Toxteth Women’s Centre was established to promote the wellbeing of women from ethnic minorities, particularly those whose first language is not English.  It has been running ESOL classes for the last 14 years in the Toxteth area of Liverpool, and has also broadened its services in that time.  Staff and volunteers provide both practical and emotional support for the women attending, including one-to-one crisis and specialist support where required. The Centre also operates a donations/collections scheme including clothing, baby items, books etc, and there is a community garden and regular social events and activities.  The majority of women attending are from asylum seeking and refugee communities.

In February 2024, Trustees awarded a grant to Toxteth Women’s Centre of £7,000.  Funding will contribute toward the charity’s general running costs.  Intended outcomes for the year include that: ESOL classes will improve the English language skills of around 200 learners; donated items will be provided to at least 100 families; and specialist one-to-one support will be given to around 15 women in complex circumstances.


This charity is based in Taunton, and works with refugees and asylum seekers across a much wider area of West Somerset. Some are accommodated through the dispersal system to the area, and others in a pre-dispersal hotel in the area that houses over 250 asylum seekers. Taunton Welcomes Refugees helps people on a case-by-case basis, aiming to help them with whatever they need.  This includes befriending support, English conversation and social sessions, a signposting service, access to food parcels, household goods and bikes for example.  Regular drop-ins are run for people to access advice and support.

The Foundation has contributed £6,656 over two years towards the salary of the only paid worker, the part-time administrator.  This post provides the administration and infrastructure that enables the volunteers and trustees to run the charity and its services and activities.  The worker is crucial in enabling the work of the charity to run smoothly, effectively and efficiently, and to continue supporting asylum seekers across the area.

Napier Friends provides a range of services and activities for people who are seeking asylum and accommodated at Napier Barracks near to Folkestone in Kent. The Barracks can house around 400 people, largely in dormitory accommodation, and is used for single men, generally for two-three months before being moved on elsewhere.  Napier Friends runs session onsite at the Barracks five days a week and at a local hotel where asylum seekers are also housed, and at a community centre. These include English classes, social activities, cooking sessions, a chess club, as well as football and cricket and gardening projects. Volunteers support individuals with general assistance and friendship, and overall aim to help people feel welcomed and supported.

In October 2023, a £5,000 grant was awarded as a contribution towards the salary of a new part-time post. The Inclusion Facilitator will provide casework support for more individuals with more complex needs, and work to engage those people who may be most in need, but not otherwise accessing help.  It is envisaged that the new worker will provide support for around 100 people a year.



City of Sanctuary Leicester was established in 2007 and is a part of the national City of Sanctuary network. Overall it aims to provide welcome to asylum seekers and refugees, and supports them to rebuild their lives, develop their skills, and feel part of the local community.  It employs three part-time staff who work on various aspects of the charity’s focus – providing casework and one-to-one support, and offering practical help as well as advice and guidance.  A weekly drop-in is run and generally around 150 people benefit from the charity’s work each week.

At the June 2023 meeting, Allen Lane trustees agreed funding of £8,000 over two years (£4,000 pa) towards the salary of the project officer.  This post is two days per week, and the person works to support the activities, English conversation classes, and helps with reimbursing bus tickets for the asylum seekers who participate.  Overall outcomes from the work include that participants will feel less isolated and more connected, and have increased confidence and wellbeing.



Alliance for Choice Belfast was established in 1996 with the aim of decriminalising abortion in Northern Ireland and ensuring access to free safe legal and local abortion care.  It was pivotal in securing the decriminalisation of abortion in 2019 and continues to work to ensure that women across the region have the information they need to make informed choices about their individual situations.

In June 2023, the charity applied for funding towards its Lucht Cabhrach programme, and specifically, provision to asylum seeking women in Northern Ireland.  The programme provides doula support to women in need of abortion healthcare. This includes giving clear information on abortion provision, access and services; someone to talk with and provide emotional support; practical support such as accompaniment to appointments; as well as care packages and a befriending support.  The Foundation awarded funding of £7,000 over a two-year period towards the pilot programme.  With the grant aid, it is also able to train people who support asylum seeking women in the community.  Benefits and outcomes for the asylum seeking women include that they access relevant information about their rights, and receive non-judgmental and culturally-appropriate support and care.



