Families 4 Peace Supporting Refugee Families in North London

 

Through our friend and long-term client, Jenny Noè-Nordberg, RETROUVIUS has been introduced to the fantastic work of Families 4 Peace, a London-based charity helping Ukrainian refugees re-start their lives in North London. Jenny, who has been visiting our London shop for many years and collaborated with Maria to incorporate reclaimed materials into her renovation, shared insights into her work with the charity. She emphasised how less glamorous items routinely removed during home renovations—such as small appliances, white goods, unwanted furniture, and TVs—are in dire need within the refugee community. These items are crucial for refugees creating homes for the first time while navigating tight budgets and the cost of living crisis.

In this blog post, we wanted to highlight the incredible work of Families 4 Peace and help signpost our readers to charities that can assist with the logistics of donating these much-needed items.

How did Families 4 Peace start?

“At its roots, our story started with two young boys who were assigned a school project to get involved in charity work. A little uninspired by the options available, the boys’ mothers said, ‘If you come up with an idea, we can look at ways to support you.’ It was at that point that the Ukrainian issue took on a life of its own, and the boys decided that was where they wanted to help. Early on, they started a homework club and free online tutoring for refugee students, as well as organising donations of sports kits and football boots for the Ukrainian hub at the O2. Since then, the charity has grown into an important support network for Ukrainian families and host families and I work alongside a fantastic board of trustees.

When the Ukrainian war started and families began arriving in London, what was Families 4 Peace able to offer?

“There was an enormous response from the British public to welcome Ukrainian families into their homes. We realised that they were dotted all over the community and needed help bringing everyone together—both host families and Ukrainians needed a way to connect and access support.

As well as providing access to information, we organise lots of events, activities and workshops. We want to help people connect with other Ukrainian families as well as integrate into the community.”

Tell us more about your community craft projects!

“We’ve organised lots of community craft activities over the past year. These projects are very popular, helping to alleviate social isolation and give people a sense of agency and purpose.

BT has an ‘adopt a kiosk’ program which is open to social enterprises and charities. We’re using them as a space for refugees to highlight their presence in the community. At the moment, we’re also working on a ‘yarn bomb’ of a local post box!

We also created a commemorative quilt, which will be shown at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham this Summer. Over thirty Ukrainian families made squares to record their time in the UK.”

 

How has your relationship with your community changed?

“The silver lining of all this has been meeting incredible people. I’ve lived in London since 1997, and this project has opened up a new world of connections. Camden Council has been incredibly supportive, and we’ve had help from schools, libraries, and local businesses. It’s been brilliant for Ukrainians to feel welcomed and for locals to come together to support them. It’s life-affirming to see so many people eager to help.”

What has this experience taught you about the meaning of home?

“Home is less about bricks and mortar and more about feeling welcome, warm and safe. We hosted a family for 13 months and truly enjoyed sharing our home.”

What are some of the ways that people can support your work?

“Financial donations have been instrumental in allowing us to support families, and a contribution can be made at www.families4peace.co.uk/donate 

Donations of appliances and functional daily items are also extremely helpful to families who are really suffering due to the cost of living crisis. Many items that are routinely discarded through renovations… small appliances, white goods, TVs and furniture, are in desperate need.

Charitable organisations such as Life After Hummus and the Ukrainian Hub* at the O2 can help with the logistics of getting these items to the people that need them most. You can also reach out to Families 4 Peace for further help.

*For the Ukrainian Hub please contact Luydmila Hordiyevych on +380 50 370 0536 or at ludmilathebest@i.ua

 

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