NEWS

We are hiring!

Post: Manager

Hours: 25 per week

Salary: £28,800 (pro rata)

Contract: 6 months, with possible extension pending funding

Click here for the job description

Fife Migrants Forum (FMF) is a registered Scottish charity serving as an information discovery point, primarily, but not exclusively, to members from migrant and ethnic minority communities in Fife.

FMF provides the following services: a multi-lingual advice and information service, advocacy and casework support, employability support, financial inclusion, personal development opportunities and community development. FMF also works in collaboration with mainstream service providers and other third sector organisations’ to provide tailored support to our client groups.

If you are interested in either of these positions, please send your CV and covering letter to secretary@fifemigrantsforum.org.uk .The closing date for submission is 13th of June 2021.

Closing date: Sunday 13 June 2021

Interview date: w/c 21 June 2021

New research by FLEX & Fife Migrants

provides unique independent evidence of worker experiences on the UK Seasonal Workers Pilot, highlighting the risk of Human Trafficking for Labour Exploitation for workers coming to work on the Seasonal Worker Visa

New report highlights risks of human trafficking on UK Seasonal Workers Pilot | Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX)

Over the last year we’ve been working with FLEX, reaching out to workers on Scottish farms to assess the risks of Human Trafficking for Labour Exploitation on the UK Seasonal Workers Pilot. Ahead of the publication of our findings this week, researcher & former seasonal worker Iryna Petkevica shares her reflections on the experiences of temporary workers on the scheme.

Then and now: Issues in Scottish agriculture through the lens of a former seasonal worker | Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX)

Covid-19 Temporary lockdown changes:

From Tuesday 5th until at least the end of January, Fife is moving from level 4 to temporary lockdown

We wish you a very happy Christmas and New Year. We hope your holiday season is full of peace, joy, and happiness. May the spirit of love and joy accompany you wherever you go

On Saturday the 19th of December, the first minister has announced some changes for travelling and seeing people during the festive period:

The health and safety of our team and clients is our priority so we’re taking a staged approach to reopening our office. Therefore we have began by reopening our office in New Volunteer House, 16 East Fergus Place, Kirkcaldy, KY1 1XT to appointments only.

Clients will be required to make an appointment as limited numbers of people are permitted to enter the office in order to maintain appropriate physical distancing. If you would prefer to get support by telephone, please call 01592642927 or email us info@fifemigrantsforum.org.uk

Fife is moving into level three of coronavirus restrictions from Friday 13th November.

The move means a ban on non-essential travel out with the area, and hospitality venues can no longer serve alcohol.

Here are the details of what it means for people living in Fife 

New guidance published for migrants working in Scottish agriculture 

Together with the Scottish Government and JustRight Scotland, Fife Migrants Forum (FMF) and Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) have published new guidance for seasonal migrants workers coming to Scotland to work in the soft fruit sector. This guidance is available for two types of migrant workers, those arriving in Scotland on the Seasonal Worker Visa and those who are from the European Economic Area and have the right to free movement. This guidance is translated into the following languages: Bulgarian, Romanian, Ukrainian & Russian. 

The guidance covers core areas related to work and life in the UK, including: employment terms and conditions, changing employer, pay and overtime, accommodation, health and safety and healthcare including specific measures during the Coronavirus pandemic, it also outlines indicators of human trafficking and provides a range of contacts in case support is needed whilst in Scotland. 

During the coming weeks and months we will be distributing this guidance to new migrants upon arrival in Scotland as well as through growers cooperatives, farmers, migrant communities and networks. We hope that this guidance will help to provide the information you need to have a positive experience of work in agriculture, to access the support you need when you need it and to avoid facing abuse or exploitation during your time in Scotland. 

Please click the following link to access this new guidance: https://www.sasa.gov.uk/covid-19-guidance 

If you would like a hard copy please contact FLEX at info@labourexploitation.org or FMF at info@fifemigrantsforum.org.uk 

The distribution of this guidance will support research being conducted by FLEX and FMF into the experiences of seasonal migrant workers in Scotland’s soft fruit sector. If you would like to take part in this research please visit our survey here: https://forms.gle/48LRFA6hfbaD9scj7 Or contact Margarita Permonaite at FMF: margarita.permonaite@fifemigrantsforum.org.uk

TO USE OUR SERVICES, PLEASE CALL 01592 642927 OR EMAIL info@fifemigrantsforum.org.uk

As the world struggles with the spread of COVID-19, our upmost priority is protecting the health of our staff, our clients and the wider community. Therefore, Fife Migrants Forum, like so many other organisations, is putting in place various changes to the ways we operate in light of the Coronavirus outbreak.

