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Support Organisations: London

Signposting GUIDE for our refugee friends


London-wide asylum and refugee support and advice

Help with legal rights

Help with finances  

Help with ESOL classes

Help with getting English qualifications, employment and training

Help with access to higher education

Help with housing and destitution services

Help with healthcare 

Help with digital devices, WIFI and access to technology 

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

Organisations by London area: North, North West, North East

Organisations by London area: East

Organisations by London area: West

Organisations by London area: South, South East, South West


Organisations closed to new referrals in Jan 2024, but hoping to re-open later in the year

Volunteering opportunities


NOTE: This guide was compiled in January 2024. If you are reading it a few months later, PLEASE check websites/give organisations A CALL for up to date information. With the crisis in the asylum system and the surge in new refugee numbers many organisations are overstretched and working to full capacity. Programmes and availability of support may change over the year.

London-wide asylum and refugee support and advice


Refugee Action

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


Refugee Council

Based in Stratford. Info line for asylum seekers; help finding healthcare for refugees and asylum seekers. Advice for new refugees, access to private housing and support into jobs. Appointment-based advice service for newly recognised refugees who are homeless or at risk of destitution. 


Jesuit Refugee Services

Day Centre at 2 Chandler St, E1W 2QT. Need to register (online form) but currently full; may re-open end of Feb 2024. (Call 020 7488 7310 to check). 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

Based in Leicester Sq. Support for all asylum seekers and refugees, especially French speakers. Drop-in service Mon and Thurs 10am-2pm: English classes (Beginner-Advanced level - ESOL assessment required, done on Monday mornings), general support services. Free donated clothes and toiletries available.  Immigration Advice line, Mon, Wed, Fri, 10.30am-1pm. (Fridays in French).


Women for Refugee Women

Advocacy and support for women who have faced injustice and seek asylum in the UK.  English classes, yoga, drama group and more. Fares paid and children welcome. (Check website for updates to programme. All activities require registration). Near Old Street.


British Red Cross Refugee Support Services

The Red Cross have destitution services, food banks, healthcare as well as caseworkers and family tracing services.  Specialist services for young asylum seekers and refugees (15-25). Go online to find nearest local services.


Asylum Aid

Asylum support, advice and legal representation for the most vulnerable: children, survivors of trafficking and stateless people 


Migrant Help

Providing support with asylum, human trafficking and slavery, resettlement and interpreting and translating services. Online asylum resources and free asylum helpline: 0808 8010 503.


Immigration Law Practitioners Association
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.


Right to Remain 

Information, resources, training and assistance to help people establish their right to remain, challenging injustice in the immigration and asylum system. Useful  Toolkit step-by-step guide to how it all works.


Migrants’ Rights Network
Know Your Rights guide (with sections on banking, health, No Recourse to Public Funds etc). and a local resources guides for Brent, Hackney, Haringey, New Cross, Newham and Tower Hamlets.


We Belong

Young UK migrants campaigning for a shorter, more affordable route to settlement.


Organisations that help with legal rights

ASAP - Asylum Support Appeals Project

 A national network, ASAP shares advice about legal rights to food and shelter for asylum seekers, refused asylum seekers and forced migrants. Free legal representation at the Asylum Support Tribunal.

Southwark Law Centre

Immigration advice and casework services to people referred by other advice and community agencies, such as South London Refugee Association.


Help with finances


Getting a bank account

The Refugee Council has a step by step Banking Guide for refugees, outlining how bank accounts work in the UK, how to apply for one and the documents required.) 


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 – such as HSBC and online banks Monese and Monzo. 

Lloyds Bank, the Halifax and Bank of Scotland will now accept an ARC card (asylum seeker’s ID) or a BRC (refugee’s ID) as proof of identity, rather than requiring a passport or proof of addresses over several years. They need a letter of support from a charity stating that the asylum seeker or refugee is being supported by them. It should include the asylum seeker/refugee's ARC/BRC card number and address. The person can then go with their ID and this letter, and any other proof of address such as GP, to any branch to open a bank account.

Hope for the Young 

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


Help with ESOL classes

GLA  -  ESOL maps

Find a local class using the maps. 



Run Monthly Art Talks: a relaxed way to learn English through art tours of some of London’s most beautiful museums and galleries. Contact for details and to sign up.

