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Donation Funnel

Supporting some of the most vulnerable families in London in partnership with Newham Community Project

Newham sees a stark increase in families with ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ using food banks

As families with no recourse to public funds in London continue to struggle financially due to the unprecedented pandemic, Islamic Relief UK supported Newham Community Project, helping over 500 families with winter food packs on Tuesday 11 January.

These families in the UK are amongst those that have been hit the hardest, suffering the consequences of the pandemic. Along with providing for their dependents, they have had to make difficult decisions – do they prioritise eating or heating or look after their health, paying NHS fees, as they struggle to pay their bills.

Newham Community Project is amongst a small minority who provide help and support to destitute families and individuals with no recourse to public funds, including international students and their families who must also pay very high education fees. They have seen a stark increase in the numbers of families accessing food banks – with a colossal increase over the last eight weeks.

With no resources to public funds or assistance, families often live in overcrowded, confined accommodations, adding pressure to existing circumstances.

Newham Community Project is also reporting that the Covid-19 pandemic has meant those with no recourse to public funds were the first to lose their jobs and as the economy re-opened are now left struggling to find jobs.

To help, vulnerable, and destitute families, food packs were distributed by Islamic Relief UK and Newham Community Project on Tuesday 11 January 2022. Newham MP, Stephen Timms also joined the distribution.

The food packs contained (but were not limited to), essential groceries; fruit and vegetable bags, bread, eggs, milk, sugar, rice, cooking oil, hygiene products along with baby necessities; nappies, baby toiletries and a selection of sweet and savoury biscuits.

Stephen Timms MP said:

“I have repeatedly pressed the government to lift the ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ restriction – which prevents many families who live and work legally in the UK from claiming Universal Credit if they have to stop work – for the duration of the pandemic. I applaud Newham Community Project. But it can’t be right for the government to wash its hands of the fate of so many young people.”

Elyas Ismail, Chief Operating Officer, Newham Community Project said:

“Hunger and poverty remain very much at large, and we provide food and necessities to help support those with no recourse to public funds, facing vulnerability and destitution. Organisations like Islamic Relief UK make this possible!”

Tufail Hussain, Director of Islamic Relief UK said:

“The Newham Community Project is doing incredible work to help people who have been financially hit by the pandemic.

This winter, we hope that we can help ease some of the challenges families are facing and Islamic Relief UK is proud to be partnering with Newham Community Project and Stephen Timms MP to support vulnerable families with much-needed food packs.”


Notes to editors

For any questions or to request to interview one of our spokespeople, please contact:

Photographs of the distribution can be found here:

About  Newham Community Project 

Newham Community Project (NCP) has been established since 2008. It is a grassroots charity organisation (registered charity: 1128596) run by concerned volunteers of Newham being involved in many projects through the years.

Since their inception, they have been involved in many charitable and social enterprise projects, addressing the community’s needs. More recently, throughout the covid pandemic, Newham Community Project has filled gaps in the needs of the community left vulnerable and destitute with no recourse to public funds. They have been running a food bank to help reduce food poverty; offer mental wellbeing support; increase employability; offer workshops for mental health training, resilience training, improved writing skills workshops; help families and individuals overcome inequalities; provide necessities to families and pregnant ladies; work with Newham Council as Covid Champions, Under 5’s Pathway Champions, Newham Food Alliance, Social Welfare Alliance, the Community Assembly Project to reduce Crime in East Ham Central, East Ham South and Wall End and are participating in the Newham Heritage Month 2022. They have also been helping with academic needs; aiding international students with no recourse to public funds; resolving institutional problems; working with UKVi to overcome student issues; work with universities to address any adversities and inequalities faced by international students.

About Islamic Relief

Islamic Relief is a faith-inspired, development and humanitarian agency working to transform and save the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in over 40 countries. Islamic Relief assists people according to need and does not discriminate in any way.

Set up in Birmingham in 1984 by a group of volunteers, we have assisted over 117 million people all over the world. We’re saving lives and empowering people to lift themselves out of poverty in over 40 countries – from Bangladesh to Bosnia, Pakistan to Palestine, Kenya to Kosovo. Islamic Relief is on the ground in some of the world’s most dangerous and difficult places – including Syria and Yemen – strengthening the most marginalised communities to withstand conflict and natural disasters and to build a brighter future. We also support vulnerable people in the UK in partnership with local charities and organisations.

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