Hackney Migrant Centre opened in April 2008 after it was identified by several sources that there was a need for an advice and support service in Hackney and the local area. Some of these sources include: Hackney Refugee and Migrant Support Group, that has for some years been in contact with, and informally supporting, destitute individuals in need of health access, legal advice and practical support, City and Hackney Primary Care Trust (PCT) that was concerned about asylum seekers failing to access health services, particularly in the light of ambiguities and confusion about their eligibility, Hackney Community Law Centre's immigration and welfare rights advice services who have been seriously oversubscribed for some time, and North London Action for the Homeless and the Hackney Churches Winter Night Shelters have also identified a number of destitute migrants and refugees in need of practical assistance. Despite a large number of refugee community organisations in the area, until the establishment of Hackney Migrant Centre, there was no single service offering professional advice and support to migrants regardless of their nationality or immigration status.
Our Advice Service
The advice services are provided through partnership arrangements with visiting professionals from various advice agencies. Our immigration advisors comes from Islington Law Montague Solicitors and are paid for their time. Our welfare/housing advice comes from Praxis, a refugee organisation based in Tower Hamlets. We also get advice from community care solicitors at Hackney Community Law Centre as part of the 'Sustainable Advice in Hackney' Strategy of which we are a partner agency. We have also just started working with Project 17 - who advice families who have No Recourse to Public Funds.
Hackney Migrant Centre Activities
- Weekly drop-in for advice and social activities
- Free immigration and welfare advice
- Medical advice and help in accessing NHS health services
- A nutritious meal
Many different services refer migrants to our drop-in. We don't offer appointments as we are a drop-in and operate on a first come, first serve basis. Therefore, you can simply direct people to us.
Alternatively, you can call our coordinator, Helen Hibberd (tel: 07504332706) or email
firstname.lastname@example.org to inform us that you are directing someone to our service or to find out more about what we could offer the individual.
If a visitor has limited English and is unable to bring a friend/family member to interpret, we will try to book an interpreter but we require advance notice that the individual will be accessing the service.
If you are a professional and are interested in visiting the service to obtain a clearer idea about the service we offer, please email our coordinator above to book an appointment.