Christmas Appeal 2020

Dear Friends and Supporters,

This season please give generously to Haringey Migrant Support Centre’s Christmas Appeal to enable us to continue our vital work providing support and advice to the most vulnerable members of our community.

COVID-19 and the unprecedented pandemic has pushed the most disadvantaged migrants further into crisis. Many are locked out of accessing vital social support due to their immigration status, particularly those with No Recourse to Public Funds. During this time HMSC has been unable to run its drop-in sessions and triage. In the face of overwhelming demand, staff and volunteers have continued their work over the phone and online throughout, helping our most destitute visitors and giving them advice on immigration, housing and welfare issues.

HMSC launched a Coronavirus hardship fund during the first lockdown in April, distributing money and vouchers to those in need. We have also continued advocacy and campaign work with other organisations. In addition, volunteers ran errands and brought food to vulnerable visitors self-isolating.

Since the lockdown in March, we have supported 259 individuals and given small hardships payments to 293 visitors via our emergency Covid Fund. We have assisted 43 new visitors and the need for our service continues to grow. Your donation could begin to help change the lives of hundreds more migrants and their children next year, individuals like FG and C:

FG had a long road trying to regularise his status. He has been looking after his autistic son in the UK for 12 years, with support from HMSC he finally got his papers and recourse to public funds at the end of January 2020. He managed to apply for universal credit and housing benefit just in time before the pandemic and he started getting payments at the beginning of March. He and his son now have a proper place to live in, and he even managed to buy a computer just a week before the lockdown to keep his son busy gaming with his friends.”

C was very happy to report that she and her family were finally moved to a Council house with a secure tenancy – no more dealings with agencies. She has been in the UK for around 15 years and since coming to HMSC for advice she is slowly but surely regularising the family’s status. She is waiting to make an application for British Citizenship for her second child. There have been some very low periods for C, so it was great to hear from her.

HMSC provides a vital service to some of the most vulnerable members of the local community. However, we are operating under extremely challenging circumstances in the wake of the pandemic and need your help to reach many other migrants in need of support. Despite the crisis, the UK Government is increasingly hostile towards migrants and many of our visitors are further disadvantaged by multiple overlapping crises; they face difficult obstacles on the long route to gain settled status.

Your support means we can continue to provide specialist immigration advice to disadvantaged migrants, including trafficked women and those escaping domestic violence. Our advisers also work to resolve the housing and welfare problems of the migrants we support and in doing so help destitute families to move out of extreme poverty and homelessness. 

Please support us if you can. Every donation, however small, will make a difference! If you are able to help our visitors and support our work, please donate here.

If you are a UK taxpayer, donating through Virgin Money Giving this allows us to claim Gift Aid, which increases each donation by 25% at no cost to the donor.

If you can, please consider setting up a direct debit to support our work. HMSC is a grass roots, local and transparent organisation, operating in extremely difficult circumstances, and regular giving from individuals is one way towards a more sustainable future for the work of the Centre.

You also can send a cheque, made payable to Haringey Migrant Support Centre, to our address: St John Vianney Church Hall, 386 West Green Road, N15 3QL.

To know more about the work of the centre, you can watch this film about the work of our volunteers.

Thank you in advance for your support and generosity!