Conversations Over Borders 

The English and Befriending Project aims to increase confidence in spoken English while building social connections. Opens for referrals on a quarterly basis; waitlist available. 1-1 English conversation class for 1-2 hours per week, for up to 8 months. Online via Google Meet. They also have a group befriending space that runs weekly through a wellbeing project, Tea & Talk. Referrals to all their peer support groups are currently open;  people can sign up here.


The ESOL Exchange (Newham)

A network of ESOL providers joining together to share information, ideas and resources in order to improve ESOL in the borough. Search on their map for a suitable class. 


REAP - English in West London

Yiewsley English class, Basic level: Thurs 10am-12pm. New members register at 9.45am. Upstairs at Yiewsley Methodist Halls, Fairfield Road, UB7 8EY. (doesn’t run during school holidays). If English level is E3 or higher, REAP can help find other groups. Ring/text/WhatsApp REAP 07983 419388.

Wed 9.30-11am, “Home” group for English practise, on Zoom. Email to join. 


Learning and Work Institute 

Resources aimed at volunteers to support English language learners,toolkit,guidance and talking points to help people practise their English.

ELATT in Kingsland Rd, E8 runs free in-person ESOL/English classes; online classes too.

Apply online. Information line: 0800 0420 184 or contact

Waltham Forest Adult Learning runs free English conversation classes in various locations across the Borough.


Help with getting English qualifications, employment and training


Refugee Education UK

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



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

Started by a young Afghan refugee woman 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 helping with integration. 


Breaking Barriers

Supports refugees (with status) into employment. They provide advice and guidance on finding a job, 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.



(Refugee Education for Equal Employment Opportunities) provide mentoring, refer refugees to trusted companies and provide small grants to accompany them on their journey to find a job matching their qualifications and experience. REFEO also 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.



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



Their Risers programme provides support and training for young asylum seekers (16-24) with  2 months work experience as market assistants selling bread. It runs every 3 months. Application form on website.


(meaning pathway in Somali) is a free mentoring/coaching programme open to women of any age and from refugee or migrant backgrounds who need support in developing life skills, finding work or new directions.  Online and in person. Contact Dr Emua Ali at to refer or self-refer.


Help with access to higher education



Works with unemployed and underemployed refugees to gain skills and mainstream qualifications. Helps reconnect them to their professions, especially teaching. They provide guidance and support; liaison with education providers to deliver relevant training including work experience, and support transfer of skills to developing countries. 

STAR network - Student Action for Refugees

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, a forum where students from refugee and asylum-seeking backgrounds in the UK can connect and learn from each other’s experiences of higher education. 


Help with housing and destitution services


Refugees at Home

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.  


Housing Justice - London 

Tackle homelessness and destitution amongst migrants in London. Run a hosting scheme for asylum seekers 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. 


Hackney Migrant Centre’s website lists places that can help with homelessness or provide free food.


Bi-monthly The Pavement magazine for homeless people also has a list of London drop-in centres.


RIPPLE CENTRE -  Food bank for the homeless

121-125 Ripple Road, Barking, IG11 7FN. Food bank 12pm-3pm, Saturdays. Need to register with proof of address. 


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


Help with healthcare 


Patients not Passports

Here is a signposting guide for refugees struggling to access healthcare.


Doctors of the World

They support people who have been excluded from, or are struggling to access healthcare. They run a clinic in East London, E15 2NE - Tues to Thurs (Tues is women and children only), from 10am..Call advice line to book appointment: 0808 1647 686 (free phone) Mon-Thurs,  10am-12pm.

BOLOH helpline for asylum seekers.

Advice, signposting, emotional support and 8 free therapy sessions run by qualified Barnardo’s therapists (online or by phone).Helpline advisors can also help with food vouchers and access to digital devices. Referral by professional or asylum seekers can self refer with direct contact by telephone, email or online chat.


Help with getting digital devices and access to technology 


The National Digital Inclusion Network’s interactive map shows local, safe spaces - from libraries to outreach projects - delivering free digital inclusion support across the city.  As a member of the Good Things Foundation, HostNation can also request SIMs with free pay-as-you-go data packages.

ELATT in Kingsland Rd, E8 runs Essential Digital Skills and Digital Skills for ESOL Learners.

Apply online. Information line: 0800 0420 184 or contact


Code your Future

Once a month they run a basic digital skills course -  3 in-person sessions over 3 weeks - for people with smartphones to learn how to use them for information searching, social networks, job applications and other transactions. Locations vary. They also run a software developer programme, in three stages. 

