Refugees at Home appeals for south west Londoners to open their doors to Eritrean refugee

A charity is appealing to find a host home for a female refugee in south west London.

Refugees at Home is seeking a host family for a 39-year-old Eritrean lady who has refugee status.

Rachel Mantell, part of the volunteer management team, said: “We are looking for a host family in this area where she can integrate and be a part of society.

“Hosting is so good for learning English and cultural understanding.”

Rachel currently hosts an Eritrean family at her home in Brixton and has previously hosted refugees from Syria, Uganda and Afghanistan.

She said there are 65 active hosts in the south west London area, including people who can only offer a spare room for just a few nights.

Rachel said: “There is a community of hosts in south west London, it is a lovely, friendly part of London.

“So many people react with kindness and compassion and want to do something.”

Rachel explained that when people are given refugee status, they have just four weeks to move out of asylum accommodation – which can be anywhere in the UK – and find somewhere to live.

She said: “Sometimes we literally have to take them from the streets and there are so many heartbreaking stories of people having their first showers in weeks and being safe in a bed for the first time and not having to sleep on a night bus.

“So many refugees come to London because it is so multicultural and there is a lot of support including charities.

“People want to come to integrate and learn the language.”

Tom Gatzen, founder of Ideal Flatmate, is open to the idea of running a survey among his customers about the idea of hosting a refugee.

He said: “It is definitely something we would be interested in.

“I guess we could contact our users and anyone in the area and see if someone would do it.

“I remember all the politicians said they’ll take the refugees and none of them did.”

If you are interested in hosting, visit and fill out the ‘offer to host’ form.

You will then be contacted by a member of the team about what is involved.

Featured image courtesy of Takver, with thanks

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