Cllr Patrick Vernon was recently appointed patron for the Sante Project, a project committed to empowering refugees and asylum seekers in the London region, particularly those with mental health issues, to gain equal access to health and other essential services.
Speaking about the appointment, Cllr Vernon said that it is a real honour to be part of a grass roots organisation where volunteers provide practical advice and information for refugee communities in London.
He continued: “I am very keen to be an advocate in promoting the mental health of refugee communities which often is not picked up by mainstream services. As patron I will support Santé to engage with policy makers, funders and politicians. I want to ensure that despite being in a period of cuts and ongoing issues related to immigration, refugees are not seen as the scapegoats within society but part of the contribution in adding value to a multicultural London.”
Ruth Appleton, co-ordinator of the Sante Project based in Camden, said: “We are proud to welcome Patrick, as our patron and supporter. We envisage Patrick will bring our work into sharp focus and highlight the need for resources to be allocated to volunteering for asylum seekers who form the backbone of our public services, arts and creative industries.”
The Sante Project works with men and women. Befrienders of the project offer advice and support for those seeking counselling, temporary housing, financial support and those entering the judicial system and NHS.
For more information about the Sante Project visit www.santeproject.org.uk