As of Monday 23March 2020, our office team has been working from home and continues to provide critical support to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. These steps are essential to reduce the possibility of transmitting the virus from asymptomatic carriers to vulnerable people with underlying conditions, which are very often our clients. We also want to reduce risks to our own staff, who are so important in bringing expertise and compassion to our work.

Therefore, we will start using our external dial-in system and everyone will have possibility to contact our team via our phone number, which is 01592- 642927, during a week. 

We will continue to follow national advice coming from the Scottish and UK Governments about measures to adopt going forward. In the meantime, it is important that we all stay healthy. The main action that we can all take is to follow some basic hygiene steps to try to limit the spread of the virus: wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water; cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow/sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; try to avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth if you have not washed your hands recently; and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

We recommend that our clients and colleagues follow information from legitimate sources, such as:

NHS INFORM (SCOTLAND)

SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT

UK GOVERNMENT

If you become unwell

If you have developed a new continuous cough and/or a fever/high temperature, you must stay at home for 7 days from the start of your symptoms even if you think your symptoms are mild.

If your symptoms are mild, there is no need to contact your GP. However, you should ring 111 instead if:

  • Your symptoms are severe
  • You have a shortness of breath
  • Your condition worsens during self-isolation

GPs are still working to provide their regular services. However, you must ring your GP practice beforehand. Do not present yourself without having called beforehand. You are only to go if you have been told to do so by a medical professional. In emergencies, you are to ring 999, as usual.

If possible, you should avoid going to your doctor, hospital or pharmacy to prevent infection from spreading.

If you have any questions or queries, you should consult the links above.

This is a rapidly changing situation and we are monitoring it closely. Protecting you, volunteers and team members is of critical importance to us and we will review our guidance and instructions regularly.

Due to the current pandemic there is an immediate need to deal with the volume of requests for assistance from the Roma community across Fife with a concentration in Kirkcaldy. The Caseworker (Roma) will undertake an initial assessment into the presenting issues and through interpretation will enable to either resolve issues or broker resolution through advocating on behalf of the client with mainstream specialist advice and support agencies. This post is funded from June 1st until 30th November 2020 (5 months).
The Caseworker (Roma) will undertake an initial assessment into the presenting issues and through interpretation will enable to either resolve issues or broker resolution through advocating on behalf of the client with mainstream specialist advice and support agencies. This may involve working with the client on issues of money, debt, housing, access to welfare and rights, and employment with a view to assisting clients to become participating and active citizens within their new country. The Caseworker (Roma), will support the existing Romanian caseworker who has built up good relations with the community as the key point of contact for the clients throughout the whole process, including attending all advice appointments with the client, coordinating language support through the Fife Migrants Forum, and providing assistance as any additional issues or complexities arise.

It is essential that the Support Caseworker (Roma) has a person centred approach and has an understanding of, and can apply, the principles of casework with contextual citizenship and cultural orientation. They should have an understanding of the range of issues facing The Roma community in particular and of other migrants in Fife and should be able speak a languages as required for the post, Romanian, English and preferably another European Language. It is also essential that they are able to manage their involvement on the employability programme and case load effectively in order to facilitate positive work placements and employment and fast access to the right advice in order to avert and prevent crisis.

If you are interested for the job, please send an email asking for job description and person specification to info@fifemigrantsforum.org.uk . You should also send your curriculum and covering letter explaining why you would be the best person for the it via the above email address or to Justyna.majewska@fifemigrantsforum.org.uk . The closing date for submission is 19th of June 2020.

International Women’s Day “We rise by lifting each other’

On 6 March, we celebrated International Women’s Day. The title of the event was “We rise by lifting each other” and we focused on celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The event also celebrated the acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their communities and how Fife Migrants Forum played a role in helping them archive that. We had around 160 people from 20 countries attending the event. Such countries included India, Portugal, Romania, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Poland, Argentina, USA, France, Spain, Moldavia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ireland, Germany and Scotland.


