As part of the UN’s official World Inter Faith Harmony Week, Faiths Together in Lambeth and the Streatham Drop-In Centre for Asylum Seekers and Refugees are hosting an Interfaith Harmony Breakfast on Thursday 7 February.

Between 9:00 and 11:00, people from all religions, faiths and backgrounds can drop in to the Centre at 2 Mitcham Lane, Streatham, to enjoy a delicious traditional Eritrean breakfast, learn more about the Centre’s services and meet new people from all walks of life.

Brian McCarthy, the Centre’s coordinator, said: “We are delighted to host this fantastic event again, which encourages people from all religions and faiths to join together, and of course enjoy some wonderful food. Our previous event in 2017 was a great success, with over 60 people attending, so we hope we will be able to host just as many, if not more, local people.

“It’s also a great opportunity for us to share news about the centre, including what we delivered in 2018 and our plans for 2019, so do come along if you want to find out more.”

Both charities were selected in 2016 by the then Mayor of Lambeth, Cllr Saleha Jaffer, as her Mayor’s Charities.

Faiths Together in Lambeth (FTiL) was established in 2008 as an independent, borough-wide body, to foster constructive relationships among faith communities and to promote faith and multi-faith involvement in civic life.

Since 2008 FTiL has organised a programme of events each year to bring together people of different faith backgrounds. Regular events include the interfaith harmony breakfast in February, the stall at Lambeth Country Show in July, the interfaith walk in September and the Interfaith Week event in November. There are also involvements with Lambeth Council, Lambeth Police, and various health and care agencies.

The event is free to attend and there is no need to book, just drop in to the Centre at 2 Mitcham Lane between 9 – 11AM on 7 February.

The Streatham Drop In Centre for Asylum Seekers and Refugees is gearing up for 2019, having assisting over 450 people in the local community during 2018.

The Centre, often the first community resource used by vulnerable children and families in the area, offers various services for Asylum Seekers and Refugees in the local area.

As well as general advice and information, health advice, food bank vouchers, English lessons and a women’s wellbeing project, the centre also offers a creche service, homework club and various events throughout the year for children and young people.

Brian McCarthy, the Centre’s Coordinator, said: “Addressing abject poverty in response to expressed need has become an increasingly significant area of our work.  By delivering advice services and signposting, distributing foodbank vouchers and providing a safe space for our users, the Centre has provided vital support to a rapidly rising number of people who are destitute and require essential living needs.

 “We are extremely thankful to all our donors, staff and volunteers who enable us to provide this essential service to individuals and families who are in great need. Our vision is a community in which all asylum seekers and refugees are welcomed, valued and able to participate fully in society and with much appreciated support we will continue to strive to achieve this.”

General advice and information at the Centre is provided by qualified staff and trained volunteers with relevant experience in welfare, housing and consumer rights. Specialist healthcare services are available and the Centre’s Women’s Wellbeing Project delivers a range of wellbeing activities where participants gain confidence while acquiring new skills, as well as recently introducing massage relaxation techniques.

The Centre’s volunteer-led English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) is provides much-needed extra support for language learners, and family learning sessions empower parents to participate more actively in their children’s educational life.

Some of the activities for young people during 2018 include visits to Streatham Community Garden, a day at the seaside, visiting libraries and museums and making kites on Streatham Common, and the always popular Saturday Homework club aims to develop children’s literacy and numeracy skills.

“Our programme of educational, community and fun activities is devised with children and families in mind,” Brian continued. “Many of our users have families and we understand the importance of ensuring children are able to enjoy their childhood and develop with the same opportunities as other children their age. Last year we delivered an even more ambitious programme, including hosting events in conjunction with Streatham’s food and film festivals, and we look forward to stepping it up a gear again 2019.”

The Streatham Drop-in Centre is a registered charity and relies on grants, donations and fundraising events to provide much needed support.

It is extremely grateful for grants from Trust for London, Walcot Foundation, BBC Children In Need, London Churches Refugee Fund, The Hilden Charitable Fund, Thrale Almhouse and Relief in Need Charity, Trust for London and would also like to thank local faith communities English Martyrs Church, St Peters Church, Clapham Methodist Church and Faith Together in Lambeth for their donations and support.

The Centre is holding an Interfaith Harmony Breakfast, open to the public, on 7th February 2019 in conjunction with Faith Together in Lambeth. More details can be found here: [add link to press release].

If you would like to donate, volunteer or find out more about the services offered please visit: http://streathamdropin.org.uk/ or follow us on Twitter @DropInStreatham




JOB DESCRIPTION: Chair of board of trustees

The Charity’s objectives are:

  • To provide relief to refugees, asylum seekers or similarly disadvantaged individuals and their dependents;
  • To preserve and protect the health of refugees, asylum seekers and their dependents;
  • To advance the education and training of refugees, asylum seekers and their dependents;
  • To provide or assist with the provision of facilities for recreation or other leisure time for refugees, asylum seekers and their dependents with the object of improving their conditions of life and assisting their inclusion into the wider community, in particular but not exclusively by the provisions of the drop-in centre.

