What is Café Connect?

Café Connect is a new programme from FaithAction to welcome British Nationals, and their dependants, arriving in the UK from Hong Kong.

The programme will help participants to settle in their local area by offering them the chance to

Practice conversational English

Learn about local facilities and services

Find out history and adjust to the culture

Meet local people and make friends

Café Connect will be delivered by FaithAction partners in three regions across England.

It will be an enjoyable and social space for everyone involved with opportunities for mutual sharing of skills and knowledge and opportunities to make friends for the host community and new arrivals.

Join Café Connect in London

Harrow: ACDA Harrow

Ealing: ACDA Ealing

Hounslow: Chinese Church in London

Join Café Connect in the East of England

Watford: Watford HongKongers

Peterborough: St Mark's Church

Chelmsford: Chelmsford Community Church

Norwich: Alive Church, Norwich

East of England: Online sessions

Join Café Connect in
Yorkshire and the Humber

Leeds: St Barnabas, Alwoodley

Harrogate: St Peter's

Sheffield: Hope Community Foundation

Yorkshire and the Humber: Online sessions

How does it work?

Café Connects are weekly activity sessions, lasting two hours, involving tea and coffee and a variety of activities.   

Hosted by a small team of trained volunteers, delivery will include ‘meet and greet’ style sessions with participatory storytelling, highlighting shared values, and encouraging participation and learning across cultures. Activities will include introductions to life in the UK; signposting and registrations for local services, schools and childcare, job agencies and employment schemes; opportunities for English-language learning; and, for people of faith, introductions/welcomes with local faith groups. 

Each café session will be supported by a session plan and materials, with a variety of activities that can take place on tables in the café session. Each hub will receive a kit with resources for core activities, including a Community Information Toolkit, language activities, crafts, and games.  As the volunteer team get established, they may choose to add in activities of their own celebrating the particular skills and interest of their team or beneficiaries.

Everyone is welcome. Café Connect aims to bring the whole community together, rather than being exclusively for Hong Kongers. We are, however, expecting to see a significant impact on new arrivals from Hong Kong in terms of well-being, connection, and practical aspects of transition into the UK.

Who's behind Café Connect?

Café Connect is a programme developed by Dr Anne Smith in partnership with new arrivals and established migrants as part of research into facilitating belonging. It is a sister programme to FaithAction’s Creative English, and will be utilising some of the methodology developed as part of the Creative English programme

How can I get involved?

Are you working with newly-arrived Hong Kongers in London, the East of England or Yorkshire? Are you interested in finding out more about the programme? Are you working in another area of the country and want to let us know what you’re doing?

If so, please contact the team!

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