Bridge the Gap 

Bridge the Gap in Hackney provide local residents with laptops, tablets and mobile phones. They also run Digital Skills workshops. 


Community Tech Aid 

Community Tech Aid can provide laptops, desktops, smartphones,for residents in Lambeth and Southwark. HostNation can refer.



Device loaning scheme for Lewisham residents - need to be referred by HostNation or another organisation supporting them. Also run free digital drop-ins, open to all, with no need to book.More information and timetable here.


Power to Connect 

Power to Connect provides residents in need  in Wandsworth with laptops and tablets. A befriender can refer - email or call 07934 553192 - and the refugee will be put on waitlist. But the befriender will need to collect the device from a digital drop-in.


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


PAN Intercultural Arts
Pan Intercultural Arts - Brunswick Centre, 32 O’Donnell Court, WC1N 1NX - is an arts company using intercultural performance work to help facilitate self-expression and promote deeper understanding of changing cultural identities. They work with women who have survived trafficking into the UK (Amies freedom choirs and creative art workshops), victims of torture and trauma-affected young refugees and unaccompanied minor asylum seekers. The Fortune programme is for recently arrived 17-23 year olds.



Saturday workshops 10am-12pm, at Newington Green meeting house (Hackney) bring together women migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees to socialise and practise their English and make friends, through fun, interactive workshops. Children welcome, as are local  women/befrienders. Sometimes trips are arranged, so if planning to join, should get in touch beforehand - 07835277776 / - to let them know and check the meeting is happening.

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


Fences and Frontiers 

Never Walk Alone is a programme of monthly Saturday walks in London and the nearby countryside. Travel costs are covered. They also run museum trips, for children from refugee backgrounds and their families. Refugees need to sign up/be referred as participants to then be put in the relevant closed WhatsApp group and be alerted to next walk or trip. Form here.


Citizens of the World choir

The UK’s leading refugee choir, with 50 members and open to more joining. Rehearsals take place in Blackheath on Wed evenings. New season begins at the end of February 2024.

Sing with Together Productions

Two Islington-based choirs - Mixed Up Chorus and Sing for Freedom - are open to new members in September 2024.  Both are run by arts organisation Together Productions, which brings together people who may not normally meet to connect, collaborate, sing and create, and stand together in solidarity. The choirs are warm, inclusive and joyful communities of friendship. Travel expenses are covered for those with a refugee or asylum seeking background.

No auditions, no experience required - just a willingness to get stuck in and have fun.

Speak Street

Speak Street Art Talk's programme is a fun and interactive way to practice English and discover London's history and culture.They visit a different museum or gallery every month It's usually a Friday 10.45-12.30 and includes a refreshment. It's free to attend but spaces are limited so email  to book your place on the individual visit. 


Organisations in various parts of London:


North, North West, North East London:


New Citizens’ Gateway

(previously Barnet Refugee Service)  

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, men’s group, women’s group, emotional support, gardening, youth activities, homework club, training & workshops, emergency food, visiting solicitors.

Hackney Works

For Hackney residents: help with employment goals, including CV development, job applications, interview coaching, access to jobs & apprenticeships, links to courses including ESOL & English and vocational training. Register here


HMSC - Haringey Migrant Support Centre

Advice and casework on immigration, welfare and housing. Contact via New Enquiries phone line - 020 4566 7412 - Thurs, 10am. If they can help they invite the person to a triage appointment. Also run a community wellbeing space, 1st and 3rd Wed of the month,in the church hall of St.John Vianney’s church, 370 West Green Rd., N15 3QL.


Sufra Foodbank

A community hub, Food Bank and Community Kitchen based in Brent with many additional projects including a Refugee Resettlement Programme, welfare advice service, volunteer opportunities, vocational training for asylum seekers and refugees in Brent area.


Alyth - NWR Synagogue 

In Alyth Gardens, off Finchley Rd,], 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.


A social drop-in for migrants, 2pm-5pm on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month at Stoke Newington secondary school,  N16 9EX. The sessions offer a free cooked meal and a welcoming space, with English conversation classes, storytelling, arts and music, wellbeing, computers and wi-fi. Travel expenses not available. 


Young Roots

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.



Based in Harrow, set up by Afghan refugees in 2002, Paiwand offers support and solidarity to all refugees in London. Saturday schools, mentoring, youth groups and trips, supported accommodation for young people; info and advice, preparing for employment, parenting and ESOL. Mental health counselling. 



