The Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants works to create a strong, positive, community for people who have been displaced from their countries of origin due to persecution, war, and poverty.
We create a sense of belonging and comfort for those who have left their homes. We provide practical tools and structure to help displaced people to rebuild their lives. We link asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants with local people to build a stronger community for everyone.
We are proud to be supported in our work through grants from funders including The People’s Postcode Trust, City Bridge Trust, Comic Relief and The Henry Smith Charity. Find out more here.
Update on Coronavirus:
For existing clients: Please see our Coronavirus Client Support page for information and guidance regarding other charities throughout the pandemic.
We are offering an online version of our regular English classes and activities. Please see our Activities during Coronavirus Homepage for our Activities Timetable and more information.
We are also regularly updating the website with English Language worksheets and resources to help our clients continue learning English at home.
How we are continuing to help our clients throughout this crisis:
On 23rd March we had to make the very difficult decision to temporarily close the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
For 23 years we have always been there for our clients – a welcoming and open door that provides a friendly face, support and classes. This is the first time we have ever had to take action of this kind and we have found it very hard. As our supporters and friends you will know that the refugees, asylum seekers and migrants who rely on us are some of the most vulnerable people in London. They are often homeless, sleeping on friends’ floors, in hostels or in some cases on the streets. Many are barred from working and receive no financial aid. Many are alone, having left their friends and families in their countries of origin. This period of ‘lock-down’ is very challenging for them and we are deeply concerned about their physical and psychological well being.
We spent the last few days we were open giving out hardship packages for emergency travel to essential appointments, to help people buy food and top up their phones so that we can keep in touch while we are unable to offer normal services.
We have continued to do this on a fortnightly basis providing in many cases the only supplies that our clients have access to.
We will reopen in whatever way possible as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime we are developing every way possible to continue to support our clients in these uncertain times. We are exploring and trialling all possible ways of continuing our work and have implemented a 3 point plan during this time:
1. Emergency Support Packages
- Food and Supplies
- Phone Contact
- Oyster Top Up
2. Support Service
Through the Support Service we listen to clients’ problems and work with them to resolve practical issues such as asylum claims, accessing health services and accessing secure housing.
3. English Language Classes and other Online Activities
English language lessons and practice are vital to the wellbeing of our clients and to the positive impact on their social development.
A great many challenges still lie ahead for us and we ask for your continued understanding in this extraordinary time. We appreciate that the services outlined above are different to our normal services but our work now, as ever, has our clients at its heart. All donations we receive at this time will go directly to upholding the work of the charity as outlined above.
Our clients’ needs have changed drastically in these last weeks and we have had no choice but to adapt equally quickly.
Our appeal at this difficult time
We have been working with our patron, Juliet Stevenson, to present the work we have been doing during the crisis and to appeal for help to ensure we can continue to support our clients through these incredibly challenging times:
The people who come to us are some of the most vulnerable in London.
They live in insecure accommodation – often homeless, sleeping on friends floors, in hostels or in some cases on the streets.
Many are legally barred from working and receive no financial aid. All are alone, having left their friends and families in their countries of origin.
We fully support the government’s actions to stop the spread of Covid-19 Coronavirus, but for the people who rely on us, this new reality has proven to be tough.
This has come at a time when we are already facing a shortfall in our budget for the year and are concerned increased need for direct support to our clients is under strain. As the weeks go buy the needs of our clients will not diminish and in order to continue to support them we are seeking financial donations wherever possible.
Regrettably we are unable to accept any physical donations in kind like food or toiletries at this time. But please see our donations page for further info on donating specific items:
We need your support now more than ever before.
Please help us by donating here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/donation-web/charity?charityId=1015304&stop_mobi=yes