Spanish Upstream visit to the UK, March 23-24, 2015

The UK visit of the Spanish Upstream team took place 23-24 March in the London Borough of Southwark. Meeting up at Southwark Town hall, the team was first briefed on key aspects of social cohesion, inclusion and education in Southwark. The team also met with the Council’s Mayor, Councillor Chopra, who shared his own story of migration to the UK. After a ‘cultural walk’ along the River Thames, the team met with local voluntary sector representatives, Community Action Southwark and the Forum for Equalities and Human Rights, who support the huge number of voluntary organisations in the area.

The highlight of the first day was a visit to Nunhead-Peckham community council. First established in2003, Southwark five community councils provide a means of local governance and a platform for community engagement. The meeting was very well-attended, by more than 200 local residents, in part because the theme of the event was local regeneration plans. All in all, it was a useful demonstration of civic engagement at neighbourhood level.

The second day started in Elephant and Castle, a shopping centre that also constitutes a hub for the Latin American population in the area. A meeting at Southwark Works described a targeted employment support pogramme provided to Southwark residents who face particular barriers in the labour market (such as caring responsibilities, English as a second language, disability, mental health issues) to support them into employment. This was followed by a visit to Peckham to a local Citizens Advice Bureau and a walk around the diverse neighbourhood of Peckham.

A big thanks to Darryl Telles, Neighbourhood Manager at Southwark Council, for organising the visit.


Visiting guests;

  • Irene Lebrusan, Expert on housing and social exclusion
  • Aitana Alguacil, Work with Caritas, Expert on housing and migrants
  • Alejandra de Diego, Work with social cooperative, Expert on social cohesion and education 
  • Alvaro Ardura, Expert on urbanism and local policies

 UK team;

  • Ben Gidley, COMPAS, University of Oxford, UPstream
  • Ole Jensen, COMPAS, University of Oxford, UPstream

Fellow upstream members travelling along;

  • Elisa Brey, UCM, UPstream
  • Daniel Sorando, UCM, UPstream
  • Helen McCarthy, Migration Policy Institute Europe, UPstream

PO Box 1738, NL-3000 DR 
Rotterdam, The Netherlands


Co-funded by the European Union European Integration Fund