The central part of the event was a beautiful photo exhibition of women who live in Fife, created by Dragonfly Photography. The portraits showed the natural beauty of local women who made Fife their home and how they have contributed to their new community. Judy Hamilton honoured us with an uplifting speech, as did the Fife Women’s Aid team, St Andrew’s University students, a member of the Fife Centre for Equality, and our lovely volunteers (Asiya, Fungai, Silvia and Sandra).

What is more, we also had a good selection of motivational workshops for all participants. There was a self-love workshop entitled “I’m enough” and another on building confidence called “I am unstoppable: Seven keys of getting and staying motivated”. Both were well attended and delivered by Change4Life Coaching.


As usual, we had a delicious table of creative and multicultural food, donated by local restaurants such as Koku Sushi and Taza in Town from Edinburgh, and by supermarkets such as Asda and Morison. Each woman received a goodie bag that contained information regarding local services for women, stress relief toys, samples of perfume and soap, condoms, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and roses. At our event, we had people from Fife Women’s Aid, Shakti, Fife Centre for Equality, Fife Council, social workers, Dementia friendly, ESOL, Mock, church representatives, Greener Kirkcaldy, Fife Housing, SAIE, NHS Family Planning and Sexual Health, NHS Oral Care, Employability team, Skills Development Scotland, Frontline Fife, MSPs, MPs, local councillors, Fife College and a great number of members of the public.

Thank you everyone for coming and supporting our event! See you all next year!

12 March 2019: WHAT DOES BREXIT MEAN FOR YOU?

On 15 March, we will be holding an information day and question and answering session with a legal expert. They will provide information on: 1) What the EU settlement status scheme is. 2) When and how to register for this scheme. We will also be providing Polish and Romanian interpreters. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact magdalena.augustyn@fifemigrantsforum.org.uk Spaces are limited.  This event was made possible with the support of the European Commission representation in the UK, who provided free access to lawyers. The project was delivered by the Law Centres Network. This event has been organised with the assistance of a grant from the Scottish Government.

