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An organisation which helps the most vulnerable people in our community is on the brink of financial collapse and says it can only “limp” on for a few months.

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The Refugee and Migrant Forum of Essex and East London says that from April it will have to run on a voluntary basis unless it plugs a £61,000 hole in its finances.

This would mean that it would only see 20 people a week instead of the 200 it sees at the moment.

The charity’s chief executive puts the shortfall down to an increase in the number of people seeking advice as well as a reluctance to fund immigration organisations.

Rita Chadha said: “We are not the most pleasant of subjects as no one really wants to see immigrants here, but we are saving the taxpayer lots of money by stopping these people from ending up in social services, at hospitals and police stations.”

The charity is seeing record numbers of people visiting its offices in High Road, Ilford but says it is just not getting the funding it needs to cope.

“We just cannot carry on like this. I don’t think people realise the breadth of work that we do,” Ms Chadha said.

“As much as we help people stay here, it’s about helping people go back home. We hope that people will help us keep the organisation alive.”

She said a typical example of work the charity does was on Christmas Day when a man was badly injured after being assaulted and was too frightened to go to the hospital or police.

“We were the only ones who would help him and took him to the A&E,” she said. “We need services like that to help these people or what would they do?”

The organisation costs about £200,000 to run a year and Ms Chadha said it expects to see even more people when the Immigration Bill comes into force in April.

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