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Walsall welcomes delegates from Italy for an integration exchange visit

Delegates from Italy with the Mayor and Mayoress of Walsall, Cllr. Garry Perry and Walsall for All colleagues

Colleagues from the Walsall for All team welcomed delegates from Sicily, Italy for an exchange visit from the 20th to 21st January 2020.

The visit was arranged in return when a similar visit took place in March 2019 to Italy by representatives from Walsall for All.

The programme began on the 20th January with a welcome meeting with the Mayor and Mayoress of Walsall, followed by networking with local organisations, including WATMOS, Green Lane Baptist Church, Urban Hax and Nash Dom CIC.

The second day (21st January) saw a number of visits take place across Walsall to understand how local issues are being addressed relating to community integration and migration. These included Green Lane Baptist Church’s Mend-It project (one of the Places of Welcome in Walsall), Empowering Women’s Workshop at Walsall College – The Hub and School Linking between Grace Academy and Abu Bakr Boys School at Walsall Football Club.

There were also visits to the Refugee and Migrant Centre’s new Walsall office and St. Paul’s Church to learn about local projects being delivered in communities.

“It was amazing and really inspiring for a lot of reasons. I think that it’s really good to see what is happening in Walsall. Integration is our priority at a lot of levels. The context in Sicily is very different. We have migration that is similar, but there are a lot of projects and ideas we can take with us.”

Marzia, a delegate from Italy.

The visit opened up the opportunity for both Walsall and Sicily to understand and compare how different projects work, demographics of local areas, the population of migrants and the welfare system. Delegates also heard first-hand experiences from staff, volunteers and residents who have been part of the projects.

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