People First Advocacy Health
Live Your Best Live
Black & Minority Ethnic
Phone 03003 038 037

Black & Minority Ethnic

Many Individuals from Minority Ethnic communities are disadvantaged by systems which have a significant effect on their lives. These are people who are disempowered to such an extent that they are unlikely to be able to fulfill their basic human needs, or demand their basic human rights. Successful advocacy can help to widen a person's horizons and enable them to become active members of society.

The aims are:

  • Safeguarding people who are vulnerable and discriminated against or whom services find difficult to serve
  • Empowering people who need a stronger voice by enabling them to express their own needs and make their own decisions
  • Enabling people to gain access to information, explore and understand their options, and to make their views and wishes known
  • Speaking on behalf of people who are unable to do so for themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are links to answers and further information for our most frequently asked questions;

How do I get a National Insurance number (NINO)?

If you are not seeking employment in this country, you do not need to have an NINO. It is for employment purposes only. It is also not proof of identification.
To apply for a NINO you need to ring 0845 6000 643. You will be given an appointment at your nearest centre. At your interview you need to prove your identity (passport, ID card, Home Office documents, or driving licence). You need to give proof of your current address (utility bills, council tax, etc). You also need to prove you have just started working, or are actively seeking work.

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How do I apply for British citizenship (Naturalisation)?

First you have to meet certain legal requirements and be:

  • aged over 18
  • of sound mind
  • intend to continue to live in the UK
  • can communicate in English to an acceptable degree
  • have sufficient knowledge about life in the UK by either
    1. (1) Passing 'Life in the UK test' (see link below) or
    2. (2) Successfully completing a course of study in 'English for Speakers of Other Languages' (ESOL) with citizenship. (You will need to provide a certificate showing the level attained together with a letter from the college certifying citizenship content within the course.)
    3. (3) You may apply for an exemption if you are aged 65 or over, or have a mental or physical disability that prevents you from learning English or about life in the UK
  • of good character
  • living in the UK for a minimum of 5 years before you apply
  • 12 months free from immigration restrictions
  • have lived in the UK for a minimum of 3 years, if married to a British citizen.

Then, you must obtain form an (naturalisation as a British citizen). First hand advice is available from the nationality helpline on 0845 010 5200. Forms and guides are available free of charge. They can be downloaded from the Home Office website (see link below), information on fees can also be found on this website. Details of accompanying documents can be found on the website, or from our outreach centres.

Application forms, together with help and advice on completing them, can also be obtained from our outreach centres.
You can obtain a book entitled "Life in the UK - a journey to citizenship" from Her Majesty´s Stationery Office, tel. 0870 6005522. A copy of this book is held at Barrow outreach.

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Child and working tax credits and child benefit

Residence rules
To be treated as being in the UK for the purposes of child tax credit, working tax credit and child benefit, a person must be both present and ordinarily resident here throughout the period of the award. The fact that a person might be said to have a home in another country does not mean that they cannot also be ordinarily resident in the UK.
Child benefit application forms are available from tax offices or by ringing child benefit international on 0845 302 1454.
Child and working tax credit application forms are available by ringing 0845 300 3900, or from our Outreach centres.

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English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

There are no entry requirements for beginners class. Intermediate and advanced levels require at least 2 years previous English study.
If you want to be assessed then there will examination by interview and written exam, twice a year, at a recognized Cambridge ESOL centre. These qualifications will enable you to enter higher/further education.


Fee applies but is different for those who:

  • are non-EU
  • have not been resident in UK for a minimum of 3 years
  • have not been married to a UK national and resident in the UK for a minimum of 12 months
  • do not have refugee/asylum seeker status

Please contact your local college, or contact your nearest library, for available courses.

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Reporting discrimination, racial abuse, hate crime incidents

´a racist incident is any which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person' - Macpherson Report, 1999. You can report such an incident to:

  • Any police officer
  • Local Town Halls

You can get help reporting for such an incident to by speaking to any member for such an incident to:

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Working in the UK

1. If you are a British citizen, a Swiss national or a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) you do not need our permission to work in the United Kingdom.

The EEA includes these countries:
Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are not members of the European Union (EU). However, the European Economic Area agreement gives nationals of these countries the same rights to enter, live in and work in the United Kingdom as EU citizens.

2. If you are already in the UK

If you want to work in the United Kingdom, you should check that your status allows you to do so before taking up employment. Not everyone who comes to the UK is allowed to work. You can check if you are allowed to work by looking at the stamp in your passport.

3. Coming to the UK - entry clearance

If you are currently outside the United Kingdom, you may need to apply for entry clearance before you travel. The entry clearance process for the United Kingdom is run by UK visas (link below) through the British diplomatic posts around the world.

The need to apply for entry clearance will depend on your current nationality and the scheme under which you wish to come to the United Kingdom. Ukvisas have a visa enquiry form on their website which can be used to determine whether you need entry clearance as well as providing details of the nearest british post where you can make your application. UK visas website

Opening a bank account

You will need to provide proof of ID and address by showing your passport, and evidence of your address from utility bill, council tax bill, ID card, or driving licence.

Some banks accept letters of introduction from current account holders but, this is at the bank´s discretion.

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Volunteering opportunities

There are opportunities to volunteer with our service, in any of the offices in Barrow, Penrith, Carlisle, Windermere or Workington with administration work for individuals from Ethnic Minority background. It is a good opportunity to learn more of other people´s cultures, and to become involved with the community. If you have a particular skill you want to share with other people, please get in touch with us.

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