Refugee and Migrant Forum of Essex and London

“On our Rough Sleepers project, we have two years’ funding and potentially several years more, so we’re able to build a legal strategy rather than just trying to get applications in and the project being over before they even get decided.”

East of England

Charity location

£74,650

Grant size

3 years

Funding period

Our partnership

Refugee and Migrant Form of Essex and London (RAMFEL) is an Ilford-based charity that supports vulnerable migrants to access justice and that provides vital support in moments of individual crisis.

RAMFEL received a three-year grant of £74,650 to fund the salary of a part-time advisor to support their service users. Alongside the grant, RAMFEL has benefited from developmental support around finance and communications funded by the Foundation.

When one service user left her abusive partner, she lost her right to remain in the UK – but she couldn’t leave because her daughter desperately needed medical treatment. She says:

“My daughter’s condition is so serious that sometimes I don’t sleep at night…I didn’t want to fight any more, but my daughter needed to stay here. In desperation I called RAMFEL and they said I had a good case, because of my daughter’s health. In October I met with Clémence [RAMFEL’s Immigration Service Manager] and she said they would take my case on. After the meeting, I sent all my documents in – and in January we got our papers.

“Other people tell you for £300 they’ll make it work, they’ll go to the moon and stars for you, they’d promise you anything for the right price. But when you don’t have money it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not.

James Tullett, CEO of RAMFEL, says:

“At RAMFEL we provide holistic support to refugees, asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants. People normally come to us in crisis or they are destitute, and we try to work with them in that initial period but then as much as possible work towards them being able to move on with their lives as well – finding somewhere to live, finding a job, getting set up for the rest of their lives. We don’t walk away the day you get your papers. One example of that is the project Lloyds Bank Foundation funds us for, which is an advice service for both new arrivals and those who have just gained refugee or humanitarian protection status.

“Long-term funding is so rare. We really value the long-term nature of the grant and its flexibility, and the development support that goes with it.

“For example, on our Rough Sleepers project, we have two years’ funding and potentially several years more, so we’re able to build a legal strategy rather than just trying to get applications in and the project being over before they even get decided. So long-term funding gives us more time to get into the work and achieve better, more strategic results – you could say long-term funding will achieve long-term results.”

Saifullah was also helped by RAMFEL. He says:

"I am from Afghanistan. I was a prisoner for two and a half years and then when I escaped, I finally came here through an agent. We came to Italy and then he brought us to France, and from France they put us in a lorry. Finally, we arrived in England in July 2017 – to Hangar Lane. That was my first step in England. Sometimes I go there still, to remind myself what I’ve gone through and what opportunities I have now. I have received refugee status, so I hope it’s a new start for my life. It’s an opportunity to change my life, work for what I want to be and what I want to achieve.

"RAMFEL are really doing a good job. They’re changing lives every day."

We’re so lucky we found RAMFEL. Otherwise I would’ve gone back home and left my daughter. I’d have left her with someone who loves her very much, but still isn’t her mother.

RAMFEL visitor

What do we mean by Asylum Seekers and Refugees?

A woman holds folded fabric in a store room

People who are seeking asylum in the UK or have been granted refugee status in the last two years.

Our Impact on Asylum Seekers and Refugees in 2018

£3.6

in grants to charities helping refugees and asylum seekers

64

partnerships with charities supporting asylum seekers and refugees

2.5

years is the average length of our grants for Asylum Seeker and Refugee charities

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