What we do
At Refugee Connection, we get to know the unique person behind the labels of 'refugee' or 'Londoner' - and we are about getting people together, who would never normally meet, as individuals. We invite people to get to know each other over shared interests.
On Mondays and Fridays you can find us at the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, so everyone involved can get together to share food, drink and conversation. We also arrange table tennis tournaments, film nights, picnics, BBQs and lots more on a regular basis. Click here to see what's on this month.
Our social get-togethers and the work involved in organising them is completely voluntary, we only use donations and funding to run our advocacy casework clinic.
We run free advocacy and advice clinics where people can seek expert knowledge and advice relating to the extremely complicated bureaucracy that comes with the asylum process and building a life in a new country. We can assist with anything from housing to welfare benefits, and from 2018 we will be providing OISC-regulated immigration advice. All our funding goes towards our advocacy casework clinic.
Sufjan and Lina
Sufjan is in forties from Iraq. He has lived in the UK for a long time - nearly 20 years – but before he got in touch with RC he didn’t have any British friends.
Lina is in her thirties. She is from Scotland and has lived in London for 8 years.
They met each other at Refugee Connection about 6 months ago. They meet up together every couple of weeks. They meet for a coffee or a walk in the park. Sometimes they meet at Dalston Eastern Curve Garden on Friday evenings with other people from RC. Lina has introduced Sufjan to her family and Sufjan has introduced them to his young daughter. They get along very well and have both also got to know a wider network of people through RC. Sufjan regularly comes to Open House.
Farhad and Ben
Farhad and Ben are both in their early twenties. Farhad is from Iran and has been in London for 3 years. He has no family or close friends here. Ben was born and brought up in London.
They met through Refugee Connection and regularly spend time together. They enjoy cooking, watching films, and going to music gigs together and they have both introduced each other to their friends. They have also supported each other while they are both trying to find jobs in London. They have lots in common and get on really well – but they would not normally have had the opportunity to get to know each other.
“Refugee Connection gives me a chance to make new friends, improve my English. It gives me a new outlook on life, new potential, a new everything … a new way to live. It has showed me that life as a refugee isn’t just ‘brown’ … life has colour again”
Kamal 35, from Sudan, arrived in London 6 years ago and joined our organisation 8 months ago.
"When I come to Open house on Monday afternoons, my stress and headache disappear, and when I speak to my friends here I just feel much better. We eat good food, chat... people are interested in getting to know me, my English is improving so quickly. I genuinely enjoy it here...I have hope for the future now"
Aliah, 28, from Afghanistan, arrived in London 2 years ago and joined our organisation 6 months ago.
"I felt really hopeless whenever I watched the news, thinking of people who had to leave their homes because of war or persecution, and then feeling like nobody here wanted anything to do with it. Refugee Connection was literally the only organisation I could find where I could just spend time with someone as a friend and not as a 'volunteer'. I could meet people and get to know them in an easy-going way, not have to mentor them or be subjected to a time limit... I've got to know people I would never normally have the opportunity to meet, in a very genuine way, and that alone has enriched my life in countless ways - in a nutshell: I've met some lovely people and had a laugh!"
Nina, 47, from the UK, joined our organisation 7 months ago.
Our office at the Bootstrap Company and Dalston Eastern Curve garden.