The Streatham Drop In Centre for Asylum Seekers and Refugees has launched an online fundraiser, to provide toys and games for children missing out on a programme of activities planned this summer.
The Centre is an independent grassroots Lambeth charity, which has supported the community for nearly twenty years’, providing services for asylum-seeking and refugee families who often experience disadvantage, poverty and exclusion.
Many of these families are subject to the government’s condition of No Recourse to Public Funds and as a result, struggle to pay for healthy meals and weather-appropriate clothing, let alone toys, games and books for leisure.
Last year over 150 children participated in the Centre’s summer and spring play activities, such as Homework Club, activities in parks, craft-making and visits to the beach.
“Just wanted to say thank you for the enormous effort on my children’s life. [My daughter] got one of the highest results in the school SATs. I am so happy and proud of this amazing centre for the support and consistency all this year,” said one parent.
“At homework club I enjoyed going to the historical museum because nobody was inactive and we all danced beautifully on stage! I also liked when we dressed up in our marvellous clothes. We all brought healthy packed lunches. I also loved when we went to the cinema and watched an awesome movie called Star Wars. The last thing I enjoyed was flying kites because it was fascinating,” said a Year Two child.
Unfortunately, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic restrictions, the Centre has been unable to offer a schedule of learn and play activities for spring and summer 2020.
Brian McCarthy, the Centre’s Coordinator said, “We have adapted to the pandemic and continued to work with our partner organisations to ensure that people are able to access support and services - albeit for from a safe distance. We are supporting more vulnerable members of the community and families experiencing exceptional poverty than ever before.
“By working with partner organisations, assess to food has been strengthened, health and welfare advice provided, and we have begun to distribute technology required to address the digital divide.”
“We are aware of the huge impact current conditions have on children from families living in destitution. We have set up this fundraiser to purchase toys, games, books and other resources for children who have limited access to play and educational activities over the summer months.”
The Centre is aiming to raise £35 for each child it supports. To donate, visit; https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/streathamdropincentre