Charity which helps refugees find jobs gets Queen's Award

Queen's Award to refugee charity

Queen's Award to refugee charity - Credit: Breaking Barriers

A charity that runs sessions to help refugees in Bethnal Green get jobs and blend into British society has been given a Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.

The Breaking Barriers charity is one of 205 organisations being recognised for “promoting opportunity through social mobility”.  

It was set up in Shoreditch by Matthew Powell in 2015 to help refugees and asylum-seekers find work and integrate through education and training.     

“The prestige of the award I hope brings more sustainable opportunities for refugees,” he said. “The news comes at a challenging time for refugees as they’re disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.” 

One in five refugees in London are now unemployed because of the pandemic, according to a report by the charity on the impact of Covid-19.  

One-to-one help for refugees to get jobs and be integrated

One-to-one help for refugees to get jobs and be integrated - Credit: Breaking Barriers


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Breaking Barriers, which holds weekly sessions at Bethnal Green’s Sundial day centre, has helped more than 1,000 refugees get work or go into education, training or volunteering. It offers a chance of paid work placements or permanent jobs in 20 companies it is in partnership with. 

The full list of Queen’s Awards is being announced on April 29, after having been postponed from April 23 due to the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.   

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