27 February 2019: VOLUNTEER DEVELOPMENT CO-ORDINATOR

VOLUNTEER DEVELOPMENT CO-ORDINATOR Background  Fife Migrants Forum (FMF) is a registered Scottish charity serving as an information access point, primarily, but not exclusively, to members from migrant and ethnic minority communities in Fife. FMF provides the following services: multilingual advice and information service, advocacy and casework support, employability support, IT support and personal development opportunities. FMF also works in collaboration with mainstream service providers and other third sector organisations to provide tailored support to our clients.  We have received funding to help develop our volunteer work. The successful person will manage our current team of volunteers as well as develop a plan for how the volunteer management role can be taken forward. This is a fixed term post due to the nature of the funding, there may be scope for the post being extended subject to successful funding bids which the post holder will be involved in formulating.    Job Outline  Co-ordinate Volunteers to enable community members to perform voluntary work for the Forum, this will involve; 
  • Providing on-going supervision of volunteers. 
  • Deliver coaching and mentoring to volunteers to develop their skills and confidence and increase their employability. 
  • Facilitate the engagement of service users in volunteering activities which are provided internally and externally particularly those individuals who experience barriers in attempting to access such opportunities. 
  • Record and monitor all referral to the project and maintain the project’s databases, ensuring that all records are accurately recorded. 
  • Be the main point of contact for the project and liaise with volunteers and service users and referring agencies with regard to overcoming language difficulties as a barrier to accessing mainstream advice agencies. 
  • Perform a link worker role for external relationships with Partner organisations and attend meetings as necessary. 
  • Develop and maintain effective links with relevant providers to make them accessible to clients’ opportunities for education, training and employment and work placement opportunities.  
  • Supervise the FMF Conversational Café hosts and ensure that a degree of consistency is maintained across them.
  • Also, ensure that attendance records are maintained accurately in all Cafes.
  • Develop a sustainability plan for the post.
  • Assist with the preparation of funding bids.  
Person Specification    Essential 
  • Ability to work effectively with people who may have complex needs including language barriers.  
  • Ability to effectively facilitate an individual’s engagement and supporting them to sustain volunteering.  
  • Experience of coordinating and delivering opportunities for positive activity, learning, volunteering and work preparation. 
  • Experience of mentoring or coaching to individuals from migrant communities. 
  • Experience of networking and developing positive partnerships with other agencies. 
  • Awareness of positive outcomes for individuals and able to support them to achieve their full potential. 
  • Experience of recording, monitoring outcomes and providing written reports on project development, 
  • Ability to work in a demanding, high-pressure setting. 
  • Ability to work effectively as part of a team. 
  • Ability to prioritise and manage workload effectively. 
  • Ability to display a commitment to non-discriminatory, non-judgemental, person-centred practice. 
  • Good work ethic, enthusiasm, sound communication and interpersonal skills commitment. 
  • Qualification at further/higher education level or relevant job experience or another relevant area.
  • Be prepared to workout with normal office hours. 
  • Be able to travel throughout Fife
  • Project development experience.
Desirable 
  • Experience of working with people from migrant communities and speaking one of the languages e.g. Polish, Russian, Romanian, Arabic or other languages.  
  • A fundamental understanding of the particular needs of people affected by being a member of migrant communities, access to mainstream services, social exclusion and barriers to employment 
  • Knowledge of relevant community and welfare advice, housing or employability resources in Fife.  
  • Foreign language skills.
  • Experience of drafting funding bids 
Education, Qualifications & Training  
  • High standard of education and/or relevant experience 
Skills and Competencies  
  • Be able to demonstrate;
  • Person-centred approach to dealing with people 
  • Respect and dignity 
  • Non-judgement 
  • Understand appropriate boundaries 
  • Be able to manage a caseload and be a key point of contact for clients 
  • Understand the range of issues facing migrants in Fife and/or Scotland 
  • The ability to discuss sensitive issues with a range of volunteers and provide options and choices that lead to positive solutions  
  • Ability to communicate and engage with a range of professionals and local agencies 
  • Understand the principles of confidentiality 
General Skills and Competencies  
  • Good oral and written communication skills 
  • Good time management and organisation skills 
  • Ability to cope with working within a pressurised and fast paced environment 
  • Ability to work both autonomously and within a team 
  • Ability to accurately complete forms and records 
  • IT literacy and competency 
  • Driving licence and access to a car (desirable).
The post holder may be required to undertake any other duties that fall within the nature of the role and responsibilities of the post as detailed above. Work Location: Kirkcaldy Hours: 21 hours per week Post Status: Fixed 8 months contract from the start day Closing date: 22 March 2019 Interview date: Week commencing 4 April 2019 Salary: £12.00 per hour If you are interested in this position please send a C.V. with a short cover letter to our manager (Gary Guichan), Fife Migrants Forum, The Postings Shopping Centre Unit 4, KY1 1HN or by e-mail gary.guichan@fifemigrantsforum.org.uk

28 January 2019: SOLE SISTERS

Fife Migrants Forum is starting a Walking Group for women from both Migrant and ‘Local’ communities in Fife, (Sole Sisters!) to be held in accessible though interesting local environs. The Walking will last one hour and take place twice weekly to ensure that as many women as possible can participate, either twice weekly or at least once.  Encourage conversation will be central. There is a purpose to this other than the obvious effect of helping to reduce isolation, encourage social networking and cohesion, conversing in English can benefit migrants, offering the confidence to deal with everyday situations whilst assisting them to compete in the jobs market in the longer term. ‘Sole Sisters’, will assist improvement in physical and mental wellbeing including; help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and other chronic ailments, create better balance and stability, increases blood circulation, metabolism and burn calories. The mental wellbeing case for exercise is well founded; releasing endorphins assisting mood and motivation. In addition walking offers the opportunity to mix with others, sustain positive change and build social networks and through reciprocation build social capital.

