City of Sanctuary Bradford

 

This charity operates as a member of the national network of City of Sanctuary organisations across the UK, aiming to “make the city a place of welcome and belonging for all those seeing sanctuary”.  Set up initially nine years ago, the project encourages and enables sanctuary seekers to participate in local day-to-day like, and works with a range of organisations, groups and initiatives in and around Bradford to help them be more supportive, accessible and useful to sanctuary seekers.

The Foundation has made a grant of £7,000, which is contributing towards the costs of a new part-time paid post of project coordinator.  With only one other part-time worker, specifically funded on the ‘Sanctuary in Schools’ project, this new role will enable the charity to grow.  The aim is to better support and increase the network of groups; help more sanctuary seekers; to initiate more projects; and increase the awareness locally of refugee and asylum issues.

www.bradford.cityofsanctuary.org

 

 

Music in Detention

Music in Detention works to help immigration detainees cope with the ordeal of detention in Immigration Removal Centres, and improve their emotional wellbeing. It works regularly in four of the UK’s ten Centres. It also aims to raise awareness of Centres within the local communities, and builds supportive relationships between them and the detainees. The charity runs participatory music workshops aimed at building a new sense of hope to detainees, helping to relieve the psychological pressure they face every day, and make lasting improvements to their wellbeing. Around 2,000 detainees benefit each year.

In October 2016, the Foundation has awarded a grant totalling £10,000, to be split over a three-year period. This will contribute towards a new project delivering workshops in and around Morton Hall – a removal centre run by the Prison Service. Morton Hall is in Lincolnshire and has 392 rooms for adult males. The intention is to run 24 workshops in the centre each year, plus a further six in the local community.

The photograph used is of a painting by a former detainee who had participated in workshops at Haslar Immigration Removal Centre.

www.musicindetention.org.uk

Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum

This charity works as an umbrella body for Cambridge and district, and aims to provide quality services for individuals and groups, and to bring about racial harmony between diverse communities, regardless of race, nationality or ethnic group.  It supports a network of member organisations, offering resources, advice and advocacy, and helps establish new projects where it sees a particular need.

In October 2016, Allen Lane awarded £5,000 to fund a specific weekly drop-in for asylum seekers and refugees.  The drop-in will offer a dedicated service, helping people to access legal help, asylum support and accommodation, and also with healthcare, education and social support needs.  A team of volunteers will be supported by a part-time worker to run the drop-in service.

www.cecf.co.uk

 

Byker Community Centre

This charity offers a multitude of activities and services for people living in the Byker area of Newcastle.  It works with and directly supports a number of the beneficiary groups which the Foundation funds. It offers a weekly lunch club for older people; runs two LGBT groups, one weekly and one monthly; and runs a weekly group in partnership with another organisation for women as part of their parole conditions, or for women at risk of offending.  In addition, the Centre’s activities help asylum seekers and refugees, Gypsies and Travellers, and people with mental health conditions.

In October 2016, the Foundation agreed a £5,000 grant towards the core costs of running the Centre.  Over the year, the charity aims to develop a fortnightly group working with female sex workers, and increase the current lunchtime provision for older people into a full day’s session.


About Time

About Time is a volunteer-led organisation, based at a church venue in Plymouth.  It supports asylum seekers and refugees and runs an open drop-in twice a week.  The sessions provide a safe friendly meeting place and opportunities for people to learn and practice English.  About Time runs a time-bank which is open to the local community, where anyone can get involved, share their skills and knowledge, experience and goodwill.

The Foundation has contributed £3,032 to About Time in October 2016.  This will fund the costs of providing English classes at one of the drop-ins each week, and enable around 50 people over the year to benefit.

Justice First

Justice First is a registered charity which helps people in the Tees Valley who are seeking asylum.  It helps those whose appeals have been rejected to re-engage with the legal system, and offers advice, information, casework support, and a friendly and welcoming environment. Around 500-600 people are assisted each year.

The charity has been offered a three-year grant of £5,000 pa in June 2016.  The funding will support the core running costs of Justice First, and enable it to continue supporting asylum seekers. Overall aims are to increase the support offered to individuals, increase the awareness-raising activities run, and reduce the stress and isolation felt by clients, thus improving their well-being.

www.justicefirst.org.uk

Unity Group Wales

This organisation is based in Swansea, and works with the LGBT community
across Wales.  It provides advice and support, raises awareness, and
provides assistance around hate crime.

Over the past few years, Unity Group had been seeing increasing numbers
of LGBT asylum seekers coming to the centre in Swansea for support.  In
response, it set up a dedicated group called ‘No Going Back’, which now
meets regularly.  The Foundation awarded £3,500 towards the volunteer
costs, and general running costs of this group.  Volunteers help with
practical assistance, access to immigration legal advisors, social and
cultural support, and regular drop-in sessions.  The intention is to
help asylum seekers as they move through the asylum system, improve
people’s wellbeing and mental health, and help people integrate into the
community

Breathing Spaces

This is a not-for-profit organisation in Worthing, Sussex. It works with different groups and projects and uses gardening therapy to bring about positive benefits for participants. It has specialised in working with older people, and people with dementia, and runs regular gardening clubs for different groups in and around Worthing.

In June 2016, the Foundation awarded £7,200 towards Breathing Spaces, to enable it to expand its services and offer four new programmes of work. These include a ‘Friends of the Allotment’ group which will work with residents from a local social housing estate; plus three new weekly gardening sessions working with specific groups (refugees and asylum seekers; people with mental health issues; and women who are victims of domestic abuse). Over the next year or so, the expanded services will benefit more than 30 people – through improving self-esteem and increasing their feelings of belonging and positive connection with others.

www.breathingspaces.co

BIRCH

Birmingham Community Hosting Network (known as BIRCH) works to relieve the destitution of asylum seekers in Birmingham, and promote community cohesion in the local area. It has created a network of community hosts and volunteers who offer safe accommodation in their homes, whilst also providing opportunities for people to form friendships and gain vital case-work support.

Allen Lane has contributed £9,342 over a two-year period towards the salary costs of the hosting coordinator. This role is part-time, and the funding will contribute additional paid hours each week from March 2016. With more dedicated time, the coordinator will have the capacity to recruit and train more hosts, manage more matches, and therefore help more asylum seekers move out of destitution.

www.birchnetwork.org

Doncaster Conversation Club

The Doncaster Conversation Club provides a welcome to new arrivals into Doncaster focussing on asylum seekers and refugees. It aims to provide a sanctuary where clients can escape loneliness and isolation.  For many who have experienced endemic corruption and brutality from the authorities in their homeland it tries to build bridges and grow the trust between them and the officialdom here.

The Club meets once a week and, apart from a friendly welcome, a cup of tea and soup, offers ESOL lessons, access to Migrant Help, internet access, support in filling in forms for claims, benefits or any of the bureaucracy they encounter, informal translation, food parcels, liaison with schools, and help with any other problem they bring.  Volunteers include a retired GP who can focus on the complex health needs of some of the clients.

In support of these aims in February 2016, the Foundation awarded a grant of £1,730 to run the ‘Adapting to Life in the UK’ project.  The project aims to improve attendees’ understanding of British society, equip them with the skills required to help them fit in and integrate as smoothly as possible and is broken down into three areas: work, money, and personal skills.  The intention is that around 70 attendees will, by learning about the day-to-day life in this country, feel less stigmatised, less isolated and more confident to face the challenges of their new life