Known as FOSS, this charity aims to help New Scots integrate into Falkirk and remove barriers to accessing service. It is a befriending charity, working with any newcomers to the area, in the majority supporting resettled refugees and people in the asylum system. FOSS is based in Falkirk in the Forth Valley. In February 2023, […]

Conversation Club Leeds is a registered charity that has been running since 2016.  It offers a safe and relaxed atmosphere in which asylum seekers and refugees can meet and learn or practice their English.  The charity is completely volunteer-led, with local volunteers and asylum seekers and refugees all offering mutual support.  Two weekly sessions are run each week, and overall at least 100 individuals benefit.  As well as informal English classes and conversation, the sessions include activities such as quizzes, crafts and people can find advice and information.  The charity also organises outings to places of interest, and workshops with other organisations – such as cooking sessions, or walking for example.

At the February 2023 meeting, Allen Lane agreed a grant of £5,000 to be split over a two-year period.  This will contribute towards general running costs of the Club.  Benefits for the participants include improved levels of English speaking; improved access to cultural and other local opportunities; and reducing people’s isolation and creating and encouraging friendships.


Living Vital is a community gardening project based at Stanmer Park on the outskirts of Brighton. The organisation aims to improve mental and physical wellbeing through socialising and connection with nature. It offers the opportunity for people to learn about growing food sustainably, improving local biodiversity, nutrition, simple woodwork and bushcraft skills, and cookery and runs regular sessions with various groups in the community. Its main project is ‘Common Ground’ – an organic food growing community project benefitting around 60 individuals from the refugee and migrant community.

In October 2022, the Foundation made a grant for £5,000 to be split equally over a two-year period. The funding is to contribute towards general running costs of the Common Ground project. The project works in partnership with Voices in Exile, a refugee charity in Brighton that will refer individuals. Regular therapeutic gardening sessions will help to improve mental and physical health, boost confidence and reduce people’s isolation. It is also an opportunity for the refugee and migrant community to make new friends and connections in the local community.

This charity works to support refugees and asylum seekers across the Watford and Three Rivers area in the south west of Hertfordshire. It offers befriending and advocacy, helping people to navigate complicated UK systems and providing opportunities to access education and find legal employment. It helps individuals with any resettlement issues, and raises awareness of the challenges refugees and asylum seekers face, which helps to improve understanding and tolerance in the local community. ESOL classes are run, also fortnightly drop-ins, a weekly social hub, support with food parcels, clothing, laptops, school uniforms, etc and some social activities.

The Allen Lane Foundation agreed funding to contribute to the salary of a caseworker post – this was a grant totalling £9,000 to be split over two years from October 2022. The role will involve managing the more complex cases as well as managing the group of volunteers who carry out befriending and casework currently for clients. It is anticipated that the new position will result in a more effective, reliable and consistent source of support for refugees and asylum seekers.

Bristol was one of the first cities across the UK to be involved in creating the national movement of ‘City of Sanctuary’ organisations.  Bristol City of Sanctuary, like others, offers welcome and sanctuary to people fleeing violence or persecution, and aims to create a supportive community across the city involving charities, businesses, individuals and groups, the council and other agencies.

At the Foundation’s June 2022 meeting, Trustees agreed a grant totalling £7,500 split across three years. The funding is towards salary costs, and will directly help administer the charity’s Transport Fund. The Fund was initiated by Bristol City of Sanctuary and works in partnership with First Bus, Bristol’s transport provider. The Fund enables around 75 asylum seekers and refugees to access free bus tickets so they are able to access appointments, services and activities.  Bristol City of Sanctuary has a working arrangement with key refugee agencies across the area which make referrals to the Fund.  Since the first instalment of the grant, the charity has reported that First Bus has agreed to expand the number of tickets it offers which will help even more destitute and vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees.