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News > School > Harvest Festival 2020

Harvest Festival 2020

9 Oct 2020
Harvest Festival 2020
Harvest Festival 2020

This year we will be celebrating Harvest at Habs Girls on Monday 12 October.

We will be supporting the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants, a North London independent charity that provides support and hospitality for refugees, migrants and asylum seekers. The Centre is a wonderful place that helps many people through very vulnerable times in their lives.  There are English classes, Art and Writing classes, Dance projects and the centre also provides much needed advice to people facing issues relating to destitution. It provides hot food, tea and coffee, food supplies and clothes.

COVID-19 has proved to be very challenging for the clients at the Centre. We were very proud of a small group of our Year 13 students who provided Zoom ESOL support every weekday during lockdown and we are continuing this later in the term with a group of Year 12 students to support the Centre whilst it is still closed.

Andy Luiz, who runs the Centre, reflects below on the support they have been able to give over the last six months.

‘Lockdown has been very hard for everyone, but for our clients it has been frightening and challenging in ways most of us would find difficult to imagine. These long months of isolation have been particularly hard for those who have experienced torture and violence in their pasts. For others who usually rely on us for basic supplies, lockdown has meant not knowing where food would come from. Thanks to your support, we have been able to reach everyone registered with us by:

  • Sending Support Packages to those who need help most on a fortnightly basis.
  • Moving our Support Service online to deal with the wide range of issues and problems.
  • Delivering our English classes online, or by post for those without internet access.

Looking ahead, the road to recovery will be long and difficult. Our clients don’t have jobs to go back to now lockdown is easing, or families who have been waiting to reunite.

We have been humbled by the resilience and determination our clients have shown, but we know that the crisis is not over. During the autumn, we plan to run a pilot period during which we will send Support Packages to those who need them, whilst continuing our online sessions and regular phone calls. We also hope to reopen our Centre on Cross Street to a limited number of people, one day a week to provide that human contact all of our clients have been so desperately missing.’

We feel that this year the need of the clients is greater than ever and are asking everyone in the school to contribute to Harvest with the emphasis being on hygiene products – hygiene poverty is a huge issue as it is these products that are the first to be sacrificed when money is short.

Drop off points are being organised for Year Bubbles in line with our COVID-19 policy and, during our annual Harvest Assemblies, both the Junior and Senior Schools will hear stories from the clients, hear about the work of the centre and about the impact the link with Habs continues to make.

These are the kind of things the centre has asked for with hygiene products *highlighted as the main priority:

Tea, coffee, squash, rice, bin bags, salt and pepper, biscuits, cereal, cooking oil, jam, pasta, pasta sauce, sugar, tinned food, soup, juice, cereal bars, condiments, *handwash, *hand sanitiser, *sanitary products, *deodorant, *razors/foam/gel, *shower gel/shampoo/soap, *toothpaste/brushes, *toilet paper/tissues.

Here’s the video we will be showing our students to encourage donations.

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