Help secure the future of Hackney Migrant Centre

by Ida Jarsve in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

Help secure the future of Hackney Migrant Centre


Gift Aid
+ est. £5177.50
£60,000 stretch target 1 day left
102% 260 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 7th July 2022 at 10:39am

Help us make sure refugees, asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants can continue to access free advice and community support

by Ida Jarsve in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

New stretch target

All money raised will go into securing the long-term future of Hackney Migrant Centre 

National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund

We’re taking part in the National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund. Donations to our project will be matched by the fund up to the value of £250 per donation to help us overcome the effects of the pandemic.

Please note only one donation per supporter will be matched by the National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund.

Hackney Migrant Centre (HMC) has offered thousands of vulnerable and excluded refugees, asylum seekers and migrants free advice and community support over the last 15 years. Visitors to HMC experience complex and difficult challenges, including homelessness, insecure immigration status, and unlawful decisions made in relation to their livelihoods (nationality, housing, access to medical care), all of which have worsened since the introduction of the "Hostile Environment". 

Many visitors tell us they feel lost and overwhelmed when trying to navigate complicated and convoluted systems alone. They may feel silenced, struggle to access support they are entitled to, and excluded from decision-making that has a direct impact on their lives. HMC is a community response to these issues. We work as a team of paid staff and volunteers , side by side with migrants, to help them attain knowledge of their rights and entitlements, and facilitate access to specialist legal support. 

The impact of the pandemic 

We closed our weekly advice service just before the first national lockdown in 2020, but very quickly reorganised our service to offer advice remotely.  At the same time we set up a new project to provide practical and material support, the Collective Care Team, provided by our volunteers, to help our must vulnerable visitors survive under lockdown. These services continued until last summer when we were able to re-open a face-to-face weekly service.

Covid-19, together with continuing Hostile Environment policies, has, however, hit HMC hard. Not only did life for our visitors become much more difficult, but the avenues for external immigration advice and for supporting homeless and destitute people became more limited as many services closed. It’s also become harder to raise funds for our work in a climate where there is more and more need, and less charitable funding available. All this has put great pressure on our volunteers and staff in supporting visitors through the complex processes required to get legal aid, to find immigration advisers, and to organise secure and long-term housing solutions.

We need your support to survive the coming months

Our work is not always popular or easy to fund, in a climate of increasing pressure for harsher immigration measures, and where migrants are routinely scapegoated and dehumanised in the media. We believe migrants belong in our communities. We welcome some of the most vulnerable migrants – regardless of immigration status, nationality and current place of residence – and commit to standing by them through often protracted struggles to access their rights.

We are currently facing particular financial difficulties. Like many other organisations, we are feeling the impact of the rise in cost of living and limited funding options. Despite opportunities that we have in the pipeline, we still face the serious prospect of reducing our service, whilst we work to secure further income. 

We need to raise £40,000 in the coming months to ensure HMC can continue offering free advice and community support for refugees, asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants, whilst we work to secure further long-term income. 

We are grateful for any donation you feel able to give at this time to help secure the future of our centre.

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