Vesta – Specialist Family Support

Vesta had previously been known as the Polish Domestic Violence Helpline until 2018 – the name was changed to reflect a wider migrant community that the organisation was increasingly supporting.  It is based in Cheshire, and offers services across England and Wales.  Vesta’s main aims are to empower migrant families in creating a safe and nurturing family environment where people can have healthy relationships with each other.  It offers individual support, online courses, counselling services, and provides support for the victims of abuse as well as working with perpetrators.

In February 2021, Allen Lane Foundation Trustees awarded a grant of £6,000 towards staff salaries and general running costs of this organisation.  Over the following year, expected outcomes of the work of Vesta include that clients will have improved wellbeing and mental health; that victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse will have increased knowledge about the nature of abuse in relationships; and that parents will gain a better understanding of their children’s needs, have improved parenting skills and learn how to create safer and nurturing environments for their children.


Here for Good

Here for Good is a charity that operates nationally, aiming to provide free high-quality immigration services to vulnerable EU, EEA and Swiss nationals and their families.  It offers on-line advice and resources, an advocacy and casework service, phoneline and email support, and runs regular outreach events.

The Foundation has awarded funding of £10,000 towards Here for Good at the June 2020 Trustees’ meeting.  This will contribute towards costs of the Volunteer Coordinator’s salary and associated costs.  The role includes supervision of the countrywide volunteer network of specialist immigration advisors, and funding will contribute towards expansion of pro-bono agreements with new law firms and overall increase capacity.  It is envisaged that at least 750 vulnerable citizens will be supported in securing their right to remain in the UK.

Fife Migrants Forum

Based in Kirkcaldy, Fife Migrants Forum was set up in response to the growing number of migrants coming to work and settle across Fife. The charity provides information, advocacy, advice, social cohesion and integration activities, whilst also working with other agencies to influence policy development and campaigning. It supports local community groups, volunteering opportunities, two weekly women’s groups including one for Syrian women, advice clinics, IT provision, and job fairs. The Forum also runs six conversational cafes across the area – two in Kirkcaldy, two is Rosyth, and in Dunfermline and Glenrothes. Around 3,000 people per year benefit from the Forum’s work.

At the February 2020 meeting, Allen Lane Trustees awarded a two-year grant totalling £10,000 to the Forum. This funding will contribute towards the salary of the volunteer coordinator who recruits, trains and manages 130 volunteers currently. A further 20 volunteers over the coming year will be recruited to support outreach clients in parts of West and East Fife. Volunteers are key to the overall work of the organisation – they assist with delivering services, providing administration support, up-dating the website, delivering advice, promoting the organisation and running the conversation cafes.

Browns Community Services

Browns Community Services focuses on working with some of the most socially excluded, disadvantaged and vulnerable people in communities across parts of south east England.  It aims to transform lives and build more inclusive and stronger communities.  Various programmes and courses are run, including advocacy work, empowerment and skills-provision, and around 150 people are supported each year.

Funding from Allen Lane has been offered to contribute towards the Rebuild – Roma Family Support Programme.  This work is building on a pilot project in summer 2019 that Browns ran with Slough Youth Offending Services to benefit Roma families where a child is, or may be, at risk of exploitation. A part-time worker will assist with support around accessing employment, housing advice, money and finances advice, parenting skills and family issues, exploitation from criminal gangs, and community inclusion.  The programme aims to work with around 40 Roma families.

A Living Tradition

A Living Tradition is a Community Interest Company (CIC), and has been running for eight years.  The company uses the human rights history of the Northeast of England as an inspiration to encourage the development of the values of solidarity, tolerance and fairness today.  Based in Newcastle and Gateshead, its main focus is on supporting people in the local Roma community.  It has run several events in the local area, has also worked in schools, and has input into issues around hate crime and the experiences of Roma people with policy makers.

