Today we are launching a new appeal to help us to continue supporting isolated and vulnerable refugee and asylum-seeking women during the coronavirus pandemic.

Usually, we welcome over 100 women to our centre in London each week, where they can attend our English or drama lessons, practice yoga, enjoy a warm lunchaccess advice, build friendships and support each other. However, due to the outbreak of coronavirus, on Monday 16 March, we had to make the sad decision to suspend our face-to-face activities.  

The ongoing pandemic is hitting the refugee and asylum-seeking women we work with particularly hard, making it even more difficult for them to find safety in the UK and exacerbating the difficulties they were already facing. Despite the resilience and strength of the women in our network, we are seeing a significant increase in the need for emergency support, as women struggle to survive during this difficult time.  

‘G’ said:

My cupboard was bare. I felt so panicky, what could I do to eat? With the money, my neighbour went to the shop for me and got everything I need for the week. 

We are rapidly adapting our services to continue to support the women in our network. We are calling over 300 refugee and asylum-seeking women in our London network regularly for a friendly chat, to update them on the latest coronavirus advice and to support them through the challenges they are facing. We are providing high-quality advice, connecting women with other forms of vital support, including counselling, and providing emergency hardship grants to enable women to meet their basic needs, like food. We are also striving to keep women connected, through phone top-ups and group video sessions, to combat the intensified isolation of lockdown and enable them to rebuild their confidence.  

‘Hannah’ told us:

“I am happy when I receive your call as I know I am not alone. I feel happy. It gives me strength to live and when you call it gives me a good feeling in my spirit”  

We have supported women who have been made homeless during the pandemic, women who do not have the money to feed their children and women who are too afraid to access the healthcare they desperately need. And now we need your help to continue to support refugee women through the ongoing pandemic and beyond. Anything you are able to donate, will make a huge difference during this difficult time. 

Thank you for your solidarity with refugee women!