Access – Supporting Migrants in East Anglia are based in King’s Lynn and help migrants settle into their local communities by providing multilingual information, advice and guidance, signposting services, practical support to overcome language barriers and partnership working to improve community cohesion.

A grant from the Anglian Water Positive Difference Fund enabled ACCESS to better respond to increasing demand for their services during Covid-19 by increasing the hours of two multilingual project workers during August – December 2020.

The charity has been in existence for more than 20 years and are a trusted and well-known resource amongst the migrant communities that they support.

ACCESS started to see an increase in demand as Covid-19 took hold with a rising number of enquiries from people who needed help and support to understand the furlough scheme, rules and regulations regarding lockdown, closure of schools and help with home schooling.  This work was in addition to the queries that ACCESS already deal with on a daily basis regarding housing, EUSS, universal credit, tax, employment and signposting to other services such as support regarding domestic abuse, addiction and homelessness.

During the grant reporting period the charity supported 983 clients this involved 2033 separate contacts – with the majority being telephone calls – totalling 1,731.

A representative of the group said “Our evidence shows that demand has increased approximately 100%. Clients need our help now more than ever. We have employed the services of a fundraising specialist to assist us moving forward in developing our work in the future and assisting with ACCESS and its sustainable future.