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This morning I received this letter from the author and illustrator Jane Ray.

Dear all,

I’m writing to tell you about the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants where I help run an Art and Writing Workshop with my friend, the writer Sita Brahmachari.

Many of you have expressed an interest in the work the Centre does, and some of my ‘fellow illustrators’ were kind enough to contribute to the successful exhibition we organised at The IllustrationCupboard in 2012, so I thought I’d send an update.
The Centre has been through some tricky times recently, due to dramatic cuts to its funding, but thanks to renewed efforts and huge energy, it remains open, just one day a week. If we can raise £30,000 by Christmas, we will be able to open for two days a week from January. 
Over the summer, the wonderful Juliet Stevenson helped to make the film featured on the website, which tells you something of the work done at this amazing place.
All of us who are lucky enough to work here feel enormously proud of what the Centre represents, offers and achieves. At a time of massively increased need, the Centre is already established and operational, helping people who turn up on its doorstep, traumatised and alone, to begin to build friendships, learn skills and make the first steps to move on from often unimaginably difficult experiences.
We need to keep it going, now more than ever.
Please make a donation if you can, however small, and share the film as widely as you can.
Thanks so much!
Jane xx


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If you don’t know her that’s Jane, in Juliet Stevenson’s lovely film. I was somehow very touched by the quiet, respectful way she offers the choice of coloured paper. I’m very proud to know her – I guess that shows…

There are many demands on our charitable giving these days, but I thought about the sad plight of refugees at Europe’s borders and also about the ongoing, less headline-grabbing lives being led day by day here in the UK in difficult circumstances. But most of all I thought about the power of art, and the way creativity combines with companionship to make a refuge we think of as home.

I wonder, if the big-hearted people who follow this blog feel they would like to, we can pull together to make a small dent in the fundraising target the Islington Centre need to meet.

Thank you.