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Diane Abbot marks Refugee Week in Stoke Newington

PUBLISHED: 10:14 21 June 2012

Diane Abbott MP marked Refugee Week by visiting Hackney Migrant Centre (HMC) yesterday (Wednesday June 20).

The Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP met volunteers and visitors at the Stoke Newington centre and heard firsthand tales of people’s experiences trying to put down roots in Hackney.

Around 50 people visit HMC each week to get advice, support, a hot meal and company. Established in 2008, the centre opens every Wednesday between 12.30-3.30pm and is based at St Mary’s new Church rooms, Spensley Walk.

Trustee and volunteer Rosemary Sales said: “I think for a lot of people it’s very important because it can start the process of transforming their lives.

“There’s a growing group of refugees who are given leave to stay and then left to their own devices. They don’t know how to access services.”

The centre gives professional advice on immigration, welfare, accessing healthcare and housing as well as offering a safe space for those in difficulties.

Mainly volunteer-run, the centre helped people from over 72 countries last year, many of whom were facing homelessness, mental and physical health problems.

There will be a fundraising quiz tomorrow (June 22), 7pm, at St Paul’s Church, Stoke Newington Road.


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