Ilford charity ‘punch drunk’ after BBC 2 documentary The Hidden World of Britain’s Immigrants

A charity chief said she is ‘punch drunk’ after they were the subject of a BBC documentary last night.

Rita Chadha said she had been overwhelmed by the support they had received and was also surprised.

“We got a lot of people who have not spoken to us before getting in touch and people up and down the country asking for help. We are a bit punch drunk,” she said.

“This is not something that usually happens to small charities like us.”

The documentary called The Hidden World of Britain’s Immigrants was screened on BBC 2 last night and is still available on their iPlayer.


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The documentary focused on the work of Ramfel, based in High Road, Ilford and the plight of migrants stuck in the UK unable to return home.

It showed the stark reality of life in Ilford as an undocumented migrant and the dark underworld of criminal gangs, drugs and living rough.

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Ms Chadha said: “We would have preferred if they had not used the term illegal immigrants. These are human beings and cannot be illegal – they are undocumented.”

The charity is on the brink of financial collapse and needs £61,000 to last until the end of the financial year.

“What’s been quite surprising is having people ringing up from Redbridge Council saying they didn’t realise the breadth of work that we do,” Ms Chadha said. “It had to be on TV for them to realise our value. That was a bit of a shock.”

She said they had already received a number of donations but it was not enough to keep the charity going.

“We hope that people will have a better understanding about the reality of immigration and people that come here and they will donate whatever they can to us,” she added.

To make a donation to Ramfel visit www.ramfel.org.uk/donate.php

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