Warm Spaces continue to offer warmth, friendship and support

April 2024

My name is Shafraz. I am from Sri Lanka and have been in the UK for two years. I am seeking asylum here with my family. 

I lived in Walthamstow in a hotel for one year.  When we first arrived here we didn’t know anyone, but we got a lot of community support. The council directed us to Warm Spaces and local organisations that gave us a platform to make contacts and build our new life here. 

The Warm Spaces around Waltham Forest were very important for us. Homework club for my children on a Wednesday afternoon at Stafford Hall. BBQ events over the summer where we had a chance to cook some of our own food or eat together. The Hornbeam Cafe on a Monday for cooking or other activities. St. Josephs school also offered a dinner where we would eat with many others from the hotel. These have been important for us to build our community and a support network in Waltham Forest. 

In January we had a very distressing experience for our family and other vulnerable people. However, we were supported by local residents and the people we had met in Warm Spaces.

We still come back to Waltham Forest to the community that was very much built through Warm Spaces. For me and for many other asylum seekers, Warm Spaces continue to offer warmth, friendships for life and support at the time when we feel isolated and vulnerable. And for that, I am very grateful.

Want more updates about the Warm Welcome campaign?

Stay up to date with our latest news: