• About us

    Akwaaba is a Sunday social centre for refugees and migrants based in Hackney.

     

    Come and join us every Sunday afternoon at Princess May Primary School to relax, meet new people and take part in our activities.

     

    Everyone is welcome - families, children and grown-ups. All activities are free. Come and enjoy:

     

    - A delicious hot meal and cake

    - English conversation classes

    - Drama workshops

    - Arts and crafts activities

    - Board games

    - Computers, wifi and digital skills training

    - Activities for children and young people

    - Bike workshop (1st and 3rd Sundays)

    - Haircuts

    - Choir and music workshops

    - Group workshops for people with S17 support

    - A team of friendly volunteers!

     

    Find out more about what we do in our Akwaaba Zine. (Please note that we have changed our address!)

     

    OPENING TIMES

     

    Sunday afternoons from 2-6pm

    Arrive before 4pm to register for English conversation classes

    Other workshops take place throughout the afternoon

  • How to find us

    LOCATION

     

    Princess May Primary School

    Barrett's Grove Entrance (off Stoke Newington Road)

    N16 8AJ

     

    For directions call 07516 675995 (Sunday afternoons only)

     

    TRANSPORT

     

    Buses

    67, 76, 149, 243 stop outside the school.

     

    Trains 

    We are near three overground stations with connections across London.

    Dalston Kingsland (7 minutes)

    Dalston Junction (10 minutes)

    Rectory Road (14 minutes)

     

    MAP

  • What's on at Akwaaba?

  • Get Involved

    We are entirely volunteer-run and we rely on people donating their time and energy to the project. Commitment is important and we expect our volunteers to attend at least twice a month. Contact akwaabalondon@gmail.com to apply for any of the roles.

     

    If you have specialist skills or experience which might be relevant to our project but do not apply to the roles advertised, you are also welcome to email akwaabalondon@gmail.com.

     

    We are currently recruiting for:

     

    Welcome Volunteers


    Sundays 1pm - 4pm or 3pm – 6pm

    Expected commitment: 2-4 Sunday sessions per month, 1 Saturday training session every 3 months, 1 weekday meeting every 3 months, occasional other meetings and events


    Welcome volunteers are the heart of the Akwaaba community. You will work directly with visitors to the project, making them feel relaxed and welcome in the space, being open for conversation or board games, supporting them to use computer facilities and running workshops.

     

    You do not need to be an extravert to be a welcome volunteer, but you must be proactive in sessions! You should be comfortable and enthusiastic about engaging all our visitors in conversation. That includes people from a wide variety of ages and backgrounds, and with a wide range of perspectives and life experiences. People you speak to may have particular needs associated with displacement, trauma, economic hardship, or mental health issues. The people who most need the support of a Welcome Volunteer will not initiate conversations for themselves. That means it is your job to identify and speak to people who are on their own.

     

    You will be called upon to solve problems that arise during sessions and ensure the space is safe and clean. We encourage Welcome Volunteers to take on more responsibility by arranging workshops, attending training session and participating in decision making at the project's organising meetings.

     

    We are particularly seeking people who have experience of working with migrants and/or a genuine interest in tackling the issues faced by our community. 2 Sundays per month is a minimum commitment, however we are looking for people who can commit to the project 3-4 Sundays per month. To apply, email akwaabalondon@gmail.com for a volunteer registration form. The second stage of the application process involves meeting our Welcome Volunteer Coordinator during a Sunday session.

     

    Literacy Volunteers

     

    Sundays 3-6pm

    Expected Commitment 2 Sundays per month, 1 Saturday training session every 3 months, 1 weekday meeting every 3 months, occasional other trainings and events

     

    We are looking for literacy/reading volunteers so that we can grow and develop a new literacy project at our Sunday drop-in sessions.

     

    We are looking for friendly and patient literacy tutors to provide one to one support for adult learners who want to improve their reading and writing skills.  The goals of our literacy students are varied - you could be teaching someone to read and write from scratch, or honing their skills for further study or employment.  Learners might wish to focus on filling application forms and reading official documents, or simply build their confidence and enjoyment in reading.  Along with the one-to-ones we are also looking to start a regular reading group so that visitors can build their confidence in a friendly and supportive environment. 

     

    Prior teaching experience is essential.  We don’t expect everyone to have taught adult literacy before, but as this is a new project we would particularly love to hear from volunteers who have experience of teaching adult literacy.  Our learners have a range of needs, so volunteers should be flexible and understanding of vulnerabilities. Experience of working with migrants/displaced people is desirable.

     

    As a literacy volunteer you will be expected to arrive at 3pm for the weekly briefing and to organise materials. We start teaching at 4.30, usually for between 1-1.5 hours depending on the class.  You will be provided with materials and guidance.

     

    We are looking for people who can commit a minimum of two sessions per month, but we are trying to run our ESOL and literacy classes with a little more consistency so if you can volunteer more regularly than that it would be a bonus.   

     

    Children's Volunteers

     

    Shifts: 1pm – 5pm or 2 – 6pm
    Minimum commitment: 2 sessions per month

     

    The children's volunteers work under the supervision of the children's supervisor and are expected to help with the following: supervising the children, setting up and packing away the children's area and specific activities, early years play-work, homework/literacy, and providing general support and encouragement to our child visitors. We have a range of children who attend the session (aged between 1-14). Ideas for children's activities are very welcome!