At the February 2019 meeting, Trustees awarded a grant of £3,000 to this organisation.  The funding will contribute towards costs of running a weekly drop-in Information Exchange.  Each week anywhere between ten and twenty people attend and benefit from advice and information on a range of issues such as education, housing, health and debt. Advisors from agencies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau also come to the drop-in to ensure their services are accessible to the Roma community.  Outcomes from the work are that the Roma community will have improved access to local information and services, better integration into society, and a build-up of trust within the local area.


Compas Charity

Compas Charity provides a range of services to the Roma community in and around the Peterborough area. It runs a Saturday school for children, ESOL classes for adults, a newcomers guide on relevant information, helps organise cultural and traditional events, and gives support to individuals. The Charity’s main aim is to promote social justice and offer newcomers to Peterborough equal opportunities to integrate into society.

In October 2018, the Allen Lane Foundation offered a £5,000 contribution towards the salary of a part-time Centre Coordinator. This role will manage the work of the organisation, support volunteers, and will develop a new community hub offering additional services.

English +

English + is a charity working in Norwich which aims to help new communities settle into the local area.  It supports adult refugees, asylum seekers, and other migrant communities, and assists with providing English language classes, informal conversation classes, and an art and craft session, as well as support in any other ways.  This includes help with housing issues, volunteering opportunities, access to services, and signposting to other support agencies.  More than 100 people a week access its services each week, and benefit from better inclusion into the local community and increased opportunities.

In June 2018, English + was offered a grant from the Foundation totalling £4,005.  This will help to contribute towards the part-time coordinator and also help provide bus passes to students to enable them to access classes.

Hanseatic Union

Hanseatic Union is a charity in King’s Lynn in Norfolk.  Its main work is to promote community cohesion and support those who are disadvantaged, particularly the area’s growing migrant population.  The charity runs various ESOL classes at community venues in the town, which benefit around 40 people each year.  It also helps people with an employment scheme, and works in partnership with others to deliver advice and guidance.  It aims to build bridges between communities, and engage migrants and people from the local community to work together.

Allen Lane has offered funding over a two-year period towards the cost of running ESOL classes.  The grant totals £6,083, to be spent on a tutor, room hire, and support costs.  It is envisaged that at least 80 people will benefit through gaining vital English and communication skills.



Migrant Action

Migrant Action is an Advocacy and Rights based organisation. It operates as an independently constituted organisation under the umbrella of the Leeds Christian Community Trust. Migrant Action’s work is mainly with migrants who do not fit into the ‘neat’ categories of migration including those who have fallen through the cracks of the system or are excluded from mainstream society.

It provides information and guidance, advocacy support, and helps new migrants integrate by facilitating access to services. It offers impartial, non-judgemental and non-directive advice and helps individuals explore their options and make informed choices in a safe and trusted space.  Through these packages of support, Migrant Action empowers and helps steer vulnerable migrants away from exploitation, crime and destitution into mainstream society thereby increasing prospects for integration.

In February 2018, Allen Lane offered funding of £1,500 per annum for two  years. This will contribute towards Migrant Action paying the salary of a part-time advocacy worker and related volunteering costs. Overall outcomes for clients supported include; an end to exploitation; increased access to services; improved access to legal advice and advocacy; reduced isolation and increase social participation; and integration and a sense of belonging.

English Language Study Centre

This organisation is based in Liverpool, and supports migrant communities from across Merseyside.  It runs a number of English classes each week, supporting around 300 individuals a year.  The majority of students come to the classes with little or no English, and so many of the classes are aimed at beginners.  The organisation aims to help newly arrived migrants to be able to communicate better in English and therefore increase the chances of them setting well into the local community, accessing employment and other services.  In additional to teaching English, the Centre supports people with practical things such as helping with ICT skills, interview techniques and visiting the GP.

The Centre applied for a grant to extend its current provision, with themed language classes, women-only workshops, and employability and career development workshops.  A contribution to these costs of £3,000 was agreed by Trustees in the October 2017 meeting.