Grant funding open to manage kitchen spaces for asylum seeking residents


Not-for-profit organisations are invited to apply for up to £80,000 in grant funding to deliver a new community kitchen project for people seeking asylum in the borough. Charities, cooperatives and not-for-profits can help manage community kitchen spaces near hotels housing asylum seekers in Hackney. 

The funding will be allocated for accessible community kitchens that enable asylum seeking residents to be more self-sufficient and cook independently, leading to improved health and wellbeing. The project begins in Spring 2024 for up to 12 months, subject to successful delivery.

Applications close on Monday 18 March at 5pm

Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Equalities

I personally visited one of the hotels and engaged with residents seeking asylum who expressed their desire to cook familiar meals. While local churches and voluntary sector groups have been supportive, we want to build their capacity to address the issue. This programme is a game-changer, giving residents seeking asylum autonomy choice by providing free, regular access to fully-equipped kitchens where they can cook their own meals in a safe and social environment, contributing to an improved sense of agency, and a more fulfilling and enjoyable cooking and eating experience. 

Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Equalities

There are approximately 800 people in Hackney who have been placed in accommodation provided by the Home Office while waiting for the outcome of their asylum claim. Residents can sometimes wait years for a decision. 

In July 2023 Councillors backed a motion for Hackney to become an official ‘Borough of Sanctuary’ for those fleeing violence and persecution in their own countries. The Council is working with partners to identify changes needed to make Hackney a welcoming place for those seeking sanctuary, which will be reflected in the Council’s forthcoming Equality Plan. The Council has also taken steps to tackle food insecurity and inequalities in the borough by passing the ‘Right to Food’ motion

Please email the Refugees, Migrants and Asylum Seekers Team for more information.