The Wales Strategic Migration Partnership’s co-ordination work in response to the housing of asylum seekers at MOD barracks in Penally, Pembrokeshire has been recognised at the Dyfed Powys Police Awards 2021.
The Partnership, which is hosted by the WLGA, led the multi-agency response to coordinate support for asylum seekers placed at the site used by the Home Office as contingency accommodation between September 2020 and May 2021.
Much of the work was centred on ensuring that the people housed at the site had -access to all services that were needed - including health, voluntary sector support and legal advice - and ensuring that the local council and all partners were able to respond to the issues that accompanied the opening of the site. Setting up the site and making sure asylum seekers were properly supported, as well as ensuring adherence to Covid 19 regulations and the maintenance of community cohesion was a real challenge and a key priority for the work of the Partnership, and the critical role they played has been recognised by Dyfed Powys Police with the award presented by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn.
Councillor Susan Elsmore (Cardiff), Chair of the Wales Strategic Migration Partnership said.
“This was an exceptionally difficult undertaking, and I am delighted that the efforts of the team have been recognised in this way.
“Ever since the Home Office announced its intention to use the site to house asylum seekers at the Penally site, a raft of challenges needed to be overcome in short order to be able to welcome people who had experienced unimaginable trauma. The Wales Strategic Migration Partnership’s efforts in co-ordinating these arrangements were integral, and far from being a small feat.
“I’m pleased that the team, on behalf of all partners involved, have also shared suggestions for improvement, which we understand will be embedded into the Home Office’s future operations around contingency sites.
“This award bears testament to the power of local knowledge, empathy and perseverance, and I wish to thank all the partners who committed to work together to meet the challenge.”