(meaning pathway in Somali) is a free mentoring programme open to women from refugee or migrant backgrounds who need support in developing life skills or finding work and new directions. Online or hybrid. For women who live, study or work in Camden, Islington or neighbouring boroughs. Referrals or self-referral via Dr Emua Ali at:,  


Hopscotch Women’s Centre

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.Over-50s group (Camden only). Counselling referrals to NAFSIYAT, pan-London.

Salusbury World 

In NW6. The Advice Project provides support on immigration, housing, benefits, employment. Referral required. The Women’s Project provides ESOL classes, run at local Family Wellbeing Centres, with the curriculum determined by the students and the issues affecting them; they also run creative workshops. 


East London:


Renewal Programme: RAMP  Refugee and Migrant Project 

Supporting refugees, migrants and asylum seekers living in Newham, generally those who are undocumented, have unclear or as yet unfinalised immigration status. Limited referrals being accepted (Jan 24); if eligible, would go on waitlist, following assessment of needs. Food bank twice a week, Tues and Fri, 11am-1pm.  (Food bank referrals currently closed, though being received through Open Door Newham Food Alliance).


RAMFEL - Refugee & Migrant Forum of East London (Newham, Barking and Dagenham) 

Legal advice, casework support, destitution support and crisis intervention for vulnerable migrants (fill out form for appointment). Also run free English conversation classes on Thursdays from 11am-12.30pm. Food bank and drop-in every Thursday, 10am-1pm at the Ilford office, 326 HighRd, Ilford IG1 1QP. Telephone advice line for new clients Tuesday and Thursday 10am-12pm, 0207 052 5212..


Praxis Community Projects

Peer led groups building confidence, skills and friendships. Advice lines for people on very low income or destitute:Wed 2-5pm, Thurs 10am-1pm, 020 7749 7605. Drop- in immigration advice for those on very low income or facing destitution, living in Tower Hamlets or Hackney, or with no fixed address, 2nd Wed of the month. Doors open 9am, arrive before: few appointments available.Youth group (18-25).for those going through the immigration/ asylum systems. Wed eve. Men’s group, Fri afternoon; mothers’ group (for women subject to the hostile environment with pre-school age children), Tues lunchtime. Usually a few months wait for entry; referrals can be made by emailing:


The London Welcome Project

11 Green Lane, Ilford, London IG1 1XG Tel: 020 8220 4111. Tues and Thurs: 10am-3pm; Wed: 9am-1.30pm; Friday: 9am–3pm. Drop-in for the homeless. Accommodation, benefit and housing advice; bathroom/showers, clothing, free food, laundry. Has an allotment. Nurse-led clinic. ESOL classes. Drop in or phone.


West London:



Their Community Interpreting and Connecting service supports refugees by providing them a route into work with interpreting training and work experience.


Also, see West London Welcome and Migrants Organise in final section. 


South, South East, South West London:



Based in Tooting, SW17, they support people of refugee or asylum seeking background in South West London. 


Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers

Provide a wide range of free support services to asylum seekers and refugees in Southwark. 2 drop-in day centres in Southwark offering free English classes and storytelling (Tues only), gardening, lunch, crèche, advice. Tues 12.30pm-4pm. Copleston Centre, Copleston Road, ​SE15 4AN  Wed 11.30am-3.30pm Trinity College Centre, Newent Close, SE15 6EF.


Greenwich Migrant Hub 

(see also LRMN)

The Migrant Hub at Woolwich Common Community Centre, 17 Leslie Smith Square, SE18 4DW provides a drop-in service, free advice and practical and social support for vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers in Greenwich and neighbouring boroughs.. Tues 10.30am-1.30pm. Register at 10.30am, arrive early as sessions get very busy - cannot see everyone who comes for advice. First come first served. For food support, visit at 1pm. 


South London Refugee Association 

SLRA, The Woodlawns Centre, 16 Leigham Court Road, SW16 2PJ. 0203 490 3443.

Youth casework, family support,education, training and employment support, outing and activities.  English classes, 10.30am-12.30pm Thurs 11m-12.30pm, and community hub with a cooked lunch. Thurs men´s group: 1pm-4pm. Info on groups and activities here. Currently prioritising urgent immigration cases and only accepting referrals from three sources.  s.


Streatham drop-In Service For Refugees and Asylum Seekers

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

Thurs and Fri drop-Ins, 9.30 am-2.30 pm. Advice, information and signposting, English language classes, creche and play facilities, health and wellbeing support & Women's wellbeing activities. Sat: homework and Families Learning Project (by application only, contact them to express interest in joining).

