Edmonton Community Partnership (ECP) had the pleasure of meeting the Bulgarian Ambassador, (His Excellency) Marin Raykov, at the Civic Centre in Enfield alongside council leaders. The meeting was organised by the Mayor of Enfield, Cllr Sabri Ozaydin and the Leader of Enfield Council, Cllr Nesil Caliskan and the purpose was for the ECP and the council to present the community work that is being undertaken to support a growing Bulgarian and Roma population in the borough.
The programme supports the Bulgarian community in Enfield, with the EU Settlement Scheme as well as signposting families to NHS and council services, employment opportunities and free ESOL classes. Many in this community face language barriers, health and education inequalities and are largely digitally excluded. Throughout the pandemic the ECP supported families to apply for hardship funds, access food banks and get online.
It is thought that there are 20,000 residents from a Bulgarian background, making it a significant community across the network of schools in Edmonton.
Over the past two years this programme has received funding from the Home Office, North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group, Enfield Council, The National Lottery, and the London Community Response Fund.
Social integration is at the heart of the work, and the programme is going from strength to strength. Recently ECP employed two new Bulgarian-speaking staff who will be supporting pupils (and their families) in school across the network of 18 schools and will join the growing team of officers working on this programme both in schools and in community locations. ECP Project Co-ordinator, Hannah Bawden, said: “Our new initiative is a chance for local Bulgarian and Roma residents and their children, to confidently navigate and access local services to support their health, education and economic wellbeing.”