     

    Prior experience working with children is essential. This is to ensure that Akwaaba is a safe, comfortable and supportive environment for the children who visit us. Akwaaba is a voluntary project and we do not have the capacity to provide more than basic training.

     

    A DBS check will be required if you do not have a valid certificate from the past two years. We can help with this.

     

    Please contact Eve (dickson.eve@gmail.com) if you are interested in the role or would like further information.

     

    Polish speaking outreach volunteer

     

    Do you speak Polish? We need volunteers to help support and engage our vulnerable East European visitors. You would work directly with visitors to the project, making them feel relaxed and welcome in the space, being open for conversation or board games, and supporting them to deal with any issues they may facing.

     

    Turkish/Arabic speaking welcome volunteers

     

    Do you speak Arabic or Turkish? Some of our visitors struggle to communicate in English and in addition to our conversation classes, we need volunteers to help support them during our sessions. You would work directly with visitors to the project, making them feel relaxed and welcome in the space, being open for conversation, games, arts and crafts and supporting them with translation needs.

     

    Volunteer drivers

     

    We are in desperate need of volunteers with access to a car/cargo bike to help with collections of donated food/household goods. If you could help by responding to ad hoc requests, please send an email to akwaabalondon@gmail.com.

     

    Computer maintenance volunteers

     

    Do you have computer maintenance skills that you could use in our sessions? We need volunteers to maintain our stock of laptops and printers. They are all second hand and often need tweeking to get them running properly.

     

    Expected commitment: 2 Sunday sessions a month from 2-6pm

     

    If you are interested get in touch with akwaabalondon@gmail.com.

     

    Washup volunteers

     

    Expected commitment: 2 Sunday sessions a month from 3-6pm

     

    Preparing a meal for 70+ people creates a lot of washing up! We always need more people to help get our kitchen back into good order.

     

    Tidyup volunteers

     

    Expected commitment: 2 Sunday sessions a month from 5-7pm

     

    There is a lot of tidying up to be done in the last hour of the session - cleaning up spills, putting board games back in their boxes. After we finish, we then need to pack away session equipment, sweep and mop.

     

    Workshop volunteers

     

    We love to have people running workshops at our Sunday sessions. If you have a skill, craft or passion that you would like to share at Akwaaba either on a one-off or regular basis, get in touch!

  • Support Akwaaba

    Why are we asking for your support now?

    Akwaaba is a grassroots project run entirely by volunteers and funded entirely by cash and in-kind donations and small grants. In January 2016 we successfully applied for a grant which has allowed us to reimburse the travel expenses of those visitors who would otherwise be unable to afford to come to the centre. This scheme has been a great success, particularly in increasing access to Akwaaba for families with young children, but the funding for it is about to run out. Overall, our visitor numbers have more than doubled since September 2015: a great achievement, but also a significant strain on our very limited resources.

    We are continuing to seek sustainable sources of funding to ensure that Akwaaba has a secure future. But at present we only have enough money to continue running our Sunday drop-in for another three months. This is why we are urgently asking for contributions now - no matter how small! All money raised will be reinvested directly in the running of the project.

     

    How to support us

     

    Donate to our crowdfunder appeal. Go to:

    https://www.youcaring.com/akwaaba-577029

     

    Make a direct bank transfer. Our bank details are:

    Akwaaba

    Acc no: 65781610

    S/C: 08-92-99

     

    Please use "Donation" as your subject line.

     

    You can also donate to us via Paypal using the button below, but be aware that they charge extortionate transaction fees which will be deducted from your donation!

     

    Donate in kind

     

    We always need donations of new toiletries - toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoos, soaps, deodorants, sanitary products.

     

    We can only accept donations of other items by prior arrangement - we have very limited storage space! Please contact akwaabadistributions@gmail.com before bringing items to Akwaaba.

     

  • North East London Migrant Action

    North East London Migrant Action (NELMA) brings together community activists from Hackney, Haringey and Waltham Forest to campaign on issues faced by migrants in the local community. The group's current focus is to challenge injustices towards families with no recourse to public funds.

     

    NELMA is currently seeking volunteer accompaniers to support people approaching social services, and campaigners to challenge cases of injustice against migrants in our local community.

     

    Contact nelondonmigrantaction@gmail.com for information on how to get involved or visit https://nelmacampaigns.wordpress.com/.

    North East London Migrant Action (NELMA) brings together community activists from Hackney, Haringey and Waltham Forest to campaign on issues faced by migrants in the local community. The group's current focus is to challenge injustices towards families with no recourse to public funds.

     

    NELMA is currently seeking volunteer accompaniers to support people approaching social services, and campaigners to challenge cases of injustice against migrants in our local community.

     

    Contact nelondonmigrantaction@gmail.com for information on how to get involved.

  • Contact us

    Get in touch if you would like to be added to our mailing list or would like further information about Akwaaba.

    Facebook

    Email

    Twitter

    07516 675995

  • Our supporters

    MSN Fund