AID is not enough for development

News & Events

News – News and More News


26/3/17 – Client repaid £880.00 by Wandsworth Council for its profiteering on water to council tenants.

17/3/17 – Complaint settled with EON Energy.

7/3/17 – Donations from Inkind direct goods for the ‘Help at Hand Project’ distributed to – beneficiary SE.

06/03/17 – Still chasing client Claire Kiberu who has not paid the Barrister. Need to ensure that clients pay external professionals upfront – Tom T, gave her career saving advice to stop her committing a criminal act.

6/3/17 – Client ES – Receives Visa.

6/3/17 – Donations from Inkind direct goods for the ‘Help at Hand Project’ distributed to – beneficiary (NE).

3/3/17- Donations from Inkind direct goods for the’ Help at Hand Project’ distributed to – beneficiary (KF).

3/3/17 – Client JL – Receive Visa.

28/2/17 – Donations from – Inkind direct goods for the ‘Help at Hand Project’ distributed to – (NM, TF, TO, JM, PC, EJ).

27/2/17 – Client AM – Receive Visa.

24/2/ 17 – Donations from Inkind direct goods for the ‘Help at Hand Project’ distributed to – beneficiary (PM).

23/2/17 – Visit From In kind direct to discuss donations distributions and information sharing.
Summary of charity visit.

SUFA is an almost entirely self-sufficient charity that supports local people to gain desperately needed residency status. SUFA is based in Battersea, South London, and has three main activities. The Community Support Network is an enterprising initiative which generates funds to support SUFA’s two main charitable activities. The two main charitable activities of SUFA are providing immigration support to vulnerable people and running the Living Better for Less scheme, which supports local people to minimise their household expenditures.

The main objectives of the charity are to give stability and security to the lives of their clients by supporting them in gaining or renewing VISAs. Once their clients have VISAs, they can have greater access to public services and can seek employment. SUFA also improves the lives of its clients by training them to live for less, and learn how to gather essential household items at low cost and referring them to local organisations which can help, such as foodbanks. SUFA also supports its clients with goods from In Kind Direct to help them support themselves.

The three main activities of SUFA:

1 – Community Support Network (CSN) – The scheme started in 2011, and is run in partnership with Avire estate agents, who lend SUFA empty properties which SUFA manage and allow small charities and communities to use as office space. SUFA benefits from donations from the charities who use the service. Avire benefits as their lent properties become eligible for lower charity tax rather than business tax. The CSN brings an income of around £10,000 per month to SUFA. Around 200 – 250 charities and business have used the service since it began. They tend to stay between 6 months and 3 years.

2 – Immigration Support – SUFA provide a vital service in supporting people with immigration applications for VISAs. These people have often overstayed on their VISA, so have no access to public funds and are very deprived. They may also have large debts following the use of dishonest solicitors who exploit vulnerable and desperate clients. SUFA work closely with clients to identify their issues, and attempt to gain access to VISAs by helping them fill in application forms and writing letters to the Home Office. SUFA also work closely with a trusted solicitor’s firm on complex cases. SUFA is very committed to helping their clients, and endeavour to follow through cases until they are successful in securing residency. It can take up to three years for applications to be submitted due to complications, but SUFA have only ever been unsuccessful once. They have around 100 clients on their books at any one time, and the service they offer is completely free.

3 – Living Better for Less – This scheme is an ongoing project training local people to live on tight budgets. Clients have very low or no incomes due to a number of reasons including their immigration status, being single parents or having disabilities. SUFA also help people to furnish their homes. Often when people are given social housing, the homes are empty and the residents have very little money to get set up. SUFA train people in the best way to source low price goods, such as using eBay and FreeCycle. SUFA orders goods from In Kind Direct to give to their service users, including cookware, shoes and clothing, toiletries and nappies. SUFA also provides a helping hand to negotiate with employers and energy suppliers on behalf of its clients to help solve problems such as breach of employment contracts, mounting debts and overpriced bills. SUFA has helped around 250 families via this scheme.

