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Support Organisations: London

Signposting Befriendees to refugee and asylum seeker support organisations in London

 

London-wide asylum and refugee support and advice

 

Refugee Action

http://www.refugee-action.org.uk/our-services/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8dn9hPDL2wIVhJ8bCh03hwx7EAAYASABEgJ66vD_BwE 

Services: help on asylum process and how to access support; advice for those struggling with asylum process, poverty and homelessness; practical support on resettlement schemes.  Based near Victoria.

 

Refugee Council

https://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/what_we_do/refugee_services

Free advice for refugees and asylum seekers.  Based in Stratford.

The Refugee Council provides advice for new refugees, access to private housing, refugees into jobs, building bridges between healthcare professionals and the NHS, health access for refugees and support with homelessness applications.

 

Jesuit Refugee Services

https://www.jrsuk.net/ 

Day centre and for vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers, support and advice, grants and crisis support for the newly destitute or detainees, activity groups, outings, peer support, detention visitors.

 

Notre Dame

https://www.notredamerc.org.uk/

Based in Leicester Sq.  Support for all asylum seekers and refugees especially French-speakers.  Immigration and asylum advice: drop-in service Mon-Thurs 11am-4pm, telephone advice line Fridays only.  Advice for benefits and social services.  Mondays 1-4pm drop-in health clinic.  Thursdays 1.30-3.30 free massage sessions.  Drop-in café incl warm midday meal twice weekly plus two computers available.  Free English classes (prior registration req) – English Entry, English Literacy, English for Jobs.  Employment advice (Job Club) on Thursdays.  Art Group Mondays 1.30-3.30; Sewing Group Mondays 1.30-3.30 and theatre group Thursdays 1.30-3.30.

 

Women for Women Refugees

http://www.refugeewomen.co.uk/ 

Advocacy and support for women who have faced injustice and seek asylum in the UK.  Weekly Monday drop-in during term-time with fares paid and children welcome.  11.15 yoga, Mums and children English class 11-12.30, Beginner and intermediate class 12.30-2pm, lunch, intermediate and advanced class 3-4.30pm.  Based near Moorgate.

British Red Cross Refugee Support Services

https://www.redcross.org.uk/get-help/get-help-as-a-refugee

The Red Cross have destitution services, food banks, healthcare as well as caseworkers and family tracing services.  Go online to find nearest local services.

 

Hackney Migrant Centre

http://www.hackneymigrantcentre.org.uk/

Free advice and casework for refugees, asylum seekers and recent migrants 10.30-4pm Wednesdays.  Registration opens at 8.30 am every Wednesday and they only see first 20 people. 

 

Asylum Aid

https://www.asylumaid.org.uk/ 

For asylum support and advice

 

Migrant Help

https://www.migranthelpuk.org/

Providing support with asylum, human trafficking and slavery, resettlement and interpreting and translating services

 

Connexions

http://dubdobdee.co.uk/category/connexions/

A resource list of migrant and refugee organisations across the UK

 

Immigration Law Practitioners Association

http://www.ilpa.org.uk/
Up to date information on immigration law.  Good site for general briefing but do not advise on individual cases. Provide search engine for finding local immigration legal advisors.

 

Refugee Advice and Support Centre

http://www.vrasc.org.uk/links

Another listing of refugee support organisations – legal, NGOs, community organisations
 

Organisations that help with legal rights

 

Immigration Law Practitioners Association

http://www.ilpa.org.uk/

Up to date information on immigration law.  Good site for general briefing but do not advise on individual cases. Provide search engine for finding local immigration legal advisors.

 

Asylum Support and Advice network (ASAN)

https://www.asaproject.org/about/asylum-support-advice-network

ASAN share advice about legal rights to food and shelter for asylum seekers, refused asylum seekers and forced migrants.

They also have a google group which allows members to share info and ask questions.

