For over two years British Asian Christian Association have been providing free meals for homeless people, the economically deprived and refugees and asylum-seekers. Our work began after Trustees became acutely aware of the growing homeless community in Ilford during a series of outreach events in Ilford Town Centre (click here).
You can read a full review of our ‘Meals for the Homeless’ project and watch videos (here). It includes an account of how we grew the service by meeting the homeless on the streets were they took shelter.
We can serve up to 40 people a day and with the help of partner groups such as Westminster Drug Project we are even able to provide free counselling and were providing free lateral flow tests (click here). The NHS also occasionally undertake hepatology tests at our centre (click here)
This month we continue to see a rise in the number of visitors to our centre, which now includes members of new migrants from Afghan and Ukrainian refugees communities.
Our reputation has grown massively in Ilford and restaurants and community groups continue to offer us support and help. We also regularly remind The Welcome Centre, Refugee And Migrant Forum for East London (RAMFEL), Salvation Army and local churches and religious groups of our services so they can redirect people who need help.
We hope to do more at the centre but our food collections and deliveries require a lot of fuel. We hope to obtain an electric vehicle to make this work more viable for the future and hope some of you can help make this happen. Our current petrol vehicle is over 15 years old and only just passed a recent MOT after a repair to the exhaust. If you would like help us get an electric vehicle please donate (here).
The venue we use for our Meals for the Homeless Project is Clementswood Community Centre which was started by us over 10 years ago and is well known locally. Though no longer under British Asian Christian Association’s control we have free access three days a week to continue providing our meals service.
Our Meals for the Homeless Project was one of only few support groups in Redbridge during the first and most difficult lockdown. Over 65 people visited us two times a day at a time when homeless and economically deprived families found it most hard to get food on their plates. Our work even featured in a BBC News report due to Hannah Chowdhry who founded and led the early project:
You can learn more about the meals for the homeless project in our review (here)