The projects we are currently involved in:
This project will provide confidential one-to-one advice and guidance to the non-UK born community living in Sunderland and surrounding areas affected by domestic abuse, anti-social behaviour and hate crime, including Eastern Europeans and refugees and the emerging Ukrainian community. We will support and encourage for victims and survivors to (a) come forward/report problems and incidents (e.g. to the authorities including police, local council/ housing associations) (b) have their rights recognised (e.g. by opening an account separate from that of the abusive partner, support with benefits etc.). (c) making sure families are feeling safe from abuse or crime (e.g. helping them with moving into safe accommodation such as a refuge, safety planning).
We will directly support at least 20 adults and 10 children, with more focus on women but also with the capacity to work with men.
We will provide support with access to key services, such as housing, benefits, translation/interpreting of official correspondence, as well as addressing barriers which victims face, such as reporting more serious incidents to the police, housing providers and the local authority.
This project is funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for the Northumbria area and ends in April 2024.
47kFAuZvyA), which focuses on maintaining green spaces in East Sunderland through volunteering.
- Accredited training in the use of equipment: e.g. Brushcutter/strimmer
- ROLO (Register of Land-Based Operations) Health and Safety training CSCS Qualification.
- General horticulture
- Invasive species: e.g. Japanese Knotweed
- The life of Trees
- Ecological succession/land management
- Risk Assessments and environmental legislation
and 20 report improved wellbeing.
This project will help the local community with connecting to the local, natural, and cultural heritage through education about our local beaches, local environmental issues. Women will gain awareness and education which will inspire them to create pieces of environmental art work. The art sessions will be delivered by visual artist identified for this project. The artist will educate the groups on how to use different art techniques whilst addressing ethics and conservationist activism. The project will include at least 25 women, as well as their children and stems from ICOS’s engagement with Eastern European women in areas including environment and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). At least 6 workshops will be run and the activities will be partially determined by the women.
Out of 25 beneficiaries:
- At least 65% will develop creative skills
- At least 65% will indicate an improved awareness of the environmental issues
- At least 60% will report improved wellbeing
- At least 50% will report improved confidence
- At least 3 volunteers will also be recruited
The project has been funded by Seascapes (https://exploreseascapes.co.uk/)
The project is scheduled to run from April 2023 till April 2024.
In cooperation with the local community, ward councillors, Sunderland City Council, schools and others, we are currently working to make St Michal’s ward in Sunderland a better, greener and more community– focused place to live. This is done through regular clean – ups, maintenance activities and awareness- raising workshops; including those focusing on families with children.
We focus on Backhouse Park, but activities elsewhere in the ward are also delivered from time to time.
The project offers numerous volunteering opportunities and most activities take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with some also happening on weekends.
If you are interested in volunteering at our litter picks or helping with installing bird houses etc., please contact Daniel Krzyszczak: https://icos.org.
Training opportunities in environmental management are also available!
The project tile (70/100) is inspired by 70 years of Her Majesty the Queen’s reign and 100 years’ anniversary of the founding of Backhouse Park.
It focuses on two strands:
-Community renewal and community development
-Shared natural world and the environment
The project will deliver place-based community work, focused on Backhouse Park, St Michael’s ward and build on the experiences we gained during the COVID19 pandemic, when our environmental work proved to be very valuable in reducing social isolation amongst both- migrants and the local people.
The project will:
-Enable local people, including refugees and migrants to acquire new skills and training-accredited and unaccredited environmental training, including on invasive species, land management, use of equipment (e.g. strimmers), risk assessment and health and safety. At least 70 clients will be trained.
-Improve the local area and inspire more people to use Backhouse Park and the adjacent Barley Mow Park. Working with the local people, we will deliver creative activities, focusing on families- including local environmental surveys (e.g. on birds, butterflies, bugs), identifying different species, making bird houses and feeders from recycled materials and upcycling- e.g. making items such as bat houses, designed by the local children.
The project will last from June 2022 till the end of May 2024.
For more information, please contact Daniel Krzyszczak at firstname.lastname@example.org
Through EESP(3) will offer individual, flexible support to EE communities in Sunderland/surrounding area. This will enable more people to fulfil their potential by working to address problems at the earliest possible stage. It will be done through regular one-to-one support with a range of issues, including help with contacting/responding to public bodies/organisations (e.g. the local council, GP practices, schools), support with correspondence as well as attending services in person. Access to information and signposting to appropriate services- (such as English/ESOL classes, health/well-being services or legal advice) will also be core to the offer. The project will be delivered by our current staff and 10 volunteers will be recruited. The project will provide better access to advice and guidance/early intervention and we will target at least 120 beneficiaries. Of these, we expect that 70% will report that their problems have been solved/prevented, 35% will report better health/wellbeing and 35% will report a better financial situation.
