‘From the moment I entered the club building until my departure, I felt care, love, understanding and a very hospitable and friendly attitude towards all the participants from the organisers.’
The Rainbow Lunch Club is a lunch for LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers, where they are offered food, friendship and a safe place to be themselves. Many LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers could not safely be ‘out’ in their home countries and are still not safe to be ‘out’ in their current accommodation. The lunch club may be the first place or the only place where it is safe for them to be who they are.
Our guests are diverse in terms of gender (at our last lunch we had men, women, a trans man, a trans woman and a non-binary guest) and countries of origin, including Uzbekistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Siberia, Nigeria and Pakistan, to name is few.
We have just had news that we have received a grant of £9,990 from the Mercers Company to expand the club from 12 guests to 25 guests and to run it for a further year after the end of our six-month pilot project in October.
5 Home Office hotels in Barnet house 1400 asylum seekers. Delays in processing claims mean that families are living in extreme uncertainty and many have been in the hotels for over a year. Conditions in the hotels have a detrimental impact on mental and physical health and family relationships.
Our new ‘Home from Home’ Club offers asylum seekers from our local Home Office Hotels the following:
We also distribute toiletries, sanitary products, baby food and SIM cards.
We are now in the process of applying for funds and building up a volunteer bank to be able to offer the club once a week after school during the school year.
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