Afghan refugees to be rehomed by Hackney Council
Hackney Council has committed to providing homes to five families fleeing the crisis in Afghanistan; is supporting Afghan refugees currently placed in local hotels; and is coordinating the local community response and help.
The Council is one of 27 London boroughs that have indicated a willingness to take between 125 and 152 families into the UK.
Hackney has a long-standing reputation of being open and welcoming to migrants and refugees, especially those fleeing conflict in hope of a better life.
There are currently two schemes to help Afghan refugees to which the Council is committed to participating: one for former Afghan staff who worked for the British Government, and the wider resettlement scheme, of which we await further details from the government, for others who have recently escaped the country.
Refugees are currently in hotels managed by Central Government, where their housing and wider needs are being assessed. They are being registered with GP practices and a number of community groups are helping provide clothing and other essentials.
The Council is currently identifying housing and making them ready for refugees, and has been working on a comprehensive and integrated support offer that will help refugees settle in Hackney. This will include housing, health care, education, adult skills, and community connections and integration.
The situation in Afghanistan is absolutely devastating and the Council is doing everything in its power to support the national effort to provide refuge and help to the Afghans fleeing the horror unfolding in their country.
I want to thank the community and voluntary organisations who have already stepped up or pledged support to the refugees placed locally. You have once again lived up to Hackney’s reputation as a borough that welcomes migrants and refugees.
I know many of us feel powerless but there are some practical ways to help. The immediate needs of refugees living in local hotels are currently being met by the Government, the Council and local community groups. However, this is a fast-evolving situation and there will be a need for further support, such as food banks, advice services, befriending, as well as social activities and community connections. We’re asking the Hackney community to tell us how they can help.
We are welcoming Afghan families and giving them the help they need, including in areas such as housing, education and adult skills, and health care, to ensure they can rebuild their lives successfully in the borough. But, we are reiterating our calls to the government to make appropriate levels of funding available to local authorities to allow us to do this properly.
If you can help, please tell the Council what you can offer by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Immediate priorities include:
- Accommodation: please share the type of property, number of bedrooms and weekly/monthly rent rate when you email.
- Storage facilities: businesses who have empty spaces that can be used for clothing storage and distribution. Ideal locations would be around Old Street.
Below are also a range of ways that residents can also support local, national and international efforts on the refugee crisis.
- E5 Baby Bank has a donation page as well as Amazon and common good wishlist to help families.
- Care4Calais has a donation page specifically for east London and the charity also has collection points around the UK for clothing donations. It particularly wants good quality shoes and coats for adults and children, baby buggies and baby carriers and unlocked smartphones.
- Hackney Refugee Forum is an umbrella network for refugee organisations, hosted by Hackney Council for Voluntary Service. You can find out more by contacting Ali Aksoy: email@example.com; Caroline Hickey: Caroline@hcvs.org.uk; or Jessica Lubin: Jessica@hcvs.org.uk
- HostNation connects lonely or socially isolated refugees and asylum-seekers with local befrienders on a one-to-one basis.
- There are many refugees that have already settled in Hackney that need your help and support. Hackney’s Advice Sector works with many of these refugees and you can visit Advice in Hackney’s directory to find out more and how you can apply to volunteer or donate money.
- Refugees at home matches refugees with spare rooms.
Fostering a child:
Unaccompanied children are vulnerable and may be traumatised following their experience and journey. They need safe homes where they can have the time, space and support to begin to rebuild their lives.
For more information about how you can support asylum-seeking children through fostering, visit our fostering page, or contact our Fostering Recruitment Team on: 0800 0730 418; or: firstname.lastname@example.org
National or international:
- Refugee Council – an independent charity working with refugees in the UK including supporting Syrian refugees seeking asylum in the UK.
- Save the Children – distributing essential items such as nappies, hygiene kits and food.
- Red Cross Europe – providing emergency health services at central train stations.
- Migrant Offshore Aid Station – dedicated to preventing migrant deaths at sea.
- International Rescue Committee – improving living conditions by setting up camps.
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) – providing water, mosquito nets, tents, healthcare.
- Refugee Action – advice about claiming asylum, the asylum process, asylum support.
- World Vision – providing food, water, shelter, education and psychosocial care.