 

Organisations that help with finances

 

Getting a bank account

Getting a bank account with a residence permit or leave to remain can be challenging but it’s a struggle to do anything without one. There are a few banks trying to make it easier for refugees – HSBC and online banks Monese and Monzo.  Take a look at this article: https://sonacircle.com/financial-inclusion-for-refugees/?mc_cid=240c16e571&mc_eid=28e6f4164c 

 

Hope for the Young 

https://hopefortheyoung.org.uk/

Hope for the Young provide financial and mentoring support to alleviate hardship amongst young refugees and asylum seekers

 

Organisations that help with ESOL classes

 

SPEAK language groups

https://www.speak.social/en/london/

SPEAK brings together newcomers and locals living in the same city through community-led language groups and cultural exchange events. Through these experiences participants learn from each other, explore common interests and make new friends, breaking down barriers and tackling prejudice in their cities along the way.

This code (code: xxxxx) provides free access to language groups in London.

New language groups open every week.

Email :london@speak.social for more info

 

The ESOL Exchange (Newham)

https://newhamesolexchange.org.uk/

Is a network of ESOL providers joining together to share information ideas and resources in order to improve ESOL in the borough, as well as linking with those who work with ESOL learners in other ways (eg: community support workers, health workers, employment advisors). 


Resources to support English language learners,Toolkit, guidance and talking points for helping others practise their English:

https://learningandwork.org.uk/resources/research-and-reports/volunteers-english-language-learners-and-conversation-clubs/

 

Organisations that help with getting English qualifications, employment and training

 

Refugee Support Network

https://www.refugeesupportnetwork.org/ 

Helps 15-25 year old asylum seekers and refugees access education, provides mentoring, educational support, training and access to higher education

 

RefuAid

http://refuaid.org/about-us/ 

Increases access to English language tuition, re-qualification and IELTS exams by sponsoring places at private language colleges for refugees and asylum seekers who wish to enter further education or British Universities.  They also help with access grants, scholarships, student loans and interest-free finance for education and family reunification.

 

We Are Chatterbox

https://wearechatterbox.org/ 

Started by an Afghan refugee dedicated to helping find work that makes use of refugee talents, Chatterbox. They train and employ displaced people to teach their native languages online and in person and pay them the Living Wage, providing meaningful employment and help with integration. 

 

Breaking Barriers

http://breaking-barriers.co.uk/ 

Supports refugees (with status) into employment.  They provide advice and guidance on finding a job.  They provide English language training including business English, IELTS, English for Work and Customer Services English.  They run workshops and work in partnership with businesses to develop recruitment routes for refugees.

 

 REFEO

https://www.refeo.org/our-services-1

REFEO refer refugees to trusted companies and provide small grants to accompany them on their journey to find a job matching their qualifications and experience.


 

Groundwork London
https://www.groundwork.org.uk/Sites/london/pages/elevate 

Provide employability support for unemployed refugees over age of 25. 

Drop in ESOL classes, career advice and pastoral care from Refugee Action. 

Wednesdays 10-3pm at St Margarets Church SE13 5DL

Thursdays 10-2pm Claremont Project N1 9PD
Need to live in Camden, Islington, City of London, Southwark, Lewisham, Lambeth, Wandsworth, Kensington & Chelsea or Westminster borough

 

TERN 

http://www.wearetern.org/ 

The Entrepreneurial refugee network founded in 2016 to help refugees set up their own businesses.  Help with advice, mentoring, access to business networks and finance.

 

Project RISE

http://www.renaisi.com/rise/ 

A free service to help refugees find work, mentoring, free English, events, social opportunities, help with benefits and housing.  Need to be unemployed with the right to work.  Available in 10 East London boroughs – Barking and Dagenham, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Haringey, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest

 

Breadwinners  

https://www.breadwinners.org.uk/risers

provide support and work experience for young people baking and selling bread

 

Laamiga 

http://www.laamiga.org/

(meaning pathway in Somali) is a free mentoring programme open to women of any age and from refugee or migrant backgrounds who need support in finding work or new directions.  Contact Dr Emua Ali at info@laamiga.org 

 

Organisations that help with access to higher education

Reconnect to Education

If your friend is interested in enrolling in higher education, ReConnect and UCL Institute of Education are running a free programme for London-based refugees and asylum seekers. Their next course is due to start on 21 April 2021– for more information contact Theodros Abraham theodros@Reconnectonline.org.uk.  

