Karibu seeks to improve the lives of African and refugee women and their families by creating a place where they can meet and support one another. It aims to empower vulnerable women to engage with services and increase their self-esteem and confidence. Based in Glasgow, Karibu provides advice and information and opportunities to learn new skills – in sewing, computers, catering as well as through providing ESOL and volunteer and work placements.
At the October meeting in 2015, the Foundation awarded a £3,500 grant to Karibu, to contribute towards the volunteer coordination and help with running costs.
Over the past twelve years, Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers has developed a wide range of face-to-face support services to help people, particularly those who find themselves destitute and without statutory support. It works across Leeds and operates a weekly drop-in, regularly accessed by 120-150 people. The drop-in has evolved into a successful multi-agency format enabling attendees to access other relevant services. It offers access to humanitarian basic needs such as shelter, food and clothing, and assistance to get people back into the asylum system and out of destitution.
The Foundation has awarded a £10,000 grant, payable in two instalments from October 2015. The grant will contribute towards the salary of a part-time destitution caseworker.
Azadi Trust is an umbrella organisation which looks after a number of small local projects, including the Hope Therapeutic Garden. The Garden provides a safe, accessible and friendly space in Sparkbrook, Birmingham, for people take part in gardening activities.
Around 50 people benefit each year, the majority of whom are destitute asylum seekers. They are taught horticultural skills, about growing and cooking healthy food, and are encouraged to practise their English and access other support. People make friends and offer one another support, thus improving their mental health and general wellbeing.
At the June 2015 meeting, the Foundation’s Trustees agreed a £1,000 grant to contribute towards the general running costs of the Garden.
The No Accommodation Network operates nationally to bring together and support member groups which provide accommodation and other assistance for destitute and vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees. NACCOM aims to raise awareness of their plight through a collective voice and national and local campaigning work. Its vision is to end destitution amongst asylum seekers, refugees and migrants with no recourse to public funds.
In February 2015, the Foundation gave an £8,000 grant towards NACCOM’s general running costs. The aim is to provide some security to the organisation and enable it to move forward, extend the network and develop further.
This organisation is part of the national City of Sanctuary movement – the general ethos being to make towns and cities more friendly and hospitable to asylum seekers and refugees. Established in Manchester in 2013, it works to encourage local businesses, charities, employers and individuals to pledge their support and do something that makes the city more welcoming. The organisation also organises activities and helps refugees and asylum seekers with opportunities to access local events and activities run by others in the community.
A grant was made for £9,000 split over a three year period towards the general running costs of City Sanctuary Manchester in February 2015. This is contributing towards core costs of an office and a part-time coordinator salary to help the organisation to grow and develop.
A member-led charity, Crossings works across Newcastle. It was set up in 2011 by a group of people involved in and/or working with asylum seekers and refugees, to provide opportunities and access to singing, learning and performing music. Crossings operates as a community of people united by music, and offers a variety of weekly music-based activities. These include a women and children’s choir, structured music lessons, band practice and a visual arts and crafts group. It also runs workshops and a training programme in schools and in the local community which raise awareness and understanding about the lives of refugees and asylum seekers.
Funding from the Foundation in October 2014 went towards encouraging participation. Specifically, a grant of £4,000 is contributing towards travel costs of members over a two-year period, to enable them to attend sessions. It also covers some general costs including volunteer checks, refreshments etc.
WSSAG provides a safe, supporting and empowering environment for female asylum seekers and refugees in Cardiff. It runs a fortnightly drop-in where women can meet, talk together, and offer support. Members work together to seek solutions to their problems, overcome helplessness and isolation, tackle the trauma they have faced and turn their lives around. The group campaigns on women’s asylum issues and is committed to empower refugee women to have control over their own lives, to have control of their own destiny and to advocate on their own behalf.
The Foundation awarded £2,000 pa for two years to the general running costs of this organisation in February 2014.