14 January 2019: NEW BOARD MEMBERS REQUIRED

The Fife Migrants Forum, Kirkcaldy are looking for three enthusiastic individuals, who want to develop one of Scotland’s most innovative organizations supporting migrant initiatives, by joining our Board of Trustees. This is a rewarding and exciting opportunity to make a difference by providing opportunities for our diverse communities as well as a development opportunity for individuals wishing to gain knowledge and experience in strategic management, leadership, and governance. Last year the organization supported and engaged with about 500 individuals from over 25 countries, and delivered sessions on Immigration, Job Search and CV writing, English language support, Active Mums, and working with those affected by uncertainties of the Brexit outcome. Fife Migrants Forum is a community-led and migrants’ managed organization, set up in 2010, registered as a Scottish Charity in 2012. The agency was set up by members of migrant, ethnic minority and Fife communities to work with the growing numbers of new migrants coming into Fife, generally with limited command of the English language. We work to integrate migrants and minority ethnic communities within Fife communities, assisting social cohesion through a range of projects and interventions. Through adopting a human rights approach, our work centers on addressing inequality, reducing poverty and deprivation and, critically, linking people who can be ‘hard to reach’, from migrant and minority communities into mainstream provision. We support both the person and agency; offering language and cultural understanding, advocacy and two-way interpretation of information and issues. Our work encompasses crisis and preventative intervention and is increasingly concerned with assisting people, who are committed to staying, raise families and work in Fife to integrate within ‘host’ communities and become active and participative citizens. An extract from the Organisation’s Purpose from our constitution:
  • To relieve the poverty of migrants.
  • The advancement of citizenship and integration.
  • The relief of migrants, and supporting such people in crisis situations.
  • The promotion of equality, diversity and racial harmony.
  Our service activities include:
  • Daily Advice & Information Clinics
  • Weekly Job Club
  • One-to-one Careers Advice
  • Volunteer-run English Classes / Conversation Cafés in Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline, Glenrothes, and Rosyth
  • Weekly IT training
  • Weekly collection point for The Kingdom Credit Union
  • Outreach Clinics in Fife (Advice Hubs)
  • Monthly Citizens Advice and Rights Fife Clinics
  • Monthly Immigration Advice Surgery.
This is an exciting and dynamic time for us as an Organization and our Board of Trustees as we move into what potentially could be our busiest years ever. We are interested in hearing from individuals, who share our vision of providing opportunities for our diverse communities. While no particular skills are required, an interest supporting vulnerable and marginalized groups would be useful and for two of the opportunities, we would like to hear from individuals with an accounting or financial background/Human Resources/Social Media. We would very much welcome application from a member of the BME/migrant communities, women and young people. The annual time commitment is approx. 4 -6 Board of Trustees meetings on Mondays 5 30 pm to 7 pm in Kirkcaldy, and 3 Development/Strategy/Training half days. Full training on the roles and responsibilities and governance will be provided to all the new board members.   For an informal chat please call Violeta Ilendo, Chairwoman, Fife Migrant Forum on mobile 07801 531 332 Email: Violeta.ilendo@fifemigrantsforum.org.uk

17 December 2018: MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR 

20 November 2018: AGM MEETING

Last night (Monday 19 November), we held our annual AGM at the Fife International Centre. It was a lively discussion on the organisation’s future, and we would like to thank everybody for their input. Stay tuned, for we have a very busy year ahead of us. 

20 November 2018: Jobs Faire: A Roaring Success! 

On Friday 16 November, we held our first Jobs Faire, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that it was a roaring success. With more than 20 businesses and institutes joining us at the Postings Shopping Centre, we attracted some 450 visitors (although one Postings staff member claimed the footfall could have been as high as 8,000!). We also received very positive feedback from the businesses that attended. Thank you for all of those who joined us, we hope we have helped to create new job opportunities for you, and we look forward to a fruitful relationship with various businesses. 

1 October 2018: ANNOUNCEMENT OF CONVERSATIONAL CAFÉS

Please see our events page for more details.

1 October 2018: ACTION DAY AT THE FIFE INTERNATIONAL CENTRE

On Saturday, staff, board members and volunteers met to discuss the future direction of the organisation. It was a very productive session, and there will be loads to look forward to in the future. Exciting times ahead! Keep up-to-date here and through Facebook in order to find out when we will be holding our next Action Day. Thanks to everybody who turned up on Saturday, we hope to see you all again soon!

1 October 2018: NEW LEAFLET

Here is a snapshot of what we do at the Fife International Centre. Not only do we provide excellent opportunities for Fife’s migrant and refugee communities, but we also provide rewarding opportunities for volunteers. Get in contact to learn more.