ICOS is grateful to the National Lottery Community Fund for their funding.
For the last 6 months, we have been dealing with an unprecedented situation- the COVID-19 crisis. Migrants, including refugees and Eastern Europeans, are often the first to be made redundant and the last to be employed and many do not know how to access benefits and services, while many support and advice agencies are closed. We are currently supporting many clients in person and remotely (over the phone and Zoom) to help them during this difficult time. This includes:
-Digital inclusion- access to free (new and refurbished) tablets, mobile phone top-ups
-English language support- we have created an English language class for those self-isolating or unable to access other/mainstream provision due to the virus
-Wellbeing activities, including coffee mornings/afternoons
-Emergency support- including access to food parcels and food vouchers, as well as energy top-ups
-Advocacy and advice- support with accessing housing, benefits and other services
-Employability- help with finding work for those who lost employment due to the crisis
Clients include victims of modern slavery, domestic violence and hate crimes. As of 29/10/2020, we have directly supported 80 clients who need support due to the virus (an estimated 250 family members have also benefited from our support, but more than 80 have been registered).
We are grateful for the generosity of our funders, including Lloyds Foundation, the National Lottery Community Fund, the Tyne and Wear & Northumberland Community Foundation and the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria and Tesco (Bags of Help) for supporting different elements of this vital work.
The 2nd round of the project started extremely well for ICOS. So far, we have engaged with 49 out of the target of 50 clients and 19 have already left our project (10 with a job outcome). The project provides employability support to individuals far from the labour market, including vulnerable individuals. Our support includes one to one support with job searching, applying for jobs, interview preparations etc. and it also provides holistic support to remove barriers facing those wanting to enter education, training or find a job (e.g. access to welfare benefits).
Specialist support with self-employment or even counselling can be provided by specialist partners.
ICOS’s role within the project is to work with BME people in Sunderland (however, we can accept anyone who lives in the Tyne and Wear area).
The project is jointly funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund (ESF).
ICOS is the only BME organisation in Sunderland working on Wise Steps and one of only two in the whole of Tyne and Wear.
This project is currently funded by Willan 1989 Charitable Trust at Community Foundation Tyne and Wear & Northumberland.
We continue to represent new communities in Sunderland and beyond and make sure we are heard and visible.
We are an active member of the Sunderland Black and Minority Ethnic Network (SBMEN, http://www.sbmen.org/), which helps us to work together and be heard. Michal Chantkowski represents SBMEN at the board of Sunderland’s Community-Led Local Development.(https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/clld ) as deputy chairperson.
We are also involved in the regional skills board, the North East Migration Partnership, Sunderland’s local area committees and Northumbria Police’s Independent Advisory Group.
- People’s Powerhouse- strategic engagement:
-On 09/11/2019, we organised a successful event to engage Eastern European current and potential entrepreneurs with the Northern Powerhouse agenda and talk about the priorities they believed the government should be pursuing with regard to supporting small businesses in the region. We engaged with about 20 people.
-on 19/11/2019, our staff (Michal, Julia and Alessia) delivered a workshop at the annual People’s Powerhouse convention. This session focused on the issues that migrants in the region face when it comes to progression into work and training, as well as in-work exploitation and abuse. https://icos.org.uk/2020/01/07/peoples-powerhouse-convention/?fbclid=IwAR3vg3fYfzTP7BYWh9BS7BpP39rr_fxlNJzdr0lYWXeLj968eRV4U1Y0nCs
- The Back in Control project
This project opens up new opportunities for influencing policy.
- Eastern European Women Survey (2021)
Between May 2021 and December 2021, ICOS worked with the University of Sunderland to research issues affecting Eastern European women in Tyne and Wear. This research uncovered wide spread discrimination, racism and misogyny directed at Eastern European women in areas including employment and public services:
Part 1 (Survey) https://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/13971/
Part 2 (Qualitative findings: Focus groups and interviews) https://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/14580/
The project was funded by the Growth and Resilience Fund at Community Foundation Tyne and Wear Northumberland.