Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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February – March 2024 : The little things READ ONLINE


Network connection

April 01 2022

Refuge Network UK is the British arm of Refuge Network International, a small international charity. Its goal is to alleviate and eventually eradicate poverty. Speaking to executive director Charles Gimoh, Sheryle Thomas learns more about what they do.

ST: Who are Refuge Network UK?

Charles Gimoh (CG): We are a poverty-alleviation and community empowerment nonprofit, promoting equitable access to food, housing, healthcare, education, and an adequate standard of living for individuals and families.

ST: What work do you do in the community?

CG: Refuge Network UK supports people in socio-economic difficulties especially rough sleepers, impoverished families, homeless people, refugees, and marginalised individuals. We run an outdoor soup kitchen in central London and operate various outreach programmes.

ST: What other services do you provide?

CG: Provision of support (such as counselling, food, and relief materials) to homeless people. Sensitisation programmes to promote the health and wellbeing of individuals living in poor and deprived communities. Consultation and advisory services on matters relating to poverty and socioeconomic rights. Creation of skills acquisition and business development programmes to empower economically disadvantaged people. Provision of educational opportunities to disadvantaged individuals and groups to boost literacy levels and enhance life prospects. We’re supporting victims (individuals/ communities) of socioeconomic rights deprivations.

ST: You mention relief materials at your services, what are these?

CG: Specifically, we provide the following items: Coats and jackets, trousers and shirts, hats, scarves, shoes, underwear, mobile phones and SIM packs, bags, sleeping bags and blankets, grooming kits, tents, socks and gloves, toiletries, face masks and towels. We rely on donors to facilitate this service, so availability is dependent on the donations we receive from members of the public.  

Where and when
Refuge Network UK provides outreach services in London including a street kitchen and a mobile street outreach service:

  • The street kitchen is open every Saturday from 1pm outside the Zimbabwean embassy on Agar Street 
  • The homeless street outreach team operates between 1–3pm every Saturday and 3–5pm on alternating Mondays and Tuesdays in the following areas: Charing Cross, Leicester Square/Covent Garden, Victoria, Waterloo/Embankment, Warren Street/Soho/Camden

ST: Where is your street kitchen outreach and when is it open?

CG: In terms of our street project, we operate a two-dimensional programme consisting of an outdoor soup kitchen and a food bank/ homeless street outreach. The soup kitchen is located on Agar Street in front of the embassy of Zimbabwe, London. We meet at 1 pm every Saturday. It is free, non-discriminatory, and open to homeless people, rough sleepers, refugees, and impoverished members of the community. We offer a large buffet consisting of a wide selection of European, Asian and Afrocentric foods, with vegan options. There is also a generous selection of snacks, soft drinks and hot beverages.

ST: And your other outreach services?

Refuge Network's food bank/ homeless street outreach is a mobile operation covering various locations within and outside central London. Our outreach teams operate between 1–3 pm every Saturday and 3–5pm on Mondays or Tuesdays giving out meal packs and drinks to rough sleepers on the streets in the following areas: Charing Cross, Leicester Square/Covent Garden, Victoria, Waterloo/Embankment, Warren Street/Soho/Camden. The mobile food bank component is a discrete service that provides larger food parcels to struggling individuals from time to time. This service is available on weekdays on an appointment-only basis in the following areas: Brixton, Clapham, London Bridge, East Street. You can book an appointment by sending us a message by text 07460 733 381, email, or via our website.

For more information on Refuge Network UK, visit their website: