Help For The Most In Need
We were delighted when Hackney Council asked us to help distribute money from its NRPF (No Recourse to Public Fund) grant. Over the years we have been getting more and more clients from that borough so we knew we could help.
We were one of four charities involved in giving out a total of £70,000. The other charities included SWIM (Support When It Matters), the Kanlungan Filipino Consortium and the Refugee Women's Association.
I was the person who administered this hardship fund for MEWSo. I was prepared but it was still a hard task, especially emotionally.
We publicised the fund on our social media channels, our website, our newsletter and the newsletters of other organisations and we used our community networks, our WhatsApp groups and the word of mouth from charities, such as Solidarity Knows No Borders.
Both our Senior Domestic Abuse and Senior Welfare Advisors have strong links in the community and put the word out, too. And news about the fund also got into the local online newspapers.
So within five or six weeks we had pretty much all the referrals we needed and more!
I spent most of my time gathering information from the individuals and families who presented themselves and then using the assessment guidelines to determine who was eligible.
I saw so many families who were single mothers with one, two or three children, who were in dire situations. Most of the referrals were women and some men. Many had disabilities, no employment, were about to be evicted and some were homeless. They needed money for medication, blankets and warm clothing, coats, shoes even socks. And all the people who came to us were undocumented.
This was the tough part, it was overwhelming. But being able to help them, just a little, felt really good. People were coming to our offices shivering from the cold and when they left they had tears in their eyes because we were able to help. We could only help them in such a tiny way but they could buy the food they wanted, and clothes they needed and feed and clothe their children.
In total we were able to help 53 families and individuals and refer another 22 to SWIM and 12 to the Kanlungan Filipino Consortium who still have funds available.
In fact, because of the sheer numbers of people coming to us, we have been able to extend the scheme for another month. Now it ends on 30 April, 2022.
Any organisation who wants to refer a family or an individual, or anyone who wants to access the fund for themselves, email me: Aman.Zanoon@mewso.org. Be quick. There's no time to lose!
Campaigns & Administrative Assistant, MEWSo