SUFA also supports a number of NGOs focussing on HIV/AIDS in a number of countries in Africa. NGOs supported by SUFA work in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi and Zimbabwe in Eastern Africa and Benin in West Africa.

10 /2/17 – Donations from Inkind direct goods for the ‘Help at Hand Project’ distributed.

8/ 2/17 – Donations from Inkind direct goods for the ‘Help at Hand Project’ distributed to – beneficiary- (CC).

5/2/17 – Donations from Inkind direct goods for the ‘Help at Hand Project’ distributed.

2/2/17 – In Kind Direct order delivered for distribution to – beneficiary (NS).

31/1/17 – Donations from Inkind direct goods for the ‘Help at Hand Project’ distributed to.

30/1/17 – In Kind Direct order delivered for distribution to – beneficiary (EJ).

25/1/17 – Donations from – Inkind direct distributed.

24/01/17 – Five applications submitted for Clients to the Home Office.

23/1/17 – In Kind Direct order delivered for distribution to – beneficiary (BM).

10/01/17 – After three years of working on a case – finally able to submit client (DS) application to Home Office. Solicitor took his money and ran. Dr Mavaza and IEI Solicitors still have not returned client documents despite the findings of the Legal Ombudsman.

21/12/16 – Donations from Inkind direct goods for the ‘Help at Hand Project’ distributed Donations from Inkind direct goods distributed to (NK).

12/12/16 – Client (ZU) and her children is finally housed by Lambeth council Donations from Inkind direct goods distributed to Four case submitted to the Financial ombudsman against NatWest, MBNA.

10/12/16 – Complaints with energy Ombudsman for three client – British Gas, Opus Energy, British Gas.
14/ 12/16 – Client (JN) Receives Visa.

12/12/16 – Christmas gifts received from givingworldonline gifts distributes to clients.

27/11/ 16 – MP Ruth Cadbury holds coffee morning at Max Factor House also to discuss Sufa extending services into Brentford and the borough of Hounslow Guy Lamberts blog from Brentford’s website Thursday 1st December 2016.

Saturday morning found me at Ruth Cadbury’s Brentford coffee morning in the Watermans Park building aka Max Factor to those in the know. Contrary to the sign which states ‘Office building to let’ and – as somebody helpfully pointed out to me – is in danger of falling on some unsuspecting passer-by’s head, this building is actually let with unerring Brentford logic to a charity from South London called Stand Up For Africa. Anyway, they were good enough to host Ruth’s coffee morning, with excellent cakes from the local Jobot business (they do hot dogs on match days in Brook Road South, if anybody’s peckish) and this was well attended and landed Ruth with a load of casework (councillors too). I told the estate agent that if they don’t remove the sign soon I will seek to have it locally listed as a heritage asset and they claim it will be gone multi-pronto. As they are an estate agent that must be true.

Donations from Inkind direct distributed

10/10/16 – Client Receives Visa from Home Office (TH).

8/8/16 – Client Receives Passport Client Receives Passport.

2 /9/16 – Guy Lamberts visits CSN at Max Factor House to discuss SUFA extending its service to Brentford and the Borough of Hounslow.


2ND SEPTEMBER 2016- The council is just beginning to wind up again after the summer lull though of course we had our last Bank Holiday until Christmas on Monday.
Before the weekend I spent an interesting morning at Waterman’s Park. No, not the green bit but the red brick bit. Commonly referred to as Max Factor. I’d recently heard that a charity had taken a lease on this large building and was invited to take tea and (excellent) cake with them. The charity is called SUFA (meaning Stand Up For Africa) but they are working quite a bit in South London and have now started in Brentford supporting local charities and community groups without (as far as I can see) any particular African flavour. They have a lot of good quality riverside space available and are certainly worth contacting if you have a need for it – for long term accommodation or for an event etc. I’ll happily put people in touch, or you could just rock up at the door!