Eight years of supporting refugees

 Helen Bamber, founder of the Medical Foundation for the Victims of Torture, will speak at the AGM of Oaklands Refugee Services in Honor Oak, south London on 16 May. The organisation will be eight years old. It began with a handful of volunteers, meeting asylum seekers at airports and putting them up on the floor of a church hall. They have gone from strength to strength with support from more than a dozen church groups from different denominations - and now run several centres. The community, especially St Augustine's Anglican church, has been very supportive from the start, Oaklands workers Fr Nick Martin and Sr Agnes said. A local convent gave them their first house. During the first winter, after an appeal, they recalled a queue of people coming to the front door with bags of clothes and shopping. Oaklands now runs three centres providing long-term accommodation, food and support services and recently set up a new emergency night shelter for people referred to them by the British Refugee Council.

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