and accessing the wealth of opportunities on offer here.

“We truly value the importance of voluntary and community groups in providing support to our residents and want to thank those who have already come forward to help Hongkongers settle and integrate into our society, especially Transform Training, St Nics Church, Belong and Begin and LINK, who are delivering specific programmes of support.”

Attendee, Green Luk, a father of two who came to the UK last June, said: “I’m one of the Hongkongers benefiting from the BNO visa scheme venturing a new life in the UK.

“The whole journey is not easy, full of ups, downs and obstacles. No matter how difficult it is, now we are here, crying together, laughing together, for the future of our children.

“Several months ago, I started to think about how I can contribute to society. I did blood donation, joined a marathon, and did some volunteer work. I think we can do a lot of different things to immerse ourselves in the communities.”

HKBNO Civic Welcome

Stuart Young, Executive Director of East Midlands Councils, said: “The East Midlands is home to a number of thriving cities and towns, full of immersive culture, historical architecture, fantastic schools and active communities – it’s no wonder that so many Hongkongers are finding their home here.

“A year and a half has passed since the first HKBNO visas were issued, and over that time, East Midlands Councils and our Strategic Migration Partnership have been working hard to assist with any barriers that may be faced when finding suitable housing, work and schools.

“From launching our East Midlands Welcome Hub, to hosting events and opportunities with our partners across the East Midlands, we’ve assisted hundreds of Hongkongers in making this fantastic region their home and look forward to continuing to do so over the coming years.”

A range of information can be found on the East Midlands’ Hong Kong British National (Overseas) Welcome Hub, including information on housing, immigration, education, employment and more.