 

Student Action for Refugees

https://star-network.org.uk/access-to-university/

Student Action for Refugees provides information and resources about how to apply to university, scholarships, and pre-university courses. They also have an Equal Access campaign and an Equal Access network group which is an open, interactive and friendly forum where students from refugee and asylum-seeking backgrounds in the UK can connect and learn from each other’s experiences of higher education.

 

REFEO

https://www.refeo.org/our-services-1

REFEO supports refugees’ applications to the NARIC (National Recognition Information Centre) for diploma and experience recognition in the UK, to ensure that refugees get official recognition of their existing experience.

rEFEO  pays for online courses that will help refugees secure access to university or find a job matching their qualifications (we also give digital equipments to those who don’t have any to complete their courses e.g. laptop, tablet).


 

Organisations that help with housing and destitution services

 

Refugees at Home

https://www.refugeesathome.org/ 

Connects those with a spare room in their home to asylum seekers and refugees in need of accommodation.  This can provide a vital stop-gap when people receive refugee status and often become homeless in the process.  Requires referral.

 

London Housing Justice

https://www.housingjustice.org.uk/london-hosting

Tackle homelessness and destitution amongst migrants in London. Run a hosting scheme in London and convene the London Hosting Network, with NACCOM, Homeless Link, Praxis, Spare Room, Jesuit Refugee Service, London Catholic Worker, Refugees at Home and others

Also see organisations listed as London-wide support in first category

 

Organisations that help with healthcare 

 

Patients not Passports

https://patientsnotpassports.co.uk/support/signposting-guide.html

Here is a signposting guide for refugees struggling to access healthcare

 

Doctors of the World

http://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/

They support people who have been excluded from, or are struggling to access healthcare. They run a clinic in East London.

 

Organisations that help with digital devices, WIFI and access to technology 

The following list has been collated from list made by RESTART

https://therestartproject.org/where-to-donate-your-computer/

 

Ready Tech Go

https://www.readytechgo.org/

Ready Tech Go can provide a tablet to refugees and asylum seekers in the tri-borough area of Hammersmith & Fulham, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and the City of Westminster.

 

MERIT

https://www.mer-it.org/?page_id=17

Merit provides donated laptops and computers to residents in London giving highest priority to families with several children and no computers in the home

 

REFEO

https://www.refeo.org/our-services-1

REFEO supports refugees’ applications to the NARIC (National Recognition Information Centre) for diploma and experience recognition in the UK, to ensure that refugees get official recognition of their existing experience.

REFEO  pays for online courses that will help refugees secure access to university or find a job matching their qualifications (we also give digital equipment’s to those who don’t have any to complete their courses e.g. laptop, tablet).

 

Bridge the Gap (Hackney)

https://www.bridgethegaplondon.co.uk/

Bridge the Gap provide local residents with laptops, Ipads, Tablets, Desktops, Mobile phones, Gaming consoles and Printers

 

Access Support and Resources Ltd(Hackney)

https://asandr.co.uk/services

Asandr provide laptops and resources to local residents in Hackney

 

Community Tech Aid (Lambeth)

https://www.communitytechaid.org.uk/request-devices

Community Tech Aid provides laptops, tablets, desktops, monitors, smartphones, chargers, computer accessories to anyone in need in Lambeth.

 

Catbytes

https://catbytes.community/any-old-io

Catbytes provides laptops, tablets, desktops, monitors, smartphones, chargers and computer accessories to students, families, individuals without digital access.

 

Community Laptops (North London)

http://www.communitylaptops.co.uk/

Community Laptops provides laptops to marginalised communities

 

Tech Inclusion UK (Tower Hamlets)

https://bit.ly/3mn2uHT

Provides students with Laptops, desktop PCs, tablets, mobile phones and cables

 

Power to Connect (Wandsworth)

https://www.powertoconnect.co.uk/

Power to Connect provides local residents in need with laptops, tablets, desktop computers

 

Keep Kids Connected (Wandsworth, Merton and Kingston)

https://donslocalaction.org/keep-kids-connected/

Keep Kids Connected provides local students in need with laptops and tablets


 

More general social activities, networking services and drop-in centres 

 

London-wide:

 

PAN Intercultural Arts

https://www.pan-arts.net/projects
Pan Intercultural Arts is a dynamic London-based arts company using intercultural performance work to help facilitate self-expression and promote deeper understanding of our changing cultural identities. They work with women who have survived trafficking into the UK, victims of torture and trauma-affected young refugees and unaccompanied minor asylum seekers.  They have 3 Refugee Arts programmes – Amies for young women trafficked in the UK; Fortune for 17-23 year olds who have recently arrived and Future for unaccompanied asylum seekers aged 14-18.

