We're raising money to continue paying rent so we can keep our social centre for refugees and asylum seekers open.
London Welcome Project (LWP) is a member-driven social centre for asylum seekers and refugees. We open each Sunday, filling a gap in service provisions, providing a hot lunch and a space to socialise, learn English and pursue other interests. The main aim of the organisation is to empower asylum-seekers and refugees, offering them the opportunity to break the isolation they so often face.
LWP achieves this aim in a variety of ways. We provide a nutritious meal cooked by one of our volunteers or members, who are often keen to contribute. We have a library of books, magazines and games for our members to play and read, improving their English and facilitating their socialising. We provide a computer with internet access so that members can contact their families and friends, and access online information. We also support members’ needs and enthusiasms by offering help with English conversation, workshops on CVs and job applications, signposting to other organisations, and providing resources and assistance to members who want to pursue particular hobbies and interests. We also have a bike project which helps our visitors to be mobile in London, and builds up their skills to access employment.
LWP challenges the injustice and discrimination experienced by asylum seekers and refugees by providing a place of welcome, based on equal relationships and solidarity between our members.
One of our visitors, 'Ali', wanted to give back to the project using his art. He was an artist and photographer before he had to flee to the UK from Iran to claim asylum, because of his political beliefs.
A small selection of Ali's artwork
LWP supported him by providing artists' supplies so that he could pursue his art. Over the last few months he's been creating amazing art work, and improving his style, as well as offering drawing lessons to some of our other visitors and their kids.
Ali suggested that we could raise some money to pay rent on the space by using his art to make a calendar for 2015.
We are aiming to raise enough money to keep our centre open for two months. Obviously the more money we can raise, the longer we can keep our centre open to support our visitors, like Ali to have a safe space where they can socialise, pursue their interests, and ultimately flourish.
In return for your donation, you will receive:
£2 - a postcard-sized print of one of Ali's paintings or drawing
£5 - a selection of 3 postcard-sized prints Ali's artwork
£10 - a 12-page hanging calendar, with one of Ali's unique prints for each month
You could use the postcards to send Christmas messages to friends, and the calendar would make a great seasonal and new year gift!
With your donations we can keep the centre open for as long as possible. With your help our visitors, like Ali, will continue to have a safe and welcoming space to spend their Sundays.