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East London mosques come together to support Barnardo’s work with child refugees and trafficked children

9Leaders of mosques and Islamic centres in east London visited Barnardo’s headquarters to donate funds and ask the charity to do more to help child refugees and trafficked children.

The religious leaders gathered at the charity’s office in Barkingside on Monday, May 16 to hand over £2,500 raised by Muslim worshippers during Friday prayer collections at 17 mosques in Newham, Waltham Forest and Redbridge.

They encouraged Barnardo’s to continue working with the government to make sure the right support is in place for vulnerable young people who arrive in the UK having fled Syria and other conflicts around the world.

Yunus Dudhwala, Head of Chaplaincy and Bereavement Services at Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “All the mosques in east London came together around Christmas time and decided to raise money for a number of charities at Friday prayers.

“Many people in our community want to support children who are vulnerable and who could be at risk of being trafficked and sexually exploited, and we’d like to work with Barnardo’s to make sure the support is there wherever it’s most needed.”

Barnardo’s has called on the government to make sure a wide range of support is made available for all children who are brought into the UK from refugee camps in Syria, or who are trafficked into the country illegally.

The funds raised through the mosques have been ring-fenced for use by Barnardo’s child trafficking advocacy service in London.

Lynn Gradwell, Director of Barnardo’s in London, said: “We’re so grateful to all those who contributed funds to this collection in mosques all over east London.

“Without the right support, child refugees are in danger of slipping off the radar, falling into the hands of traffickers and being sexually exploited. Barnardo’s wants to work closely with the government to make sure these children are looked after, and donations such as this really help us to make a difference and adapt to new challenges.”

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