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How we support the community

Find out more about the key role we play in supporting our residents from refugee, migrant and asylum-seeking backgrounds.

Local authorities are responsible for the care of unaccompanied children and young people and are involved in the operational delivery of various resettlement schemes, ensuring that those who arrive to the borough can settle and thrive in their new communities.

Read more about some of the ways in which teams across the council are supporting residents.

No Recourse to Public Funds Network

No Recourse to Public Funds Network 

Islington Council hosts the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) Network, known nationally for its work. Since 2006, the network has protected families, adults and care leavers who can't get benefits because of their immigration status. Find out more about their work on the NRPF Network website.

NRPF Network provide information about peoples' rights and entitlements to public services, and publish practice guidance for councils. The Network collects evidence from councils highlighting the impact of immigration restrictions that prevent some people accessing benefits when they experience a loss of income or homelessness. They use this evidence to inform policy recommendations for central Government.

In 2022/23, the Network responded to over 400 enquiries and delivered over 60 training sessions to hundreds of Local Authority staff nationwide. If you are interested or want to book a training session, email

Islington No Recourse to Public Funds casework

Residents facing difficulties because cannot get benefits or local authority housing assistance may be able to get support from us. Families with limited finances, adults with care needs, and young people leaving care are some of the main groups who may be eligible for support.

Residents seeking asylum

The Home Office must provide support and accommodation to poorer asylum seekers while their claims for asylum are being looked at. In the last few years, the Government has used temporary accommodation, like hostels and hotels in Islington, to shelter those that need protection. The Government wanted those sites to be short-term, but many have now lived in this accommodation for over two years.

We know that many people struggle to live in the hotels, with a lack of privacy, poor food, and lack of mental health support. Alongside the work of the council, our charity partner, Union Chapel, provide a range of activities and support for residents.

If you are seeking asylum, living in temporary accommodation in Islington, and need support, you can find out more on information posters where you are staying.

Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children

Islington has a proud history of welcoming and supporting a high number of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) and former UASC care leavers in our children’s services.

We have a small specialist team that works to make sure young people know their rights and the asylum process, and that they are being supported for any other needs they have.

Islington is committed to improving these children and young people’s access to a wide range of education opportunities, including English language learning. This helps children and young people feel part of our community and develop the skills and knowledge they need for their future life.

Our Virtual School offers a range of support to children and young people, including:

  • allocating each pupil an education worker who oversees their education
  • a daily English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) class for new asylum-seeking children
  • a comprehensive programme of learning and enrichment, focusing on developing English language skills, their wellbeing, and building knowledge of their local community and understanding new cultures.          

Modern slavery and trafficking

In 2018, we became the first council in the UK to sign the Charter Against Modern Slavery. Stopping modern slavery is a top priority and we are committed to getting rid of modern slavery in all its forms within our community and removing it from anything that goes into our services in the borough.

The Safer Islington Partnership coordinates work on crime reduction and community safety in Islington and oversees our efforts to remove modern slavery.

Find out more about the work and who to contact if you are a victim of modern slavery or human trafficking.

Resettlement schemes in Islington

Government created resettlement programmes to help with people affected by conflicts around the world. In Islington, we are committed to being part of these schemes. We get funding through these schemes for every person who comes to live in Islington. We use this funding to help them settle and thrive in their new communities.

Syrian Resettlement Scheme

Islington was one of the first London boroughs to participate in the Government’s Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. By 2020, this scheme resettled 20,000 Syrians in need of protection. It helped those that needed urgent medical treatment, survivors of violence and torture, and women and children at risk to resettle in the UK.

Between December 2015 and August 2019, we resettled 18 households in Islington. These families were supported by Refugee Action in their first year in the borough. Huge thanks must go to local charity, Manor Gardens Welfare Trust, who provided specific support to the families in the later years of their resettlement.

Afghan Resettlement Schemes

After the fall of the capital city Kabul of Afghanistan in 2021, around 24,000 people were evacuated and brought to safety in the UK by the Government through the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy and Afghan Citizens Resettlement schemes. Families were homed in hotels across the country while the Government looked for more permanent accommodation.

We began resettling families into longer-term accommodation in October 2021, and we are proud to have resettled over 35 households in the borough. Each household has a specialist council caseworker who supports them in settling into their new community. Our wonderful charity partners at Kurdish and Middle Eastern Women’s Organisation (KMEWO) deliver support and wellbeing activities for families. 

Homes for Ukraine

This scheme supports those escaping the war in Ukraine, allowing those fleeing to live with a sponsor in Islington. The sponsor provides suitable accommodation, which is usually a room in their home, and gets a monthly payment from the Government.

Hundreds of residents agreed to support this scheme, opening their homes to those in need. Many sponsors are providing much more than a room, they are also giving practical and emotional support so that new residents can settle and thrive in our community.

Council officers support the scheme and conduct visits with all those who arrive, as well as provide ongoing support. Over 500 people have arrived by the Homes for Ukraine scheme in Islington, with many others arriving as part of the Ukraine Family Scheme and Ukraine Extension Scheme.

Health Prom – our local charity partner – have put on a wealth of activities to support Ukrainian nationals and we are grateful to them for their ongoing work.

Our approach to resettlement schemes

Islington has tried different approaches to get accommodation for those in need. We got funding from the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to buy back over 400 ex-council homes for young adults leaving care, people sleeping rough and families who have had to flee Afghanistan and Ukraine. Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard, Deputy Mayor for Communities and Social Justice said of our work:

“The GLA and the London Borough of Islington have, over a number of years, partnered together to ensure that refugees and people seeking asylum can find sanctuary in London.”

We’re committed to making sure our resettlement schemes are successful and we have partnered with The Global Diversities and Inequalities (GDI) Research Centre at London Metropolitan University who will conduct independent analysis into the experiences of those resettled in the borough on the Syrian and Afghan resettlement programmes. We look forward to their full findings and insights on our work.

We are also committed to doing our best in future resettlement schemes that may be announced by Government.

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