500 hours of help

by Cardinal Hume Centre in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

500 hours of help

£12,488

raised so far

+ est. £1403.50 Gift Aid

63

supporters

We're fundraising to provide 500 hours of additional support to young people and families pushed into poverty by the cost of living crisis

by Cardinal Hume Centre in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Securing £20,000 will mean we can provide 1,000 hours of advice and advocacy for people like Kayeligh, escaping poverty, and helping them turn their lives around.


National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund

We’re taking part in the National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund. Donations to our project will be matched by the fund up to the value of £250 to help us overcome the effects of the pandemic.


Please note only one donation per supporter will be matched by the National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund.

This project was match funded by the National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund from February to March 2022. Thank you to everyone who gave so generously during this time.

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Last year, more than 1,100 needed advice and support services at the Centre. We predict more people needing help as refugees arrive, and food, energy and rent prices keep rising.  

  • £250 could pay for two days of specialist advocacy and representation in a complex housing problem.
  •  £40 could triage someone who walks in off the street and needs crisis support.

 You will help young people like Mohsen, who fled war in his home country: 


"My name is Mohsen, I left my country, Sudan, when I was 15 years old. Militias came burned my village, me and my brother just ran."

"I was in kept in prison by militias for months. I can’t describe to you in English or in my language what happened. They beat me. I saw people die."

"For two years I was always running."

"In the summer one of my appointments was at the Cardinal Hume Centre with my teacher, Jenny. We have English lessons every week. A few months at the Centre helped me to get into a local college and make friends."

Your support will also help people like Kayleigh. When she fled an abusive relationship, she and her son were left homeless:

Kayleigh had been in a happy relationship for seven years, and working in construction. Over the course of her pregnancy her partner became more controlling, and by the time she had had a baby, she says “It was like being in a jail. it was just me and my son.”

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After weeks of worsening threats, she fled in February 2020, and Social Services could only put them in a mens’ hostel: “I was scared. I couldn’t leave my son even to go to the toilet. I wasn’t allowed to get funds. Social Services could give me a card with £40 which had to last two weeks.”

Eventually she was referred to the Cardinal Hume Centre: “When I came to the Centre, in March 2020, I had little hope. I thought I was alone.” 

With help at the Centre, Kayleigh got food, a safe place to bring her son to play and learn, and housing advice to get a safe place to live.

At the Centre we work with young people and families to escape homelessness, and secure work and independence. 

The growing complexities of every case, has more than doubled the demand on the Centre’s advisors helping people like Mohsen and Kayleigh.

Raising £10,000 could provide 500 hours of advocacy and advice for people in need.

The number of people relying on Universal Credit to afford essentials doubled during the pandemic, rising to a peak of 6 million in early 2021. It has only fallen to 5.2 million since the peak. The benefits system is there for anyone to help themselves stay afloat in difficult times. But barriers in the system make it inaccessible to many. Without help, they are missing vital benefits, pushing them further into poverty. Anything you can donate will mean people can get the help they need to escape poverty.

More about the way we work

The aim of the Cardinal Hume Centre’s Advice Team is to address the housing and welfare rights issues that put people's homes at risk in Westminster. Trained staff provide advice and take action on a client's behalf using a one-to-one casework model. Clients receive support to access the correct welfare benefits, have their rights recognised, and challenge decisions which unfairly stop payments. They are also supported to maintain their tenancies, avoid eviction and secure new more appropriate or long-term housing. 

There’s a walk-in service, ready to welcome people Monday – Friday, where clients are greeted and triaged by a team of volunteers and undertake a simple needs assessment. Those who present with a housing or welfare rights issue related to housing will have an appointment booked with an appropriate specialist, or be seen immediately if possible.

Following an in-depth assessment referral which identifies a client's main issue and the contributing risk factors, the specialist then offers information and advice on a one-to-one basis. Appointment-based sessions with a trained advisor will give clients more information about their situation, lay out a plan of potential steps to resolve it, and offer follow-on support, such as whole family support in our Family Centre or employment support from our employment specialists.

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