Rocking for refugees: Off the Cuff event hopes to raise enough to bring second refugee family to Herne Hill

  • Herne Hill Welcomes Refugees needs to raise £15,000 to process Home Office application and help resettle new family

Herne Hill will be raising the roof and raising funds at Off the Cuff on 1 November as live bands perform to help generate enough money to bring a second refugee family to the area. The event, organised by Herne Hill Welcomes Refugees, will feature funk and soul bands Talking Strawberries and Liquid Crystal, plus a live auction, a food stall and opportunity to hear about the organisation’s plans.  Herne Hill Welcomes Refugees plans to resettle another refugee family into the area following the successful arrival of an Iraqi family last year, through the Home Office Community Sponsorship scheme. The group need £15,000 to do this, and it’s hoped this event will help to make their dream a reality.

Founded in 2017, Herne Hill Welcomes Refugees has become known throughout the UK for its success and community spirit, with a team of 20 volunteers, who managed to bring a family from Iraq to Herne Hill in 2018. The Home Office application is lengthy, requiring the group to find a house, ESOL lessons, school places, access to GPs and medical teams, in addition to raising the funds to process the application and set the family up. 

Co-founder Rachel Griffiths explains ‘We were staggered and truly delighted with the generosity and support of Herne Hill residents when we helped to welcome the first family from Iraq. People have donated so much of their time and money to bring refugees facing horrendous realities in their own home towns to a new home here with us. The first family are thriving and so grateful for this chance, and we would love to now bring a second family to the area. But once again - we need your help! Please come to Off the Cuff and have a boogie and a bid on our auction.  Bring your friends.  It will be a fun night, and you will be helping to making a huge difference to a family’s life. We can guarantee there’s no better way to spend your Friday!’ 

Tickets are from £11 at  and additional donations can be given at

Once enough funds have been raised, and the application is processed, the family are referred by the UNHCR. So far 344 refugees have been resettled across the UK via the Community Sponsorship Scheme.  4 of those families are now living in Lambeth, in addition to the 28 other families who have arrived in our borough via the Local Authority scheme.