Hackney launches new support service for asylum seekers


A new support service for asylum seekers is being launched in Hackney to build better relationships between asylum seekers and local services, offer advice on accessing support, and assist asylum seekers in overcoming barriers to getting help. 

Up to £100,000 in grant funding has been made available to non-profit organisations interested in working in partnership with Hackney's Refugees, Migrants and Asylum Seekers team to help deliver a 12 month outreach and support programme. Applications close on Thursday 15 February at 5pm.

There are approximately 800 people from over 58 different countries seeking asylum in the UK living in Hackney, 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. 

Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Human Resources and Equalities

Hackney, both as a Council and a place, has a long and proud history of welcoming refugees and migrants, especially those fleeing conflict or harm in hope of a better life. Asylum seekers in Hackney need access to education, healthcare, and social opportunities, just as any other resident in the borough does. The support service will be vital in providing help to overcome the challenges of limited incomes, language barriers, and adapting to a new unfamiliar place and system.


Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Human Resources and Equalities

In recent years the Council and its residents have housed and helped hundreds of individuals and families, including those from Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine, who have fled some of the most devastating conflicts of our generation.

In July 2023 Councillors backed a motion for Hackney to be established as an official ‘Borough of Sanctuary’ for those fleeing violence and persecution in their own countries, as part of a national initiative to create a network of towns and cities throughout the UK that are proud to be places of safety and inclusion for asylum seekers, refugees and migrants. The Council is working with partners to identify changes needed to make Hackney a more welcoming place for those seeking sanctuary. This commitment will be reflected in the Equality Plan going to Council in February. 

Non-profit organisations looking to deliver outreach and case-working services for asylum seekers in Hackney can apply here for grant funding before Thursday 15 February, 5pm. Email the Refugees, Migrants and Asylum Seekers Team for more info.