Croydon Refugee Day Centre

West Croydon Baptist Church, (corner of St James and Whitehorse Road), Croydon CR0 2JH. Drop-in Tues, 10am-1pm. A safe social space with tea, coffee and cake; hot midday meal.. Sometimes give out emergency food, toiletries and clothes. Help desk and signposting service.  Wed am, for people in Croydon asylum hotels, language classes, socialising, activities. Play area for pre-school children.


LRMN - Lewisham Refugee & Migrant Network
341 Evelyn Street, Deptford SE8 5QX. 020 8694 0323. Housing and Welfare Benefits advice, with priority given to the vulnerable, destitute and who have children, living in Lewisham. Can refer oneself via online form. Activities change regularly due to availability; check events on their calendar. Include Women Together, for those who have experienced trauma due to gender-based abuse, Women’s Creative Wellbeing, a gardening workshop and beginners’ yoga. 


AFRIL - Action for Refugees in Lewisham have a food Bank - need to be assessed as destitute. (Contact Advice service currently paused for new referrals.

Young Roots

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.


The Bike Project

It fixes up bikes and donates them to refugees and asylum seekers, as well as teaching them to cycle safely in London.  Bike collection in Deptford. Cycling proficiency courses for refugee women in Wapping and Croydon. As a partner, HostNation can make referrals.


ORGANISATIONS currently closed for new referrals - may open later this year (2024).


Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants

16-18 Cross St, N1 2BG

Support service to help overcome practical challenges by emotional support, advice, advocacy. Online and in-person English classes. WAITLIST currently closed. Hope to re-open in Spring 2024.


Ealing Law Centre

Hanwell Community Library, Cherington Rd., W7 3HL.

If a person qualifies for Legal Aid, they can provide advice and assistance with Asylum or trafficking case. No capacity in Jan 24 but hope to have later in the year. 


Hackney Migrant Centre

Free weekly advice and casework on immigration, housing, welfare, access to health for refugees, asylum seekers and recent migrants. Currently closed to new clients. Links on website to other services that might be able to help


Migrant Legal Action 

53 Addington Square, SE5 7LB [no website]

020 3150 1470. Call to make an appointment - available Mon-Fri, 9am-1pm - or talk to advice line (2pm-4pm). Specialist advice on immigration and nationality law,including asylum and refugee law. Representation at immigration appeals and judicial review.

Currently without capacity to take new asylum cases. 


Migrants Organise

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. Currently closed to referrals - hope to re-open in September 2024. Check this link to see when re-opening. 


West London Welcome

Free drop-in centre for asylum seekers, refugees and migrants living in Hammersmith & Fulham,Kensington & Chelsea, Ealing and Hounslow, can be referred or self-refer. with refugee kitchen, social activities, English classes. Open Tues-Fri .Near Hammersmith. Currently closed for new referrals. They may be placed on 2024 waitlist  - or directed elsewhere.


NNLS - New North London Synagogue - Drop-in

Drop-in for destitute asylum seekers and their children, first Sunday of the month. Hope to re-open invite list to new clients in a few months; won’t accept walk-ins.

Volunteering opportunities

Volunteering can be a rewarding experience for asylum seekers and refugees: it alleviates boredom, helps with confidence and self-esteem, enables new friendships,  gets them familiar with the UK work environment and assists in the building up a CV.  Here are a few suggestions of volunteering opportunities:

The Felix Project delivers food to over 1000 organisations in London. Depots in Poplar, Park Royal, Enfield or Deptford offer various roles (such as Warehouse Assistant or office support). At their kitchen in Poplar, volunteers help with cooking and packing nutritious meals using surplus food rescued by Felix, and can eat for free when on shift. Various ways to sign up here. Induction online or in person.  Basic English required to understand Health & Safety requirements.

British Heart Foundation welcomes volunteers in its charity shops. Sign up can be done in a local one. They require ID (ARC card for asylum seekers, BRC for refugees) and two references. Volunteer FAQs here.


Oxfam also offer opportunities in local shops. Can phone or visit to find out more about the role. Application done online, requires one reference – could be a support worker, landlord, teacher, but not family or friends. ID checked in shop.


Local CVSs (Councils for Voluntary Services) advertise volunteering opportunities.

H4All (Health 4 All) in Hillingdon lists opportunities across their five founding partners and various other organisations around the Borough.



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