This week we celebrate two years as a fully-fledged CIC – a Community Interest Company.
Why do we not have charity status? As a non-profit CIC, we can be more flexible with our income generation drives (which we need to pay rent, office supplies and services in order to do the work we do). It also means we can be a little less impartial when it comes to politics and other big issues we care deeply about.
We’re a grassroots organisation that began as a ragtag group of volunteers – a fledgling community of people with a vision to do good things, and to support vulnerable sanctuary seekers as best we could. And we’re growing into so much more than that. Now we need to your support more than ever.
As we enter our Terrible Twos, believe us when we say we mean business! We’re entering a fierce new phase in our organisation. There will be tears. There might be tantrums. We’re going to need a LOT of biscuits to get us through this bold new stage of our identity, and to navigate the ever-changing policies, procedures and public perceptions surrounding people seeking refuge within the UK.
We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved so far. We’ve helped more than 600 clients with a huge variety of issues, including access to legal representation for 56 people this year alone. We currently support clients from 22 different countries, helping them get back on their feet, find employment and start rebuilding their lives.
This month, a new Windrush client was awarded Indefinite Leave to Remain after we supported his application, and we are now working on his compensation claim. The legal confusion around his status left him unable to visit his son in Europe or travel for work. It also resulted in unemployment for around 14 months when he had no papers to show employers – reducing him from running a thriving business to living in hardship.
This is just one example of the work we do, the people we support and the vision we have – it would be great if you could help us by making a donation, volunteering with us and helping us to spread the word!