The Year Here fellowship is renowned for nurturing a new generation of social leaders. In 2018 it brought together Leyla McLennan and Daisy Jacobs who, along with non-executive director Kelly Bewers, subsequently established Routes – a direct response to the many and varied barriers faced by women who are seeking safety in the UK. Routes connects refugee and asylum-seeking women with professionals for four months of one-on-one mentoring as well as working with a host of theatres to boost representation. So far, Routes has empowered disadvantaged women to open catering businesses, head to university and exhibit artwork at public shows. There is more to come in 2020 and Routes’ founders have issued a rallying cry for us all to connect with our neighbours in our communities.
It’s estimated that 95 per cent of people in London buy bread every day. Here’s an idea. Wouldn’t it be great if all these sales could somehow help the most vulnerable in society? It’s here that grassroots social enterprise Breadwinners comes in as the best thing since sliced bread. The organisation provides training and jobs for refugees across their London-based farmers’ market stalls. Breadwinners offer a first job for people who have already attained status as well as the Risers Programme – early intervention support for 16 to 24-year-olds seeking asylum, allowing them to get work experience, transferable skills and grow their networks.
Govan Law Centre
Law centres are vital for those who can’t afford a lawyer, and yet few centres can claim to have helped their communities with the rigour of Govan Law Centre. As well as their work challenging poverty, discrimination and disadvantage, the organisation remains a crucial ally in the fight against multibillion-pound national security company Serco’s campaign of lock-change evictions against asylum seekers in Glasgow. GLC’s reputation in delivering high-quality, innovative services to the most disadvantaged people in their community continues to be an inspiration to others, even as they enter their 25th year. The advice they give on housing, homelessness, welfare rights and debt aid is priceless to people who otherwise would be stranded.