"While dashing through the kitchen, I passed a smiling individual looking very happy. I knew they had been under tremendous difficulties. Our conversation was dominated by their thanks and appreciation and ended in words I will never forget; "Thank you - the Centre is my therapy."
"Talking to a student who told me how she misses her sister and family and yet knows she can't see them. Then she turned to me and with her beautiful smile said; “You (the Centre) are my family.'
"Seeing the sheer pleasure on our students’ faces during the football match between Islington Centre and the Medical Foundation. Whether from working as a team to secure passes for a well-deserved goal, or simply the satisfaction of working up a sweat, we were truly present in the moment and forgot all distractions and problems."
"Getting benefits reinstated for a client left destitute after they were stopped due to official error. The client had no money to buy food and was being threatened over rent and council tax arrears. A comparatively simple procedure (with excessive 'on hold' phone music) made a significant difference to the client’s well-being, both physical and mental."
"The session we sang ‘Hometown Glory’ by Adele. I invited students to sing memories of their hometown in their native languages. We had the chorus sung by all in English, and verses in Farsi, Turkish, Russian and Spanish, that was such a unique moment!"
"The first time I came to the Centre, I helped in the Art and Writing workshop. At the beginning there were just bits of coloured card and a blank whiteboard, and some students weren't confident in what they could make and write. But by the end beautiful things had been created, accompanied by the most moving poem written together. It was quite magical."
"When I cooked and served food the first time I noticed how it makes people smile and helps everyone come together. No matter what the dish or ingredients there is always something to talk about. It gives people the chance to talk about home."
Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants is a registered charity in England and Wales - Number: 1135205 - Registered as a company limited by guarantee in England & Wales - Number: 07076199.
Registered address: 16-18 Cross Street, London N1 2BG