So many people across Hornsey & Wood Green have got in touch in recent weeks to express their sorrow at the desperate situation in Afghanistan and ask how they can help refugees arriving here in London.
In my regular meeting with Haringey Council’s Leader Cllr Peray Ahmet this month, I requested an update on the actions that Haringey Council has been taking to support refugees. Haringey Council have provided this information and contact for anyone wanting to assist locally:
“In response to the Afghanistan crisis, Haringey Council like many other Local Authorities has committed to welcoming households from the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Programme (ARAP). This is targeted at Afghan nationals who have in some way worked for or alongside the British government in Afghanistan, and those on the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme – which supports civilians fleeing Afghanistan.
Haringey will welcome 4 households on each scheme, using time-limited funding from central government for a package of integration support. Properties are currently being identified and the Council will take a staggered approach to welcoming the households. They will be working with the Welcome Advisory Board, including Haringey Welcome, Caris, Living Under One Sun, the Multi-Faith Forum, the NHS and Haringey Giving to develop a support package and a warm welcome for these households.
In September, the Home Office repurposed a Haringey hotel to provide initial temporary accommodation for nearly 60 asylum seekers arriving from a range of countries. The Home Office are managing the support at the hotel, but some council Connected Communities staff are spending two days a week there supporting families working alongside voluntary organisations and individuals. Support has included co-ordinating clothing and toys, connecting people with local services, schools and GP provision and arranging specialised services for trauma support. Muswell Hill Methodist Church and Muswell Hill Synagogue have hosted residents at a welcome tea/coffee afternoon, and a welcome lunch. Haringey Welcome have been holding Welcome Walks at the weekend which some of the residents were able to attend.
If residents want to help with our shared response to the Afghanistan situation we ask them to please in the first instance contact us on [email protected]
There is work already underway in Haringey to support those seeking refuge in this country for a range of reasons. If residents want to support refugees more widely these are some of the organisations the council is working with:
* Caris Haringey – Provide both practical and advocacy support to households with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF). Are able to accept online donations.
* Haringey Migrant Support Centre – Provide support on immigration, housing and welfare issues. Are able to accept donation and are currently looking for volunteers.
* Migrants Organise – A UK wide campaigning organisation helping to support the voices of migrants and refugees. Are not currently looking for volunteers but do accept donations.
* Haringey Welcome – A local campaigning group. Volunteer enquiries and donations can be made online.
* Muswell Hill Welcomes – a local organisation formed by the Muswelll Hill Synagogue, Methodist Church and Wightman Road Mosque to support refugees placed in the local area by the Home Office.
* Living Under One Sun – Tottenham based community organisation. Donations can be made online.