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

Karibu

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.

www.karibuscotland.org.uk

PAFRAS

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.

www.pafras.org.uk

Azadi Trust

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.

NACCOM

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.

www.naccom.org.uk

City of Sanctuary Manchester

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.

www.manchester.cityofsanctuary.org