West London based charity, Horn of Africa Youth Association (HAYA), is to expand its social inclusion programme for young refugees, thanks to a grant from Thames Valley Housing’s (TVH) Community Chest.
Founded in 2001, HAYA was set up in Hillingdon by a group of professional volunteers who had arrived in the area years earlier as refugees themselves.
Rashid Jama, Centre Co-ordinator at HAYA said “Having experienced the problems associated with being a refugee first hand, we committed ourselves to becoming a source of support for new arrivals, who are often excluded from mainstream society because of their ethnicity and background.”
“Young refugees face a number of barriers; language difficulties, homelessness, high unemployment levels and a lack of social opportunities, all of which contribute to their exclusion. HAYA works to break down these barriers through the provision of advice, information and support.”
TVH has granted the charity £1000 from its Community Chest. HAYA will use the funds to facilitate employment and crime prevention workshops. The workshops, set to commence in October, will target young refugees in Hayes who are depending on job seekers allowance and income support. They will equip the refugees with the skills and confidence they need in order to secure employment, teaching them how to create and update a CV as well as how to search and apply for jobs.
Thames Valley Housing launched its Community Chest in 2007; it provides funding to TVH residents, community projects and wider community based charitable programmes working within TVH’s areas.
Notes to editor:
Thames Valley Housing is based in Twickenham, West London and delivers housing to a wide range of people who have many different needs. Founded in 1966, the association manages and administers over 13,000 properties in London, Middlesex, Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire and Sussex, and has 2239 properties under construction. Thames Valley Housing aims to meet the aspirations of all our customers and residents, helping them to get the home they want or need at the outset and providing further opportunities to move or buy later should they wish. It provides affordable rented homes, HomeBuy, market rent and key worker accommodation. Thames Valley Housing also manages the staff accommodation for eight NHS Trusts.
HAYA is one of the most respected and well-established community organisations serving the refugee community in Hillingdon and West London neighbouring boroughs. The organisation was founded in 2001 and plays a crucial role in advising, guiding and supporting members of the community to integrate with the mainstream during their early years of resettlement.