Ockelbo has an agreement with the Migration Agency to receive refugees who have a permanent residence permit. The task of the integration unit is to provide advice, support and information on arrival. We help the newly arrived to manage in many ways. Our aim is to be both professional and personal. We want to provide good conditions for living, working and studying independently, to every single person.
Our meeting place for both refugees and other Ockelbo residents is called
Gläntan. Here there is, among other things, a cafe, pool table and staff who warmly welcome good ideas about activities.
We want to provide each new resident a welcoming and good start in Ockelbo. We expect that those who move here will wholeheartedly participate in their introduction in the society and work actively toward the goal of working and providing for themselves. A move to the society requires an availability of flats and vacant seats in the introduction programme.
The name of the housing company that rents out flats in Ockelbo is
Ockelbogårdar. There are also many houses for sale at the real estate agencies.
Language groups in the locality
Even though Ockelbo is small, many people from many corners of the world live here: Finland, Australia, Thailand, Holland, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Somalia and many more. At the integration unit, interpretation service is provided in the following languages: Arabic, Dari, Persian, Tigrinya, Afar and Kurdish.
Associations and organisations
Here, there is a
wide range of associations for culture, environment protection, gardening, sports, theatre and much more.
In Ockelbo, the Swedish church is represented by the Ockelbo congregation. There is also an Ockelbo Mission church and Tempelkällan's mission.
What is available in the immediate area
The municipality has all the services required. There are many cafes, restaurants and shops for food, clothes, shoes, flowers, perfume, tools, colour, building products, secondhand and much more. We also have many hairdressers, an optician, banks, car repair shops and many companies selling handicrafts and other services. The furniture mall Ikea is located at about 45 minutes distance by train and bus from Ockelbo and in the locality, you will find the Mission Church's secondhand shop with household appliances and furniture.
A lot of people dedicate their leisure time to both culture and sports. The biggest sports are football, basket ball, floor ball, skiing and orientation. There is also a swimming facility with an indoor pool. We also have a cinema hall, in which several films are shown in a week and a library with something for all ages. There, you can read newpapers or borrow a computer for free.
The youth recreation centre is called Underground and in the same building, there is an arts school for children interested in learning a musical instrument. The cultural school is listed as one of the top cultural schools in Sweden.
Many who live here love hunting and fishing. There are many forests and rivers here. In winters, it snows a lot and people love to ski or ride a scooter.
For tourists, there are, among other things, a park called Wij gardens, a forest park with elks, a railway museum with steam train and many other great tourist attractions. Twice a year, Ockelbo market is organised, which attracts a lot of visitors.
It is easy to get
child-care in Ockelbo. The in-schooling takes about two weeks and an interpreter service is always available. The preschools take children between the ages of 1 and 6 and the service is primarily for children of parents who work or study. Children of the unemployed have the right to be in the preschool for 15 hours a week.
Ockelbo has small preschools in calm and safe environments in central Ockelbo as well as in Jädraås, Åmot and Lingbo. A nanny is also available who takes care of children between the age of 1 and 6 in her own home during the day time.
We also have an
open preschool in the family centre, a meeting point for stay-at-home parents and their children.
Comprehensive and upper secondary schools
In Ockelbo, there are
two schools for children between the age of 6 and 12 and a school for students between the age of 13 and 16. At present, we are in the process of building a completely new and modern secondary school which will be ready by autumn, 2015.
Ockelbo's closest upper secondary schools are located in Gävle and Sandviken. Study advisers and vocational counselors in the Ockelbo municipality can provide information on the different courses offered by the upper secondary schools.
Each newly arrived refugee gets the opportunity to specify his/her competence and requirements in the process of finding work. Thereafter, a plan for introduction to the Swedish society is drawn up.
The adult education, Swedish for Immigrants, is an important part of the introduction.
Health and medical care
In Ockelbo, there is a healthcare centre , which you can visit if you fall ill. There is also a dental clinic, ambulance and rescue service. There is a big hospital in Gävle with emergency ward, specialised care and delivery ward.
In the municipality, there is a newly built accommodation with lake views, Bysjöstrand, for elders who are unable to live alone.
For all contact with authorities, municipality and healthcare, you are entitled to an interpreter if you do not speak or understand Swedish. It is booked in advance by the relevant social body in charge.
It is easy to travel by
both train and bus from Ockelbo to different localities and cities. The train takes about 25 minutes to Gävle and 35 minutes to Bollnäs. You can reach Sandviken in 40 minutes by bus.
Uppsala and Arlanda are located at a distance of about 1.5 hours and Stockholm, 2 hours.
At a distance of approximately 1 hour by train and bus, between Gävle and Sandviken, you will see the biggest shopping mall Valbo shopping centre, where an Ikea store is also located.
The local bus service between the villages in Ockelbo is free and the trips are adapted for further travel by trains and buses. The distances within central Ockelbo are short and you can easily get around on foot or on a bicycle.
Work and entrepreneurship
The integration unit in Ockelbo has a close and successful collaboration with the Swedish Employment Service. Through our project "Walk on", we arrange internships for refugees in companies as soon as possible. The biggest employers in the locality are Ockelbo municipality, Opass AB, Atlas Copco, Berendsen and Atlings. There are also many
small companies in Ockelbo. Many travel to work in Gävle and Sandviken.