Supporting the resettlement of refugees

3 September 2021
Benefits and money advice

Waltham Forest has a proud history of being a welcoming place, which is why we are committed to supporting refugees. We know that Waltham Forest residents and their families are being impacted by humanitarian crises around the world and that many residents and local groups are keen to continue to support the resettlement of refugees.

This page provides information about the support available for Afghan Citizens, general support and advice for refugees and local charities and organisations that are dedicated to supporting refugees in Waltham Forest and beyond. Visit their websites for further details about the services they provide and ways you can help if your circumstances allow.

We are proud of our track record settling refugees, including several families through the Syrian Resettlement Programme who have been provided with extensive support to help them feel at home in Waltham Forest. We are ready to support Afghans fleeing the Taliban in a similar way and are working with other London boroughs to ask Government to urgently confirm details of their scheme so that we can prepare to welcome refugees to our borough.

Visit our Newsroom to read our statement in full.

British nationals: If you are a British national, or a family member of a British national in Afghanistan, call +44 1908 516 666 (or 01908 516 666 in the UK) and select the option ‘Consular services for British nationals.

Non-British nationals: The Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) is for Afghans who have supported British efforts in Afghanistan. View further details on ARAP.   

Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme: The Home Office is working with partners, including local authorities, to establish further details about the scheme. Further details about the Government’s Afghan citizens’ resettlement scheme will be announced on the GOV.UK website in due course.

Food and baby banks Click to get info

Eat or Heat: The Food Bank may be able to help you through a difficult time by providing three days of free food, per week, for a limited period. You must have a referral, which can be accessed on the Eat or Heat website.

Rukhsana Khan Foundation: Help for local families in Waltham Forest who would like meals delivered to their homes up to three times per week. 

Hornbeam Cafe: A Community Food Distribution Centre providing freshly cooked nutritious ready meals on a pay as you feel basis. 

Al-Fath Trust: A local charity that provides a wide range of services, support and activities that aims to improve and relieve the hardship of the public, including food and warm meals. 

PL84U Al Suffa: COVID-19 Food Bank serving the community of all faiths and beliefs in Waltham Forest with food parcels.

Waltham Forest English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Advice Service: Free sessions open to all residents who want to learn or improve their English, access learning or social integration opportunities.  Text or Whatsapp: your NAME + ‘ESOL advice’ to 07770 054 167, or attend one of our drop-in sessions at Leyton Library every Wednesday from 15 September 10am to 1pm.

RISE (Refugees Into Sustainable Employment): One-to-one support for refugees to help them into training, education, or employment. Phone: 020 7033 2600 Email:

Refugee Council: Information, advice and guidance service supporting refugees living in London in accessing appropriate training and employment opportunities. Phone: 0207 346 1047. Email:

Stories & Supper: Saturday morning workshops for refugees/asylum seekers at Gnome House – using storytelling, drama and poetry to build friendships, have fun, practise English, share food and make connections with the local community. Plus, we offer growing sessions at Higham Hill Common Allotments and the opportunity to be involved in public events. Phone: Facebook: 

Work Rights Centre: Advice on employment rights, obtaining Settled Status, discrimination and health and safety issues at work. Free, confidential service available in several languages.  Phone: 0300 4000 100. Visit: Work right Centre website

Waltham Forest Migrant Action: Free support and advise centre on immigration, accommodation, and welfare issues, as well as signposting to other organisations that can help. Phone: 07496 394 175. Email:  

Citizens Advice Waltham Forest: Free advice on money, Universal Credit / benefits, housing, employment, or immigration problems. Phone: 0300 330 1175.  

Waltham Forest SENDIASS: Information Advice and Support Service for people with special educational needs and/or a disability. Phone: 020 3233 0251. Email:

Legal advice and support Click to get info

Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI): Support on all aspects of asylum and immigration law. Phone: 020 7251 8708. Email:

Refugee and Migrant Forum of Essex and London (RAMFEL): Advice on immigration, housing and homelessness, integration support and EU settlement scheme. Phone: 020 7052 5212 (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am to 1pm). Email: Visit: Ramfel website 

Coram Children’s Legal Centre: The Migrant Children’s Project offer one-off email advice from a specialist solicitor on all issues affecting migrant, asylum-seeking and refugee children and young people, whether they are separated or in families. Email:

Rights of Women: Free and confidential legal advice for women on a range of topics, including immigration and asylum. Phone: 020 7490 7689 or 020 7251 6575. Email:

Ashiana Network: Specialist support for women with a focus on culturally sensitive care and support for women and girls who have survived abuse. Phone: 020 8539 0427. Email:

Solace Advocacy and Support Service: Practical and emotional support, information, advocacy, and specialist services focused on safety concerns, emotional or housing support, legal options, police reporting, child contact, benefits, and financial advice. Phone: 07340 683382. Email:  

Haven Network for Survivors of Abuse: Information, advice and support for men and women and young people who are experiencing domestic or sexual abuse. Phone: 0208 520 0755. Email:

LGBTQ+ Click to get info

ELOP:  A lesbian and gay centre that offers a range of social, emotional and support services to LGBTQ+ communities. Phone: 020 8509 3898. Email:   

Stonewall: Information, help and advice for LBGTQ+ communities. Phone: 0800 050 2020. Email:  

This list of organisations has been put together through consultation with our current networks as quickly as possible to support their work. If you represent a local group or registered charity that would like to feature on this list, please email