We welcome all asylum seekers, refugees and migrants regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality, religion or immigration status. Often, we are the only point of contact destitute asylum seekers have with services. In other cases, we act as a first port of call offering kindness, a friendly face and help to find the right services.
We work with people over the long term offering community, friendship, English classes, practical support with accessing healthcare, housing, immigration advice and the opportunity to join groups like Art and Writing, gym and so much more. Our aim is to provide a space where people can come to ask for the help they need, regain their sense of dignity, feel strong and build decent lives in the UK
Our year in numbers
157 clients supported throughout the year
950 Support Service sessions offering advice on housing, healthcare, education and more
15 people helped out of destitution
9 people helped to resolve homelessness issues
74 clients were completely out of the asylum system, surviving on charity
90 people received support packages every fortnight for food, digital credit and essentials.
Our impact: Letter from our Chief Executive Andy Ruiz Palma
It is hard listening to some of the tragic stories, the lost pasts and unfair, unaddressed inequalities against which we feel helpless. But, we listen and respond to need and demand and provide the essential services and activities that are required to enable our clients to feel welcomed and supported throughout their time at the Centre and beyond..
In every activity and service we offer we engender positive engagement and work with the individual to break down complex, compound problems into manageable objectives that can breathe some relief into day to day life, reignite the fight for survival and create a desire to develop a warm feeling of being part of something in a society where many feel lost and isolated.
We work as a small close team often in very demanding situations with very difficult decisions to make, never more so than over the last year. But, through understanding our clients and careful consideration we are able to respond in ways that enable our clients to access services and participate in activities they have not had the opportunity to do before. Through managing pilot sessions and trying new things we are able to test ideas of new activities and services and meet the needs and requests of the clients.
Our humble beginnings saw us delivering English language classes to asylum seekers and refugees and over the years that has grown to a full array of opportunities and we have gained a wonderful alumni of those who have gone on to succeed in their lives with the firm and secure base of the Centre behind them. We have alumni who, amongst other things went on to create their own business; have completed their Masters; have won an award for artistic interpretation, have started work as a mechanic, have become a trustee of a charity, and are volunteering feeding homeless and vulnerable people.
Through their own words clients have expressed many times that without the Centre these achievements would not have been possible. This is what drives the Centre forward and keeps us all on track to provide what is most needed by our clients to help rebuild their lives and become a part of all of us.
Andy Ruiz Palma, Chief Executive