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European migrants: What makes Wales my Home

September 23rd 2020

Ensuring people from all communities get on well together is critical.

Many people from European countries have migrated to Wales, have settled, put down roots and developed a sense of Welsh identity. Girl jumping on Swansea beach However, much public debate has been hostile to migrants, and as the UK leaves the EU it is sometimes assumed that EU migrants will ‘go home’. But for many EU migrants, Wales is their home and they intend to stay.

The Bevan Foundation wanted to do something to increase understanding between migrant and local communities by finding out what values we share and the issues and concerns about the place they now call ‘home’. We felt that sharing experiences would improve relationships between EU migrants and local residents, help to increase understanding about the lives of EU migrants living in Wales, and dispel any negative stereotypes.

For this piece of work we engaged with seventeen people who live in Swansea, 12 of those have settled from EU countries and five who are from the UK and Ireland, over lockdown and collected their stories of living in Wales. We have shared their stories via a booklet and you can also view a selection of video clips of the interviews.

This work has highlighted that whatever someone’s background, or wherever they were born many people:

  • Enjoy the same things and share the same values
  • Become invested in where they live
  • Care about the people who live there and the friends they have made
  • Call Wales ‘home’.

The power of story-telling

Story-telling and sharing experiences of migration could have a positive impact on breaking down the barriers and some of the negative stereotypes which exist, and we urge organisations to get involved in collecting and sharing people’s stories of settling in Wales.  Stories can be collected at a national and/or local level and can be shared widely in community settings and in more targeted places including schools and workplaces.

We are extremely grateful to the funding received from the National Lottery Community Fund which enabled us to undertake this work, and would like to thank the 17 people who took part in this work and shared their stories and photos of their life in Wales.

Report Format: PDF

Language: English

Page: 24

Cost: Free


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