Trustees meet approximately once a quarter to ensure these aims are fulfilled, to oversee the running of the charity and to guide it strategically. Trustees are expected to attend meetings as regularly as possible and to be fully prepared.

Responsibilities of the Chair

The charity is governed by a board of trustees who are seeking an experienced Chair to lead the organization going forward. Working closely with the other trustees and the charity coordinator, the Chair will ensure that the charity meets its objectives

We are preferably looking for a Chair who can demonstrate an understanding and interest in the issues faced by refugees and asylum seekers or has a willingness to learn and a genuine interest in improving the prospects of this disadvantaged community within Streatham and south London.

You will have the skills necessary to lead a Board and support the trustees by providing strategic guidance and a foster a supportive and collaborative environment.

You will have a demonstrable ability to work with individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and be adept at communicating effectively across the organization and with its users.

Additional responsibilities as a trustee

As well as being Chair you will have the following trustee responsibilities shared with other members of the board:

  • To ensure that the organisation complies with its governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations
  • To ensure that the organization pursues its objectives as defined in its governing document
  • To ensure the organisation applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objectives
  • To contribute actively to the board of trustees' role in giving firm strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets
  • To safeguard the good name and values of the organisation
  • To ensure the effective and efficient administration of the organisation
  • To ensure the financial stability of the organisation
  • To protect and manage the property of the charity and to ensure the proper investment of the charity's funds
  • If the charity employs staff, to appoint the Project Coordinator and monitor his / her performance

To apply for the role - please visit the Reach Volunteering website here: http://bit.ly/ChairStreatham

On Friday 22 June the Streatham Drop-in Centre is hosting a food-filled fundraiser as part of the Streatham Food Festival.

A selection of Eritrean, Ethiopian and world cuisine, with both vegetarian and meat options, will be on offer and the money raised from donations will go towards activities for children over the summer.

The centre, which has been open for 16 years, provides a range of practical needs-led services and activities for asylum seekers and refugees in the Streatham area.  Their services include drop in sessions offering general, health and legal advice, English language classes and a homework club for children on Saturday mornings. This Saturday [02 June] they took a group of young people to Streatham Community Centre Garden to learn about nature and plant their own flowers.

This will be the fourth year the centre has held the World Cuisine event in order to raise money for the charity.

Brian McCarthy, the centre’s coordinator said: “We’re really excited to host this event again this year. Last year we hosted over 70 people, and the funds raised paid for a children’s trip to the seaside.

“The food is always incredible and it’s great to see both people who use our service getting involved and sharing their cultures, as well as people completely new to the service just coming to find out more about what we do here.

“Our vision is a community in which all asylum seekers and refugees are welcomed, valued and able to participate fully in society. All are welcome, and people are able to walk in on the night.”

The event starts at 7pm on 22 June, at the Streatham Drop-in Centre, on 2 Mitcham Lane (next door to English Martyrs Church).

For all the latest Streatham Drop-in Centre news, follow us on Twitter @dropinstreatham or visit www.streathamdropin.org.uk



As part of our vision to enable asylum seekers and refugees to feel welcomed, valued and able to participate fully in society, this summer we are hoping to send a group of around 40 refugee children and their families on a day trip to the seaside at West Wittering beach near Portsmouth. We are hoping to raise £2000 to hire transport for the day and have a picnic...

You can donate here. https://mydonate.bt.com/events/childrefugeestoseaside


On Friday 23rd June, as part of the Streatham Food Festival, we'll be hosting a special fundraising event offering a selection of delicious Eritrean, Ethiopian and world food.

Last year this successful event raised funds for a children’s trip to the seaside. Come along, help raise funds for disadvantaged children and learn about the work of the charity.

Suggested Donation £10

To book email dropin@emchurch.plus.com or simply walk in on the night.

Streatham Drop-In Centre Streatham

2 Mitcham Lane (next door to English Martyrs Church)

SW16 6NN

Friday 23rd June at 7pm.

We're hosting another World Cuisine Fundraiser!


Thursday 16 June 2016 @7.00pm

Streatham Stables (The White Lion)

232 Streatham High Road, SW16 1BB

Please join for an evening of delicious Eritrean, Ethiopian and world cuisine.

This unique fundraising meal, will include a wide variety of traditional vegetarian & meat dishes from around the world, specially prepared for Streatham Food Festival.

Come along to try tasty food, learn more our work and raise funds towards refugee children and family activities.

 Suggested donation - £10 per adult

Families welcome

Reservations information: dropin@emchurch.plus.com

Alternatively feel free to turn up on the night