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Successful Yorkshire employment project for new migrants is extended

Successful Yorkshire employment project for new migrants is extended

News item 27 August 2019:

Press release 

A successful Yorkshire project supporting new migrants into employment and training has received another two years of funding from the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund.

Connecting Opportunities works with new migrants living in West Yorkshire and parts of North Yorkshire to develop skills, find employment and become part of the local community. So far over 850 people from over 75 countries have received support, with 48% of those who have exited the project now in work and 46% moving into education or training.

The free service provides a unique combination of one to one support, help to find a job, employment skills training, English classes, wellbeing and mental health support, alongside other services such as befriending.

Members of the CO football team laughing while practising

There is even a popular Connecting Opportunities football team, who came second in a recent tournament during Refugee Week. Moussa from Bradford is on the team: “It was a great opportunity for refugees or migrants to improve their football skills and also to get experience from different people. We made many friends from different cities. Connecting Opportunities helps refugees or migrants to make difference in their life, also to make progress into employment.”

CO football team

Connecting Opportunities is changing lives across the region. Amreen from Halifax now has her first UK job working for a supermarket chain: “I feel independent and proud of myself. And that happiness when you get your first wage! …I want to encourage everybody who is scared, like I used to be, and doesn’t want to go out, to take this opportunity and achieve their goals. I’m here today because of help I got on Connecting Opportunities. Before I joined CO, there were lots of things I didn’t know about myself, I didn’t know what skills I had.”

“Connecting Opportunities is changing lives and supporting people on inspirational journeys towards their goals. Our participants and partner organisations across the Leeds City Region, should be proud of what they have achieved so far,” said Vanessa Lendzionowski, Connecting Opportunities Project Manager.

Connecting Opportunities welcomes enquiries from people aged over 15 with the right to work, who have been in the UK for under 10 years.

Connecting Opportunities is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund.



For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact:

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Vanessa Lendzionowski, Project Manager:


Phone 0113 3785 909

Notes to editors

1 About Connecting Opportunities

Connecting Opportunities works with new migrants to develop their skills and opportunities to find work and be part of the local community. Ten organisations that specialise in working with migrants are offering tailored support, cultural orientation, English language classes and other training across Leeds City Region. Horton Housing is a partner organisation on the project. Migration Yorkshire manages Connecting Opportunities.

We work with new migrants who are aged 15 or older, have permission to work in the UK, arrived in the UK in the last 10 years and do not have British citizenship, and live in or near: Bradford, Halifax, Harrogate, Huddersfield, Leeds, Selby, Skipton, Wakefield or York.

To find out more, visit:   

2 About the funding

The National Lottery Community Fund is the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.


Connecting Opportunities has received an additional £2.8 million of funding from the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations For more information visit



Connecting Opportunities, National Lottery Community Fund and European Social Fund logos 


Page last updated:30/05/2020 11:37:16

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