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Γειά σας! Hello Greece!

Γειά σας! Hello Greece!

News item 16 February 2018:

Exchanging ideas on the integration of new communities with local authority staff in Athens

“Engaging and inspiring training”     

“[It] put into context the need to involve migrants/refugees more into the community.”

“Lots of ideas to work with in my reality”

These are just some of the comments from participants at the training we put on for local authority staff in Athens earlier this month.

Bill Dennis and Dinah Beckett enjoyed meeting social workers, psychologists, interpreters and others who work for the City of Athens Refugee Service, and they’ve come back to Leeds inspired by the mutual exchange of ideas, experiences and learning.

What we learned

Dinah put it this way: “The course participants were very knowledgeable about their own context, and keen to find out more about what happens outside Greece. Many were surprised by the level of religious tolerance with which we are familiar in the UK, while we were shocked to learn there is no mosque in Athens!”

The team in Greece face challenges which are unfamiliar to UK practitioners, for example many refugees and migrants view Greece as a transit point, not a final destination - creating a less engaged response to services.

Dinah and Bill were really interested to learn about some of the positive economic impacts of migration in Athens – one short-term benefit is that apartments which had previously been sitting empty are now generating rent for landlords by being let to UNHCR to house refugees. A number of jobs have also been created, with local people getting work as teachers, housing managers, electricians and carpenters, to name but a few.

More about the training sessions

Our Understanding migration and integration training sessions covered lots of issues, including:

  • refugee experiences and journeys
  • Yorkshire’s integration services [past and present]
  • how to support community cohesion in changing community settings

In their feedback on the course, 90% of the participants said the presentations were excellent, with the remaining 10% saying they were good. Other comments from participants included: 

“ [A] very balanced presentation with great examples” 

“The speakers kept our interest high the whole time” 

“A wonderful experience”

Our thanks to the Council of Europe for giving us the opportunity to learn from and share our knowledge and experience with the Athens team. Click here to read their article about the training 

More information

To find out about Migration Yorkshire's training services, contact:

Bill Dennis, Integration and Partnerships Manager
Phone  0113 378 9016



Page last updated:23/02/2018 10:07:00

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