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Urgent appeal for donations to Islington Refugee Centre

PUBLISHED: 14:30 30 November 2015 | UPDATED: 13:41 01 December 2015

Sarah Dunant (L), artist and refugee Neda with her artwork, and actress Juliet Stevenson (R)

Sarah Dunant (L), artist and refugee Neda with her artwork, and actress Juliet Stevenson (R)

Archant

The Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants is urgently appealing for more donations in the run-up to Christmas in order to stay open for an extra day each week.

Situated in Cross Street, it offers refugees and migrants counselling, hot meals and clothes as well as help with housing and classes in English, art and dance.

It is currently open just one day a week, following Waltham Forest College’s withdrawal of £200,000 a year in funds.

In September, the centre launched an appeal backed by award-winning actress Juliet Stevenson to pay for opening two days a week.

The amount needed is at least £30,000 - and to date, the centre is £5,057 short of its minimum target.

Last Thursday, a fundraiser hosted by novelist and broadcaster Sarah Dunant at her home in Islington brought in £2,443.

Around 65 people attended, in addition to staff and refugees from the centre. During the event, guests at the Centre read poetry and displayed their artworks.

Ms Dunant said: “Hearing day after day news of refugees fleeing from war, I kept meeting neighbours on our street who were asking: ‘What on earth can ordinary people do to help?’

“Well, one of the ways we have found is to host an event to raise money for Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants, which does great work and is in real need of funds to do more.”

Ms Stevenson, who starred in the films Emma and Bend it Like Beckham, also attended the event.

She said: “It’s wonderful that the local Islington community has come together in this way to support their local refugee centre. People coming to the Centre have often suffered the most terrible human rights abuses.

“I’m very proud to have this charity nearby. I’d urge everyone to support the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants and give generously in the run-up to Christmas.”

You can watch a short film about the appeal and donate via the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants website.


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