Project information

Room to Heal Therapeutic Programme

We believe in the power of community to heal trauma originating from unspeakable violence suffered by asylum seekers and refugees. We aim to expand and deepen our existing support groups, gardening and food-growing, individual therapy, casework, theatre and storytelling, cooking and rural retreats.


Charity information: Room to Heal

Room to Heal logo
  • Need


    Upon arrival in the UK, many refugees and asylum seekers have complex emotional and physical needs as a result of persecution, torture, sexual violence and other forms of organized violence. Their troubles are compounded here by the difficulties of navigating the immigration system, the experience of isolation and marginalization and in some cases, destitution. Our members arrive at Room to Heal dis-empowered, lost and disconnected from themselves and the world.


    Through our range of single sex and group group therapy combined with individual counselling and communal, healing activities such as gardening, story-telling, cooking, singing and mindfulness sessions, we have seen the positive transformation in over 30 members as they discover a sense of belonging and acceptance. In finding humanity and life in others who have been through similarly horrific life journeys our members find hope and can begin to reconnect with themselves and their surroundings.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To continue and develop our core therapeutic program for our 70 members and accept new referrals


    » Maintain staff and volunteering capacity to provide the core therapeutic activities - group therapy and gardening - and to provide necessary casework.

    What success will look like

    The ability to continue to accept new appropriate referrals and to develop the many currently running therapeutic activities, such as storytelling, singing and the new garden.

  • Impact


    The long term changes resulting from our project is a large community reconnecting with themselves and each other, learning to trust others (especially women establishing faith in men), finding hope in the future and learning how to laugh again. As the gardening group takes place amongst the local community, our work helps to break down stereotypes, reduce marginalization, encourage integration in the UK and develop social cohesion in London.


    We have been receiving increased referrals, arising from the success of our therapeutic activities, but risk being unable to accept eligible people for lack of funds/staff/volunteers. To counter this we constantly apply for funding however this is not particularly regular. In order to provide a secure, welcoming environment where from members can begin to overcome their trauma we need to provide a consistent team of trusted staff and volunteers.


    We keep up-to-date records on activity attendance, and using our evaluation program, coupled with feedback questionnaires we can assess members' wellbeing in relation to the therapeutic services we offer We can also provide case studies which perhaps best demonstrate the impact of our work.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £34,632

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      Amount Heading Description
      £16,650 Staffing Part-Time (3 days/week) Community Support Worker
      £13,320 Staffing Part-Time (2 days/week) Women's Programme Coordinator
      £4,662 Staffing Sessional (1 day/week) Garden Group Supervisor
  • Background


    We are based in the Mildmay Community Centre in Newington Green, alongside its beautiful grounds where we have begun our new gardening project. Every Friday we gather at the Culpeper Community Garden in near Angel in Islington to garden, cook and eat together.


    Asylum seekers and refugees in London who have survived persecution, torture and other forms of organized violence.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Over the last 4 years our membership has grown tenfold, helping the community flourish. Combined, our experience, network of other support groups and immigration specialists and long-standing reputation and trust with our members, make us ideal to continue this project. The director and Men's Programme Coordinator has over 20 years experience of working with trauma. Our beneficiaries say that: "at Room to Heal you are not a patient or a reference number, you are a human being."

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Mark Fish

    Director and Men's Programme Coordinator

    Jane Taylor

    Women's Programme Coordinator