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Minister visits East End Somali centre helping migrants integrate

PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:39 05 October 2010

SOMALI community leaders met the Government’s Charities Minister Angela Smith at their new centre in London’s East End. They showed her round the centre in Bethnal Green and laid on a spread of traditional Somali fare fore her

By Linda Lewis

SOMALI community leaders met the Government’s Charities Minister Angela Smith at their new centre in London’s East End.

They showed her round the centre in Bethnal Green and laid on a spread of traditional Somali fare fore her.

She sat in on a talk yesterday about fire safety given with the aid of an interpreter.

It was the minister’s first official visit to a Somali community organisation. She said: “They clearly understand the pressure that members of their community are under.”

The Somali Integration team provide services to Somali women, many of whom had only recently arrived in Britain and speak limited English. It offers translations, mentoring, language classes, help with phone calls and job applications as well as activities for children and teenage girls.

The minister heard about one Somali woman who had contacted the team for help after being without heating and electricity all weekend.

She hadn’t been able to arrange a repair, speaking no English, until the advice centre opened on Monday.


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