Leyton Orient Trust and Walthamstow Migrants’ Action Group (WMAG) have joined forces to support migrants and refugees in the borough.
The collaboration, which started back in December, will help to promote the services and campaigns which have been launched by WMAG.
Both organisations share a desire to positively impact the lives of disadvantaged communities. The Trust does this through sports, educational and leisure projects for local communities; while Walthamstow Migrants’ Action Group focuses specifically on the needs of migrants and refugees.
Dr Helen Taylor, Secretary of WMAG, said: ‘We are delighted to be able to collaborate with Leyton Orient Trust. This partnership will help us spread the word about our services and extend a welcome to migrants and refugees in our community.’
WMAG was formed in 2013 with three key aims: To support migrants in Walthamstow; to promote integration between migrants and non-migrants; and to challenge negativity about migrants in the media and in political discourse.
‘The current political climate makes it more important than ever that we stand up to hostile and inaccurate reports about the negative impact of migration on local communities,’ added Dr Taylor. ‘We want to celebrate the diversity of our community, which has only been made stronger by a history of migration.’
Walthamstow Migrants’ Action Group hosts a number of services to further their aims, such as the Migrants’ Support Centre which takes place every Friday morning at the Salvation Army in Forest Road. The drop-in service provides free advice on issues such as immigration, health, benefits and housing, in partnership with RAMFEL (Refugee and Migrant Forum of Essex and London).
WMAG also hosts free English lessons for young women, in collaboration with Timebank, at the support centre. In addition, the group is encouraging anyone who has experienced racist or religious hate crime to report it via the WMAG website or at the drop-in centre.
Stella Creasy, MP for Walthamstow said: ‘Walthamstow Migrants’ Action Group speaks to the best instincts of our local community – helping to guide and support those who are in need of assistance, where ever they come from, as fellow residents of our area, to ensure that all are treated with dignity and goodwill. I am proud that Walthamstow continues to mean welcome in both word and practice.’