 

Timepeace App

https://www.timepeaceapp.org/
A skills swap mobile app, which will connect refugees / asylum seekers and locals, to meet and share for free their skills, passions and interests.   More than just an app - a movement that strives towards an integrated, diverse society.

 

Meetup.com

https://www.meetup.com/

Join a group, meet up with others with shared interests and passions.  Learn new skills, train, collaborate, share….Multiple meetups happening every night across London.

 

Road to Freedom

www.roadtofreedom.org.uk

Long-term support systems and friendships. Founder Ra’ed Khan digital manager in music industry. Music events. We are a strong team of volunteers who are very keen to organise and facilitate social events such as bowling, days out, tourist attractions for refugees and asylum seekers to experience with their friends.

 

Migrants Organise

https://www.migrantsorganise.org/ 

Help refugees and migrants speak out, connect and build common ground.  They do a lot of advocacy work.  They are based very close to Ladbroke Grove tube just under Westway. 

 

Help Refugees

https://helprefugees.org/ 

A young,grassroots collective responding to the refugee crisis responding where the need is greatest and supporting over 80 projects in the EU and Middle East.  They mostly fundraise to support their humanitarian projects including:
Imad’s Syrian Kitchen (see website for details)

 

Welcome Cinema

http://welcomepresents.com/ 

Monthly events held at Amnesty HQ to unite refugees, asylum and the general public through a shared love of film, food and friendship. Tickets for supper, film screening and Q&A are free for refugees and asylum seekers and approx. £20 for the public.

Welcome Cinema screens mainstream, culturally aware films followed by post screen discussions with topical special guest speakers.
Welcome Kitchen are a collective of friends and refugee chefs celebrating the cultures and cuisines of our homelands.  


 

North London:

 

Barnet Refugee Service

http://www.b-r-s.org.uk/

An integrated model of support to improve mental health, community cohesion and life chances of vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees. Advice, support, ESOL, help with Citizenship Test, Syrian group, mens group, women’s group, emotional support, gardening, youth activities, homework club, raining & workshops, emergency food, visiting solicitors.

 

Refugee Connections

http://www.refugeeconnection.org.uk/ 

Provide meet ups for refugees, asylum seekers and Londoners in Hackney.  They have an Open House social meet up on Mondays.

 

Mrang

http://mrang.org.uk/

Support for female refugees and asylum seekers in NW London

Volunteer to help others (women-only)

 

Xenia

https://xenia.org.uk/
Runs Saturday workshops that brings migrant, refugee, asylum-seeking, refugee and British women together to socialise and practise their English through fun, interactive workshops.  Make friends and children-welcome. Women-only in Hackney.  

 

Sufra Foodbank

https://www.facebook.com/SufraNWLondon/ 

A community hub, Food Bank and Community Kitchen based in Brent with many additional projects including a Refugee Resettlement Programme, food academy (cooking course and professional catering skills), welfare advice service, volunteer opportunities, vocational training for asylum seekers and refugees in Brent area.

 

NWR Synagogue 

https://www.alyth.org.uk/

Alyth Gardens, off Finchley Rd,London NW11 7EL Last Sunday of every month 2-4pm Nearest tube: Golders Green (Northern line) Advice for anyone who has recently received leave to remain in the UK. Hot food. £5.00 travel per adult will be provided. English conversation. Help with children’s schoolwork. Children Welcome

 

AKWAABA 

http://akwaaba.org.uk/

A social drop-in session for migrants from 2-6pm every Sunday in the halls at Green Lanes Methodist Church, 132a Green Lanes, London N16 9BN. The sessions offer a free cooked meal and social and welcoming space incl English conversation classes, bike repair, storytelling, arts and music, wellbeing, computers and wi-fi. Travel expenses are not available. 

 

Young Roots

http://youngroots.org.uk/london/ 

Works with young refugees and asylum seekers through fun and educational activities, trips and 1:1 casework.  Offers peer-led language learning.  For 18-25 year olds in Brent and Croydon.

