First Afghan refugee family rehomed by Hackney Council
A family of seven has become the first to be housed in the north of the borough by the Council as part of its commitment to supporting refugees fleeing the crisis in Afghanistan.
The couple and their five children moved into their Council-sourced home this week under a scheme to give sanctuary to Afghans who assisted British forces in the region since 2003 and whose safety was at risk if they remained in the country following the Taliban’s return to power last year.
The Council has committed to rehousing five households for at least two years, and helping them settle into their new communities. The family will be supported by a dedicated caseworker who will draw on the help of local volunteers and community groups. Support includes access to health care and education, such as a dedicated guide to accessing local services.
Hackney has a longstanding reputation of being open and welcoming to migrants and refugees, especially those fleeing conflict in hope of a better life.
I’m very proud that, as we promised last year, our borough has welcomed the families of those who have had to flee their home because of their service to our country.
This is the best of Hackney, and in the great longstanding values of our borough to give support to those in need, celebrate tolerance and diversity and welcome refugees.
We’ll continue to offer our support to these families making Hackney their new home, and ensure they get the support they need to build a new life here after escaping the desperately sad and horrendous situation in their country.
Charity Groundwork East London has been funded to provide support to the five families, following a competitive grant process.
It makes me proud to live in Hackney when I see the huge support and energy from our community to support refugees fleeing violence, and there are many ways local residents can get involved.
Last summer our borough rallied to help those in need, but it’s projects like this that ensure that commitment continues as families seek to rebuild their lives.
There are a range of ways that Hackney residents can support local, national and international efforts on the refugee crisis, including registering to volunteer with Volunteer Centre Hackney. For more information, visit hackney.gov.uk/refugees
Other ways to get involved include:
- 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.
- Give donations to the City of London’s Welcome Store for the Afghan Support Programme, particularly adult shoes for winter, warm clothes for teenage children, children’s shoes and women’s clothes. To arrange a donation, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com
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.