Hodan’s COVID-19 Response

Hodan’s Covid-19 Response

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Hodan is offering a telephone-based advice and befriending service for the Somali and wider BAME community in London.

We can offer advice in English and Somali on:

-          Reducing the spread of the virus

-          Understanding ‘social distancing’ – what’s allowed and what’s not

-          Understanding official letters that you’ve received

-          Meeting your basic needs (food, medication, etc.) while in isolation

-          Coping with loneliness

-          Accessing Universal Credit and government emergency support

-          Dealing with housing problems during the crisis

-          Education and employment issues

We can also signpost and refer people to agencies providing advice on debt, immigration and health issues, including mental health.

We are offering Online Zumba classes for women twice a week (via Zoom) to encourage physical fitness, improve mental well-being and reduce the impact of social isolation.

You can join Zumba classes on every Tuesday and Friday @ 11:00 AM by using the following Zoom meeting ID: 7882749946

Hodan is proud to be working with the Kensington & Chelsea Foundation through their Covid-19 appeal.

COVID-19 annoucement for Hodan Service Users

20th March 2020


Notice for Hodan’s clients during Covid-19 Pandemic

In the light of continued concerns regarding the Covid-19 Pandemic we are advising Hodan’s Service users not to come to the office unless in an emergency. We will do our utmost to help you over the phone. Call Hodan’s number 0208 9605813 or 07440399926 and we’ll give you a call back to minimise your cost.

Thanks for your co-operation


Ogeysiis Ku saabsan Hodan drop-in services

Anaka oo tixgalineyna saameynta cudurka COVID-19, waxaan dhamaan dadka  u baahan adeega Xafiiska Hodan Somali Community ku wargalineynaa in ayna iman xafiisa wixii xaalad ded deg ah mooye (emergency). Haddii aad u baahato adeega xafiiska la soo hadal Telefoonkan: 020 8960 5813 amba 07440399926,  Waxaanu ku dadaali in aan waxaad u baahantay kuugu qabano telefoonka. Anaka ayaa kugu soo celindoona telefoonka si aan u yareeyno kharashka telefoonka kaaga baxaya.



COVID-19 Update for Hodan Sevices

Date 20th of March 2020

Dear All,

I am writing to you as we watch the Covid-19 global health crisis change and affect our lives day by day, hour by hour.

In light of ongoing and growing concerns and the utmost importance of looking after the health and safety of our staff, beneficiaries and clients and other visitors to our office and services, Hodan’s staff and trustees have agree to the following:

  1. We will minimise close contacts at the drop-in services and give support to our clients over the phone instead, unless we face with an urgent emergency case.
  2. We will reduce home visits, except for emergency cases and make frequent telephone contacts with the most isolated and vulnerable people.
  3. We will temporarily suspend all group meetings including group gatherings for our Social Space and Wellbeing, and Elderly Befriending projects.

We are aware that some of the people in our community are most at risk so these changes will be put in place to keep them safe. We are doing this in consultation with the Council’s Community Engagement team and Hodan partner organisations in the community. Hodan will continuously monitor the situation on a daily basis and update our services accordingly.

We are all experiencing a great deal of uncertainty and we are aware of the huge challenges ahead of us. It is at this time when we are advised to practice social distancing that we are even more aware of how important it is for us to act as a community and care for each other.

Wishing you and your family good health,


Mohammed Farah

Executive Director

Hodan Somali Community

Telephone: 020 8960 5813 / 07949514936

Case study Mrs H

Case study for Mrs H

 Situation :

Mrs H briefly talked about her situation before she accessed Hodan’s services. She underlined that although she has been in the country for good number of years this was the first time she used services by herself. It was her partner who used to sort out things for the family. But this has changed when her partner suddenly left the country.

Action taken:

Mrs. H explained her first experience at Hodan and how Hodan helped her go through this difficult period in her life.

“I came to Hodan with my problems and most of my issues were solved by Hodan staff and volunteers; My Job Seekers allowance, Child Benefit, child tax credit, housing & Council Tax support were all dealt with and sorted out”.

She felt a bit relieved, settled and confident as most of the immediate priority issues were dealt with. She then started to move on and learn more about the system.

“Without Hodan, life would have been very difficult. I came to learning & Networking workshops. This enabled me to meet with service providers and socialise with other service users. I learned about the system and practical skills like budgeting, energy saving and the UK system”.


