A CHARITY that supports refugees faces closure after losing more than £70,000 of council grants.
West London Refugee Employment and Training Initiative (RETI) was set up more than a decade ago to help refugees, particularly those from Somalia and other east African countries, integrate into the community.
The charity, based in Market Place, Brentford, supports mainly women and young people living in some of the borough's most deprived estates.
Staff run youth groups, offer advice on benefits and housing, and help people find work and training, among other services.
However, the last of its £70,000 funding from Hounslow Council is due to run out in July, according to manager Hassan Isse. Coupled with the loss of a similar sum from other organisations, he claims the trust has just weeks to secure its future.
Without it, he says, there will be no support for Hounslow's sizeable Somalian community.
Mr Isse claims that people from black African backgrounds account for nearly a tenth of the borough's population, although the 2001 census puts the figure at 2.7 per cent.
"We helped nearly 750 people last year and many of those people will have nowhere to go if we close," he said.
A council spokesman said it had funded West London RETI to the tune of £70,920, although some of this was for a joint project with Ilays, another group supporting the Somali community in Hounslow.
The spokesman added: "Each year we advise our organisations that the funding is for one year, and we ask them how they are going to sustain themselves once funding ends."