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