RAMFEL was originally established in 1992 as Redbridge Refugee Forum to assist asylum seekers, and became a registered charity in 1994. Ever since we have continued to broaden our services. In 1997, with the help of eleven churches, we set up the first food bank in Redbridge. In 2007 we changed our name to the Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London (RAMFEL). In 2013, in order to better reflect that our service users are coming from and settling further afield than just East London, we changed our name to the Refugee and Migrant Forum of Essex and London. We continue to pilot unique new projects in the area and offer a broad based approach to assisting people from a huge variety of areas and backgrounds.
Through our frontline work we provide specialist providing advice services, which together with our our high level campaign work gives unique insight and urgency. We take pride that we have been able to lead on a number of London-wide initiatives and projects.
We are a not for profit organisation, with a yearly budget of less than £200,000 per annum. Nearly 200 people a week access our services and we see over 100 people a week for advice on a huge range of issues. We also run a series of regular groups for individuals, communities and professionals. We work on issues that some may think at first have little to do with migration or immigration. We do this because we believe that if integration is to work for asylum seekers, migrants and refugees then we, as an organisation, must also play a broader role in the communities where we are based.
Our wide range of experience, drawing on the daily insights from those we work with, as well as the expertise of our staff, means that we are uniquely placed to provide unrivalled access and insight to policy makers, politicians and those with a positive and genuine interest in migration issues.
We are never afraid to speak out, to challenge discrimination, or to make those with power fully aware of the consequences of their decisions on the disempowered.
RAMFEL would like to see a society rid of discrimination and disadvantage, with a positive attitude to the inclusion of asylum seekers, migrants, refugees and BAMER (Black Asian Minority Ethnic & Refugee) individuals and communities.
To provide high quality and effective advice, support and advocacy services to asylum seekers, migrants, refugees and Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic individuals and communities to enable them to make a positive contribution to the community.
RAMFEL has four strategic priorities:
- The provision of high quality generalist and specialist ADVICE AND ADVOCACY SERVICES to BAMER (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee) individuals and communities.
- The provision of COMMUNITY-BASED SUPPORT SERVICES to BAMER individuals and communities (including capacity building for new and emerging groups).
- The promotion of DIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY COHESION to foster good community relations, encourage civic pride, and prevent social exclusion.
- The safeguarding of FAIRNESS, EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS for all individuals and communities.
We recognise that arriving and trying to settle in a new country can be a difficult and challenging experience. Even when lives are rebuilt – mistrust, prejudice, racism and discrimination can continue to seriously affect an individual’s quality of life.