Our move to become the ‘go-to’ organisation for migrants and refugees in London has taken two giant strides forward.
We have recently completed the purchase of a new HQ and has appointed leading consultants to draw up an agreement between prospective partners.
We are set to spearhead a new partnership of services aimed at migrants and refugees in the capital, including health, employment, legal, campaigning and research.
Work to fit out the 8,800 sq ft building in Stratford, East London is due to start soon and the new service is planned to launch later this year.
Consultants have been briefed to draw up a service offer of how the 10 organisations will work together in the 120-desk office.
The aim is to create an atmosphere where migrants and refugees can access the services they need under one roof in a “welcoming and pleasant” environment.
We have already been given permission for a medical centre to be part of the offering and it is anticipated that this will be taken by Doctors of the World, which supplies healthcare to asylum seekers and undocumented migrants.
Two further organisations’ health services are also in advanced talks to join the Hub, meaning the clinic will provide a range of specialist services to those who need it most.
Another partner is to be BME social enterprise Olmec, which already works closely with us as provider of the award-winning RISE into Employment Scheme.
Arhag chairman, Qadeer Kiani, said: “We have now made significant progress to the aim of creating a one-stop shop for migrant and refugee services in London.
“It comes at a time when many migrants face huge challenges to access basic services like health and housing and struggle to get employment and legal advice, where needed.
“So the collaboration between Arhag and our partners will provide coherent help to address those needs.
“We are very pleased to have secured the building and now looking forward to fitting out the new Hub and drawing up an agreement to work with our new partners on this exciting venture.”
The new HQ, which is in the process of being fitted out, will provide a modern office environment, centralised IT system, shared boardroom and meeting spaces, and a drop in café.
Rents for partner groups are substantially below market rates and will include shared benefits like wifi, IT support and human resources.
Kiani added: “By sharing costs our partner organisations will be able to focus more of their resources on their core offering and we can improve the overall service to the migrant and refugee community.”
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