Hackney has a long-standing reputation of being open and welcoming to migrants and refugees, especially those fleeing conflict in hope of a better life. The refugee crisis in Europe continues to get worse, and as conflicts escalate and become more turbulent in many countries, more and more individuals and families are seeking sanctuary elsewhere.
The Council has committed to participating in the current live scheme for locally employed Afghan staff and also the wider Afghan refugee resettlement scheme. We will work with all of our partners and local community organisations to offer the best help we can to individuals and families who find themselves in this difficult situation.
Our commitment to refugees from Afghanistan
As part of our response to participating in the resettlement scheme, we are currently looking at a comprehensive and supported integration offer that will help refugees settle and be supported in Hackney. This is likely to include housing, health care, education, adult skills and community connections and integration.
A whole range of Council services will be involved in ensuring refugees from Afghanistan have the support they need, including:
- adults and children’s social care
- early years services
- Young Hackney
- health visiting services
- community safety
- housing needs
- public health
- schools and education
Virtual stakeholder session
An online session with faith leaders, community and voluntary sector groups, Council services and wider stakeholders took place on 28 September 2021 to identify ways we can support refugees from Afghanistan as well as asylum seekers placed in hotels within the borough.
Frequently asked questions – Afghan refugee crisis
Information for residents and groups who want to help
At the moment most refugees are in hotels managed by central government – either in quarantine or in hotels where their housing and wider support needs are being assessed.
They are being registered with GP practices and a number of community groups are already supporting these hotels with wider support needs such as clothing, activities and other essentials.
Immediate support needs are currently being met and we are working with several local organisations to be able to respond to emerging needs. However, this is a fast-evolving situation and there may be a need for further support in the future.
It’s likely that there will be an increased demand for local services and community support, such as food banks, advice services, befriending as well as social activities and community connections.
If you can help, please tell us what support you can offer by emailing email@example.com, and we will aim to follow up on contacts from individuals and local organisations.
How to support local, national and international efforts (financial donations, clothing and volunteering)
E5 Baby Bank
Care4Calais have a donation page specifically for East London, and the charity also has collection points around the UK for clothing donations, which are sorted according to the number and age of people in nearby hotels.
They particularly want good quality shoes and coats for adults and children, baby buggies and baby carriers and unlocked smartphones. Help by labelling up donations into bags showing the size or age of items. They also need money for new underwear and socks, and for the cost of hiring storage units and van transport
Hackney Refugee Forum
Advice in Hackney
There are many refugees that have already settled in Hackney that need your help and support. Hackney’s advice sector works with many of these refugees and you can visit Advice in Hackney’s directory to find out more about these organisations and how you can apply to volunteer or donate money.
National or international
- Refugee Council – an independent charity working with refugees in the UK including supporting Syrian refugees seeking asylum in the UK
- Save the Children – distributing essential items such as nappies, hygiene kits and food
- Red Cross Europe – providing emergency health services at central train stations
- Migrant Offshore Aid Station – dedicated to preventing migrant deaths at sea
- International Rescue Committee – improving living conditions by setting up camps
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) – providing water, mosquito nets, tents, healthcare
- Refugee Action – advice about claiming asylum, the asylum process, asylum support
- World Vision – providing food, water, shelter, education and psychosocial care
Foster a child
Unaccompanied children are vulnerable and may be traumatised following their experience and journey. They need safe homes where they can have the time, space and support to begin to rebuild their lives.
Need support or information?
Please visit the dedicated UK government webpage for information on how to request assistance for resettling vulnerable family members from Afghanistan to the UK.
If you have lost contact with a loved one and have been unsuccessful in contacting them through the normal means of communication because of the recent events in Afghanistan, the British Red Cross International Family Tracing service may be able to help. Please get in touch with your nearest family tracing office.
Local organisations offering support, advice and activities to Hackney & City residents: