Homeplus NI

Homeplus Northern Ireland works in Belfast, and assists refugees, asylum seekers and migrants who are destitute and/or homeless.  It offers a drop-in and advice centre during daytimes, and an outreach service every night of the year for rough sleepers and people who are homeless.  As well as practical support, Homeplus NI helps with advice and information for foreign nationals, on their rights and responsibilities, benefits, housing, migration, employment and provides access to public services where possible.  It is helping growing numbers of people whose asylum case is pending; who are new to the country; or who are appealing their case because it was turned down.

The Allen Lane Foundation offered a £5,000 grant to Homeplus NI at the June 2020 trustee meeting.  The funding is towards the core costs of the advice centre, including a contribution to rent and sessional support.  Around 350 destitute refugees, asylum seekers and migrants are expected to benefit from the advice centre each year.

www.homeplusni.com

 

Open Hearts Open Borders

Open Hearts Open Borders (OHOB) is a charity that grew from a grassroots project during the refugee crisis.  A group of people came together who were keen to do something to help refugees – they collected clothes, food, first aid and baby equipment, and organised the delivery of them to refugee camps across Europe. In addition, they linked up with local projects to collect and redistribute items for refugees and asylum seekers in need.  From its base in Plymouth, OHOB now works across Devon and Cornwall with around 30 designated donation points.  Items are redistributed via partner organisations across the counties.

In June 2020, Allen Lane offered a £2,000 contribution towards OHOB’s work in the UK.  This will assist the charity to continue its work in helping to resettle refugees and asylum seekers in the south west who have need of basic furniture, kitchen equipment, clothes, and/or baby items.  Around 200-300 families/individuals have been supported each year.

www.ohob.org.uk

 

SHARe Knowsley

SHARe (Support and Help for Asylum seekers and Refugees) Knowsley was set up to offer a hand of welcome and friendship to the growing numbers of asylum seekers and refugees being housed in the local area. The metropolitan borough of Knowsley is part of Merseyside, and comprises the towns and districts of Kirkby, Prescot, Huyton, Whiston, Halewood, Cronton and Stockbridge. A weekly drop-in at Prescot Methodist Church has available a selection of foodstuffs, toiletries, nearly new clothing and household items at nominal costs. Volunteers are on hand to help with advice, information and help, and they also support individuals with outreach and advocacy work, accompanying them to appointments at agencies for example. SHARe Knowsley also runs seven English language classes each week, and there are social activities organised throughout the year.

A contribution of £4,000 was offered to the charity at the February 2020 meeting of Trustees. This will help with the provision of English classes, and over the coming year will benefit around 150 asylum seekers and refugees.

During Lockdown SHARe Knowsley have continued to provide support during this difficult time by delivering food parcels as well as toiletry and house hygiene packs. English lessons have continued online and one to one support has still been available.

www.shareknowsley.org.uk

Open Door North East

Based in Middlesbrough, Open Door works across areas of the North East, particularly Teesside and the Tees Valley. It’s core work is to provide advice, information and advocacy for refugees and asylum seekers. The charity offers three weekly drop-ins and one-to-one casework throughout the week. Around 900 people benefit over a typical year – and are supported with a whole host of issues including destitution support, benefits advice, finding jobs and training, ESOL, and the provision of a hot meal and weekly food parcels where necessary. A large part of what Open Door does is the provision of asylum and refugee accommodation through a hosting and housing project – this has expanded over recent years, and it now manages 39 houses including three properties that are owned by the charity, acting as a social lettings agent.

In February 2020, Allen Lane Trustees agreed to make a grant of £10,000 to Open Door. The funding will contribute towards general running costs of the charity. Outcomes of the work include that asylum seekers at risk of, or experiencing, destitution will be assessed and registered for support; newly recognised refugees will be supported with welfare, benefits, housing, and employment help; and at least ten additional destitute asylum seekers will be provided with safe, furnished homes.

www.opendoornortheast.com

Jubilee +

Jubilee + was formed to “provide leadership, training and resources to inspire and enable the church to address social exclusion issues and impacts”.  Its work is national, and includes producing research and reports on particular topics, delivering training, and addressing issues around inequality and poverty.

At the October 2019 meeting, the Foundation awarded a grant totalling £7,000 towards a specific project titled ‘the Refugee Resource Centre for Churches’.  This project has been established to fill the gap in information and support for churches wanting to reach out to refugees and asylum seekers.  It provides useful resources, ‘How to’ guides, news updates, mapping of local projects and helps build the capacity of churches.  Plans for the coming year include working with refugee organisations to develop and run regional conferences that will garner support; strengthening established partnerships and growing new projects; and the creation of a strong alliance of church networks that actively reach out to refugees and asylum seekers.

www.jubilee-plus.org

Swansea Asylum Seekers Support

This charity offers a twice-weekly drop-in session for asylum seekers in the city centre of Swansea.  The drop-ins help to welcome newcomers to the city, offer useful signposting, translation, advice and referrals to other services.  Around 80 people attend each week, and also benefit from a hot meal and refreshments, informal ESOL, and social activities.

In October 2019, Allen Lane has awarded a three-year grant totalling £11,000 to Swansea Asylum Seekers Support.  The grant will contribute towards the general core and running costs of the service.  Outcomes of the work include sustaining a culture of welcome for asylum seekers and refugees; increasing the chance of individuals’ asylum cases through the provision of casework; and reduced isolation and distress.

www.sass.wales

 

The Family Forge

Based in Skelmersdale in West Lancashire, this organisation works to support a growing refugee and asylum seeker community.  It offers a variety of classes, such as English language, online driving theory, CV development, food safety and more.  It is filling a gap for asylum seekers and refugees to access ESOL classes locally.  Between 130 and 150 people a year benefit from the classes, as well as advocacy, help liaising with services, advice and guidance.

In June 2019 the Allen Lane Foundation offered funding over two years – £2,000 per annum – towards the organisation’s core costs, particularly its rent and bills.  Outcomes of the work are expected to include improved happiness and wellbeing in individuals; improved confidence and progress in using the English language; and improved confidence in socialising.

www.familyforge.org

ToastLoveCoffee

ToastLoveCoffee is a community café, offering a warm welcome to the local community in the Harehills area of Leeds.  It operates as part of the Real Junk Food Project which helps to diver surplus edible food from local suppliers which would otherwise go to waste.   The café aims to create a culture of welcome, inclusivity and equality.  It is running projects and activities which actively reach out to members of the community, to encourage them to become involved and less isolated.

At the June 2019 meeting, Allen Lane agreed a grant totalling £5,000.  This funding is towards costs of employing a dedicated worker to expand on support provided for refugees and asylum seekers.  The worker will connect with other organisations and community groups and create a bespoke programme of support, and a safe and supportive meeting place.  Overall aims of the work are to improve the integration of asylum seekers and refugees into the local community, to boost their confidence and self-esteem, and to reduce social isolation.

www.toastlovecoffee.co.uk

 

The Night Shelter

The Night Shelter is based in Coventry, and provides emergency overnight shelter, food and other basic necessities for asylum seekers and other migrants with no recourse to public funds.  It also provides practical and emotional support, to help people tackle their problems and move forward in their lives.  Around 75 individuals benefit each year.  They are supported by a large team of active volunteers, many of whom have direct experience themselves of the asylum system, destitution and detention.

At the February 2019 meeting of Trustees, the Foundation agreed a three-year grant to The Night Shelter. The grant is £3,000 per annum towards the charity’s general running costs. Outcomes for the work are increased safety and the relief of hardship for people who are otherwise destitute, and increased opportunities to access relevant advice and re-engage or further engage with the asylum system.

www.coventrynightshelter.my-free.website

 

Amma Birth Companions

Amma Birth Companions is a relatively new constituted voluntary group based in Glasgow.  It was established to support asylum seeker and refugee women through pregnancy, birth, and becoming new mothers.  The group will offer focused one-to-one supported, complemented by an open-ended social, user-led peer support group.  Referrals will come from partner organisations including refugee projects, health bodies, the Red Cross and others.

The Foundation has awarded a grant of £6,438 to Amma Birth Companions at its Trustee meeting in February 2019.  The grant will fund the expenses and costs related to providing pre-natal and at-birth support to 25 women over the coming year, plus supervision and learning for ten birth companion volunteers.  Outcomes of Amma Birth Companions support for the women are that they will have reduced fear and anxiety, increased confidence and reduced isolation.

www.ammabirthcompanions.org