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Barnet charity wins prestigious award

New Citizens Gateway will receive a £40,000 grant to support its work with refugees and asylum seekers, reports Egle Rameikaite

Mayor of Barnet Alison Moore speaks at an event organised by New Citizens Gateway to mark International Women’s Day

A Barnet charity has won a prestigious award for its work with refugees and asylum seekers. 

New Citizens Gateway won one of the 2023 GSK Impact Awards, which are delivered in partnership with leading health and care charity The King’s Fund.

New Citizens Gateway (NCG) is a charity helping refugees and asylum seekers to become a part of communities in Barnet and across London by providing support on a wide range of issues including housing, immigration and benefits.

The awards recognise the outstanding work of small and medium-sized charities working to improve people’s health and wellbeing with the winners receiving a £40,000 grant as well as expert support from The King’s Fund.  

NCG offers information and advice in the person’s own language to enable them to navigate the healthcare system, including registering with a GP. It also runs a women’s group for survivors of domestic violence, torture and rape; operates parenting and mum and baby groups; and provides homework club and sports activities for young asylum seekers and refugees.

The award judges were particularly impressed by the way NCG designs and delivers its work based on feedback from its service users. The charity has asylum seekers and refugees represented at all levels of the organisation, including a seat on the board. Half of its 116 volunteers and 80% of staff are from a refugee background. NCG will use  the funding and help from the King’s Fund to improve its mental health and wellbeing services and continue to provide food and clothes for those in need.

Dr Nazee Akbari, CEO of New Citizens’ Gateway said: “We are stunned and delighted to have received this award and I am incredibly proud of the work our staff and volunteers do for our clients. 

She added: “Although we still live in difficult times when it comes to the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, I feel reassured to know that we are surrounded by such dedicated people. This award means an incredible amount to all of us, it raises awareness of what this client group is going through.”  

While celebrating the award, the charity held an event at Sacred Heart Church in Mill Hill to mark International Women’s Day.

The Mayor, Alison Moore, spoke about Barnet becoming an increasingly culturally and ethnically diverse borough. She said, ‘‘As we celebrate International Women’s Day we also need to be sure that every woman can play a full part in a full life in the borough.’’ 

Farida Stanikzai, an operations manager and the main organiser of the event expressed her gratitude to the Barnet volunteers that come from all walks of life to help the organisation.

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