New hub for Ukrainian refugees opens in Finchley Road

A Ukrainian Refugee Hub has opened at the O2 Centre

A Ukrainian Refugee Hub has opened at the O2 Centre in Finchley Road with support, advice and a chance to socialise - Credit: O2 Centre

Ukrainians newly arrived or settling in Camden can access a new hub in Finchley Road.

A Ukrainian Refugee Hub opened at the O2 Centre on Finchley Road on August 1.

Run by the members from the local Ukrainian diaspora, the hub is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm offering refugees a safe space to receive support, advice and resources when they arrive to the area as well as providing a way of socialising and connecting with others in the same situation.

The initiative also supplies food and clothes as well as hygiene and sanitary products free of charge for those who need them.

The Ukrainian Refugee Hub in the O2 Centre

The Ukrainian Refugee Hub in the O2 Centre offers a safe space to receive support, advice and resources - Credit: O2 Centre

Landsec, which owns the O2 Centre, is supporting the hub by providing space for free and the O2 Centre’s Weekly Foodbank Project will also offer any visitors to the hub a bag of food every Wednesday.

Group therapy sessions are on offer every Wednesday from midday to 2pm, supplying attendees with valuable mental support.

Drama classes are also planned for teenagers and older children alongside Ukrainians of similar ages. 

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Rebecca Ruddle, 02 Centre director, said: “We want the O2 Centre to remain a relevant space for everyone living and working in Camden throughout the planning and development process.

"We are honoured to provide a base for the Ukrainian Hub at the O2 Centre, to give support to those who have fled the conflict in Ukraine.

“During our recent conversations with people about the future of the centre, we heard that retaining and expanding community spaces is incredibly important.

"We pride ourselves on being a place that integrates and connects the communities of Finchley Road and West Hampstead, and the Ukrainian Refugee Hub is a perfect example of this - providing a safe space to equip refugees with the resources and guidance they need to settle within Camden."

The Refugee Hub builds on earlier initiatives from the north Camden community which have been hosted at the centre in support of those impacted by the conflict in Ukraine.

Throughout May the O2 Centre also provided space for the Artist Support Pledge to host an exhibition in aid of Ukraine.

Local artist Sarah J Dwyer organised a fundraising event at Belsize Community Library where local Camden artists came along and created pieces which were displayed in the centre.

For more information about the hub, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/796489831362983/?ref=share_group_link