 

Paiwand

http://paiwand.com/how-we-help/ 

Based in Harrow, set up by Afghan refugees in 2002, Paiwand offers support and solidarity to all refugees in London esp young – Saturday schools, mentoring, youth groups and trips, supported accommodatin, info and advice, emaotional wellbeing, preparing for employment, parenting and ESOL.

 

Laamiga 

http://www.laamiga.org/

(meaning pathway in Somali) is a free mentoring programme open to women of any age and from refugee or migrant backgrounds who need support in finding work or new directions.  Contact Dr Emua Ali at info@laamiga.org 

 

Hopscotch Women’s Centre

https://hopscotchuk.org

Based in Camden. Provides refugee advocacy services to women living in the Borough and  assistance with domestic violence/abuse to female asylum-seekers and refugees across London. Women with the right to work can also sign up to their employability programme.

 

East London:

 

Refugee & migrant forum of East London (Newham, Barking and Dagenham) 

http://www.ramfel.org.uk/wordpress/

Legal advice, casework support, destitution support and crisis intervention for vulnerable migrants (by appointment). Also run free English language classes on Mondays and Thursdays from 10-12. If you are interested then just turn up!

 

Praxis Community Projects

http://www.praxis.org.uk/ 

Advice, training, mentoring, food, friendship and a welcome meeting place for refugees and migrants in London. Pott Street, London E2 0EF Monday to Friday 9.45am-12.15pm. Praxis runs the following services: Form-filling session: every Monday, 10am-1pm and 2-4pm  – for help completing forms relating to welfare benefits (applications and appeals), housing, asylum support and some immigration matters. Call us to book a slot during these times. 

Face-to-face advice: Housing advice drop-in: every Tuesday 10am-12.30pm, Welfare benefits advice drop-in: every Thursday 10am-12.30pm, Immigration advice drop-in: every Friday 10am-12.30pm. Phone advice: Tuesdays & Thursdays 2-4.30pm: 020 7749 7608

Barking & Dagenham Asylum Seeker Drop-In 

https://migrantsrights.org.uk/events/barking-dagenham-migration-hub-drop-in/

BDCVS, Ripple Centre, 121-125 Ripple Road, Barking, IG11 7FN  

A weekly drop in for those affected by destitution, where asylum seekers can get a hot meal, advice and support on a range of issues. Children welcome

 

The London Welcome Project

http://www.healthylivingprojects.org.uk/projects/welcome-project-page.html

11 Green Lane, Ilford, London IG1 1XG Tel: 020 8220 4111 Tues–Thurs: 12:30-3pm Friday: 10:30am–3pm Info: Drop-in service for socially isolated people, particularly the homeless and refugees. Accommodation advice; bathroom/showers, benefit advice; clothing; free food; housing advice, laundry. Nurse-led clinic. ESOL classes. And it has an allotment! Drop in or phone.

 

West London:

 

Migrant and Refugee Communities Forum (MRCF)

https://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/services/2827_the_migrant_and_refugee_communities_forum

Run by the Refugee council.  Free advice, English classes, befriending, leisure and social activities in West London.  2 Thorpe Close, W10 5XL Wednesdays 10 – 5pm Thursdays 1 – 5pm To book a place, please ring Francesca on 020 8962 3045 

 

West London Synagogue Drop In

http://www.wls.org.uk/event/wls-drop-in-centre/

 33 Seymour Place, LondonW1H 5AU,  Third Sunday of every month 2.30 – 4.30pm
Family Drop In Centre for destitute asylum seekers (children and parents only) . Hot food, clothing, food vouchers and travel expenses. You must bring: your Home Office letter of first refusal, and identification documents for yourself and your children.

 

West London Welcome

https://westlondonwelcome.com/

Free drop in centre for asylum seekers, refugees and migrants with refugee kitchen, social activities, English classes open every Thursday (during term-time).  Near Hammersmith.


 

South London:

 

Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers

http://www.sdcas.org.uk/

Provide a wide range of free support services to asylum seekers and refugees in Southwark. They have 2 drop-in day centres in Southwark offering free English classes, gardening, lunch, crèche, storytelling, advice.  

Tuesdays 12.30-5.30 Coplestone Centre, Copleston Road, ​SE15 4AN 

Wednesdays 11.00-2.45 Peckham Park Road Baptist Church, 121 Peckham Park Road
​SE15 6SX

 

Greenwich Migrant Hub 

https://greenwichmigranthub.com/ 

 We work with advice agencies to offer FREE advice and information and provide ongoing practical, social and wellbeing support to vulnerable migrants in Greenwich and neighbouring boroughs. The Hub is open every Tuesday 10:30-13:30 at the Woolwich Common Community Centre. We see people on a first come first serve basis. The session gets very busy and we advise you to arrive early as we cannot always see everyone who comes for advice.

 

South London Refugee Association 

https://www.slr-a.org.uk/

SLRA, The Woodlawns Centre, 16 Leigham Court Road, London, SW16 2PJ

2 weekly drop-in advice sessions, youth casework, family support, ESOL, ICT, education, training and employment support, outing and activities.  There is lots going on every Tuesday here at SLRA. There are English classes (open-access, all levels), a cooked lunch, food bank and our afternoon men´s group. 


 

Streatham drop-In Service For Refugees and Asylum Seekers

http://streathamdropin.org.uk/
Thursdays and Fridays Drop-In Services, 9.30 am - 2.30 am. Advice, information and signposting, English language classes, creche and play facilities, health and wellbeing support & Women's wellbeing activities
Saturdays Homework and Families Learning Project (by application only, please contact us to express an interest in joining)

2 Mitcham Lane, SW16 6N. (Next door to English Martyrs Church)

 

Croydon Refugee Day Centre

https://croydonrefugeedaycentre.co.uk/

West Croydon Baptist Church, (corner of St James and Whitehorse Road), Croydon CR0 2JH. Drop in Tuesdays from 10am to 1pm. A safe social space with tea, coffee and cake. A hot midday meal. A small weekly food parcel of non-perishable goods. Toiletries and household items. Clothing. A help desk and signposting service. Access to term-time English classes on Thursday morning. A play area for pre-school children.


Lewisham Refugee & Migrant Network
http://lrmn.org.uk/
1st floor Parker House, 144 Evelyn Street, Deptford SE8 5DD. 020 8694 0323.
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Immigration advice, health access
Free English classes held at Clyde Early Childhood Centre, Alverton Street, London SE8 5NH on Mondays, 1pm - 3pm, Tuesdays, 10am - 12pm, Thursdays, 1pm - 3pm
Free Literacy Classes on Thursdays from 12 - 1pm
Free Sewing and Knitting Classes at 39 Kitto Road, New Cross, London SE14 5TW on Thursdays from 10 - 12pm

Young Roots

http://youngroots.org.uk/london/ 

For young refugees and asylum seekers through fun and educational activities, trips and 1:1 casework.  Offers peer-led language learning.  For 18-25 year olds in Brent and Croydon.

 

London Welcome Project

http://londonwelcomeproject.org/ 

A social centre of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in Stockwell.  Open every Sunday 12-5pm its services and activities are free and open to everyone incl. the Bike Project, home-cooked food, English conversation and more.

 

The Bike Project

https://thebikeproject.co.uk/pages/about-us?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwv3c0Lba2wIVyb_tCh18HgjqEAAYASAEEgJNvvD_BwE 

A community of refugees and bike mechanics based in South and East London its mission is to get refugees cycling.  It fixes up bikes and donates them as well as teaching refugees to cycle safely in London.  Cycling proficiency courses for refugee women in Wapping and Croydon.

 

 Refugee cricket project

http://beyondsport.org/project/r/refugee-cricket-project/

Based in Croydon and for children

Using cricket as a vehicle, the project provides a safe place where in addition to playing cricket and having fun, the children can relax, congregate, share experiences and feel at home. Cricket brings these children together in a safe and trusting environment where they feel comfortable about discussing their problems and actively seek help and advice from Refugee Council volunteers, where they can gain access to support and services, with an emphasis on accessing education and training.

 

http://www.hackneymigrantcentre.org.uk/other-advice
Resource list of drop-in centres across London boroughs that offer immigration advice, support and other activities

 

January 2022

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