The UKNFS has through its Big Lottery Awards For All funded UK Nepali community advice project (final report coming out at the end of October to enable important unforeseen very positive outcomes of the project, to be included) has been delighted to initiate making a strong case for a Nepali entry on the 2021 Census, and to effect a [Wessex] regional and national level relationship with the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) for our UK Nepali community.
Further to our recent news articles on the Census and DWP / Universal Credit https://uknfs.org/aldershot-witnesses-historic-meeting-of-uk-nepali-community-organisation-leads-with-senior-officer-of-the-uk-census/ and https://uknfs.org/uknfs-facilitated-uk-nepali-community-advice-project-senior-dwp-officers-meeting-in-aldershot/ — we are pleased to provide the following brief updates.
As a result of the UKNFS facilitated UK Nepali community advice access support project, a number of major developments occurred; perhaps the most important regarded the Census, and a meeting with the Census Head of Stakeholder Engagement and his team was in the summer held through the facilitation of NRNA Chief Patron, Major Damar Ghale with UKNFS in support. The outcomes from follow up from this meeting have been exceptional, with UK Nepali community demand for further Census – UK Nepali community engagement events (including in November at Basingstoke through enablement of NRNA Vice President Poona ji), but most of all the concerted intent for our UK Nepali community to seek a dedicated Nepali entry on the Census 2021, with extensive, overwhelming UK Nepali community organisations & groups, and NRNA as well as Nepal Raj Dutaabaas support. We will provide further updates on this soon …
In follow-up from the meeting of Major Damar Ghale and the UKNFS with DWP leads at the Job Centre Plus in Aldershot, a major community engagement on 12th October with the DWP was enabled by Jib Belbase ji with venue for the engagement being kindly secured by Purna ji. The meeting witnessed almost 125+ community members, a number of community organisation leads and interpreters, and an almost 10-person DWP team, led by Ms Karen Taylor, District Operations Manager Wiltshire, Swindon and North Hampshire.
Universal Credit is a highly controversial UK government agency (Department of Work & Pensions [DWP] ‘Job Centre Plus’) facilitated programme, initiated by the UK government: it has however many potential strengths at conceptual level, but also many well represented at national level defects, that include at applied level with our UK Nepali and Nepali-Gurkha community, however on these the meeting of 12th October evidences that in the Rushmoor/North Hants and broader Wessex area, the DWP is committed to dialogue & direct engagement with our Nepali community to ensure Universal Credit Full Service is implemented not as inflexible diktat.
The UKNFS is pleased to be playing a strong, leading part with and for our UK Nepali community, including our Nepali Gurkha community on representing to the DWP our UK Nepali fears and concerns on Universal Credit Full Service roll-out if this is made without DWP listening (and in our Wessex area we have seen and are assured this IS the case) to Universal Credit Full Service practical level concerns about some aspects of how this controversial but well intentioned initiative impacts on our UK Nepali community members, including on Gurkha veterans and their families. More news to follow soon …