New Eurocafés aim to ensure EU citizens feel welcome in UK

PUBLISHED: 09:23 12 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:03 14 February 2020

Pro-EU campaigner at a rally in London. Photograph: Simon Goldsworthy/Flickr.

Pro-EU campaigner at a rally in London. Photograph: Simon Goldsworthy/Flickr.

Simon Goldsworthy

A series of new Eurocafés have been launched around the UK with the intention of making sure everyone, regardless of their nationality, feels safe in their local area.

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One of the first was trialed on a weekly basis in Norwich ahead of the general election, with the intention of making sure that everyone felt welcome in the city.

It was launched by Sarah Patey, who had got the inspiration from local pro-EU group Norfolk for Europe.

She told the Norwich Evening News: "We have met so many lovely people who have made a home here and who suddenly feel unwelcome.

"[I have a friend] who has been absolutely agonised about not getting her settled status which she does now have. She had been feeling incredibly nervous about her status."

Highlighting Norwich's history of welcoming people, Patey said: "I think Norwich is generally is a very welcoming, friendly place, and communities are very important here."

But she added that the spaces were not intended to be political or even about Brexit itself.

MORE: Networking events planned for EU citizens living in post-Brexit Britain

She said: "This is not about Brexit, it's about our friends and neighbours who are feeling uncomfortable and at worse scared.

"We want to say you are our friends and neighbours and you are welcome."

Another has been launched by 'Warwick District 4 Europe' in Leamington on a monthly basis, where the group will offer advice and support for EU citizens applying for settled status, as well offering friendship alongside coffee and cake.

It follows a successful launch in Stratford-upon-Avon where more than 40 people attended.

Group chair Peter Corkill told the Leamington Observer: "Warwick District 4 Europe will continue to push for the closest possible relationship with our European friends and neighbours. The version of Brexit being put forward by the government is not one that was promised by the Leave campaign and will be damaging to our economy and local jobs."

There are also plans for further events in areas including Moseley in Birmingham, and the3million have launched a new series of networking events for EU citizens living in post-Brexit Britain.

- Are you organising a pro-EU event? Send details for our events listing guide in print and online to theneweuropean@archant.co.uk

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