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.



This organisation aims to support the rights and wellbeing of EU citizens in the UK so that they can continue to live, work and be united with their families, and to reduce the many risks associated with being here unlawfully or unwelcome, following the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Settled works nationally, with hubs located in various cities across England. It offers advice, guidance and support with complex legal cases, and supports many thousands of people each year.

At its February Trustee meeting, the Allen Lane Foundation offered a grant totalling £7,000 towards the running costs of this charity. Outcomes expected from the funding include an increased awareness and better understanding of the rights of EU citizens and the difficulties they face; that more EU citizens will secure Pre-Settled and Settled status and where appropriate, be connected to other support; and that Settled will gather reliable data on the EU Settlement Scheme and wider systems around the settlement of EU citizens.

Reaching for Change Organisation

Reaching for Change Organisation is based in Lye, a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley.  It was set up in recognition of increasing numbers of Roma Gypsy communities over recent years, to help people to integrate and feel part of the local community.  The Organisation provides support and advocacy to individuals, and offers advice and relevant useful information.  A timetable of activities are run, including benefit and housing advice surgeries, English classes, and social activities, for around 21 Roma families each week. An online support group has also been developed during COVID, and food parcels delivered to people in need.

At the October 2020 Trustee meeting, a grant of £3,000 has been agreed. The funding is made as a contribution towards general running costs.  The work overall benefits people in the Roma community with opportunities for improved learning, reduced isolation, and also works to alleviate the barriers, stigma and discrimination faced through raising awareness of Roma culture.


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.

ESOL Perth

ESOL Perth aims to “enable language acquisition for those who are not able to access college or school, thus enabling integration, cohesion and strength in the community”.  It delivers around 30 hours of ESOL teaching every week. Alongside various classes, it also offers coffee and conversation evenings, day trips, and works in schools.   More than two thirds of the students who benefit are from migrant communities.

In October 2019, the Foundation offered £1,500 funding towards the costs of assisting the group to take up an allotment space.  The provision of an outside space and gardening activities will provide opportunities to engage in English conversation and build on the more formal classes.  In addition, attending the allotment will benefit participants through improving mental wellbeing, reduce isolation, and create a healthy outdoor activity.

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.