Then Mrs H moved to explain how the support of Hodan has impacted her life, her family’s life and life in UK. She underlined the biggest mile stone in her life at UK happened when she joined the employment support project and started with enrolling ESOL and IT class. According to her words “this was big game changer”.

“Then I enrolled Hodan’s ESOL/IT projects and this has changed my life big times and I can now write and read better, my IT has improved, I can send emails and do job search. Hodan helped me find a job, develop my CV and gave me references. Hodan helped me with job application forms; all this support helped me get Two Part-time jobs. I’m now confident and happy about life”.

Mrs H underscored how the support helped her to be independent and almost self sufficient with increased confidence and self-esteem.

“I’m in charge of my income and don’t rely on state benefit and I pay council tax and get a little help for rent. Now I’m a good role model for my children and they see me happy and supportive. I know how to go through the system and I see myself as part of this society. I am very confident and motivated and want to achieve more in life”.

Future plan

She then highlighted what she wants to achieve next and her future plans. She looks very confident with strong self-belief and thinks positively about life.

“Now my future plan is to find a full time employment and to pay all my rent and to be able to pay my tax. I’ll go to college; I want to study Child care”.

Case study Mrs X

Case study Mrs X:

Mrs X is a 60 years old with mobility impairment and mental health problem. She does not read nor write English. Her social interaction with other people was limited. All this made her isolated, bored and depressed. This year our befriending volunteer visited her and after assessment encouraged her to join our social space and wellbeing club (empowerment club for women). This was a good opportunity for her to leave the house and socialise with others. This helped her to reduce her isolation, boredom and depression, as she put it “before I felt isolated, depressed, nothing to do, just bored, but not anymore. I feel now happier, relaxed and positive thinking”.

Elderly Befriending Project

We have received funding from the Kensington & Chelsea Foundation to support a project focusing on community members over the age of 50.

The Elderly Befriending Project will provide home visits to vulnerable elders and will also be running regular monthly meetings, encouraging people to socialise and improve their well-being.

The meetings will take place within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.  Specific dates and venues will be announced on this site in the near future.

Empowerment Club

Hodan has recently expanded its successful Empowerment Club project and is now running a second session at the White City Community Centre, on Friday mornings.  This has been made possible through the support of the National Lottery ‘Awards for All’ programme.

This is a great opportunity for women of all ages and backgrounds who live in the following West London boroughs: Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, Ealing, Hounslow and Hillingdon.

Sessions are now taking place at the following venues:

Every Wednesday,  11 AM – 1 PM @  Canalside House, London  Ladbroke Grove W10 5AA

Every Friday, 10.30 AM – 12.30 PM @ White City Community Centre, India Way, London W12 7QT

Occasional workshops in confidence-building and community asset mapping will also be offered at these and other venues – please watch this space for more information!

To register, or for more information, please contact Hodan Somali Community by telephone: 020 8960 5813.

Case study: Mrs. A

One of the Hodan’s service users told us her experience from arriving in the UK in 2001.

“This community is our backbone”

After arriving with her son and speaking no English, Mrs. X found settling in the UK to be very difficult and struggled with depression and isolation. She was introduced to Hodan in 2005 by friends from the local Somali community. She described the way Hodan has helped her with “all aspects” of her life and the importance of the organisation to the local Somali population in providing support, advice and the opportunity to “understand everything about life here”.

Mrs. X faced further difficulties when she was diagnosed with cancer, but the support Hodan provided in accompaniment to hospital appointments to translate and explain the system helped her through this. The advice and information Hodan provides on budgeting, utilities and state support has allowed Mrs. X to improve her financial resilience.

She has particular appreciation for the weekly women’s exercise classes which have greatly improved her sense of health and wellbeing, as well as the organised trips to places such as Kensington Palace which she says have given her the opportunity to meet new people and learn about the UK’s history and culture.

Mrs. X considers the help Hodan gave her in joining a local college ESOL class as one of the most important things in empowering her and allowing her to feel settled in the UK. Through this she has been able to meet new people from outside the Somali community and feels more empowered and independent. The support network she has developed now through Hodan is important to her mental wellbeing and sense of belonging. Without the advice and support of Hodan, Mrs. X imagines life would be “horrible, not worth imagining”.