Community saves Queen’s Park charity from closure

Refugee organisation was due to shut after funding was axed

A refugee centre based at a Brent primary school has been saved from closure thanks to generous campaigners.

Salusbury World, which is located in Salusbury Primary School in Queen’s Park, was set up 12 years ago to provide educational, social and emotional support to refugee children and their families.

The charity was due to shut at the end of August because of a �50,000 cut in funding.

But a mammoth fundraising campaign by pupils, staff and parents has resulted in �45,000 being raised in just over a month.

It means the charity can continue with the work it carries out in the community and remain solvent.

Sarah Reynolds, project manager, said: “The successful fundraising campaign has been the most amazing group effort which has really brought Salusbury World into the heart of the community.”

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Since its launch in 1999, Salusbury World has helped hundreds of refugee students adjust to UK school life.

These include Ali Ozlat, 15, a Queen’s Park Community School pupil, who last month called on Prime Minister David Cameron to sign his petition to save the charity.

Somalian Ayan Hassan said: “I’m very emotional. Salusbury World has helped a lot of families in so many ways and many more people can now benefit.”

Siham Musa, from Sudan, said: “I am so happy because I can’t imagine life without Salusbury World. It’s a part of my family. Often I just pop in to say hello but I feel I need them.”

Salusbury World’s recent auction night raised almost �20,000.

Other donations have come via school fundraising, local businesses, community groups and from kind-hearted residents.

Spice Caravan, the charity’s spin-off catering company set up by refugee parents, has even donated proceeds from its stall at the weekly farmer’s market held at Salusbury Primary.

Liza Ramrayka, 44, is a parent at the school who lives in Kilburn.

She said: “Thanks to Salusbury World, hundreds of refugee children get vital support at school.

“Its work benefits the whole school by reducing teachers’ workload and promoting multicultural integration. It is a lifeline that the school simply cannot do without.”

The charity’s activities include after-school and homework clubs, mentoring, school liaison, access to education and training, help with transport, excursions, IT and English lessons.

It supports refugee children and young people at Salusbury Primary School, Queens Park Community School and Capital City Academy as well as many other London schools.

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