Refugees - how you can help
Refugees - how you can help
Like many residents we have been shocked and saddened by the plight of those forced to flee their home country due to conflict and persecution. As a city we are committed to doing what we can to welcome those seeking sanctuary and to help rebuild lives.
Newcastle has been welcoming asylum seekers and refugees through the Home Office’s contracted dispersal programme since 1999. We currently have over 1000 asylum seekers dispersed in the city; many will have their applications for refugee status accepted. We have also delivered a number of Government resettlement schemes, welcoming families from Eritrea, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and Syria.
Since 2014 Newcastle has worked alongside the Government to offer resettlement support to Afghan locally engaged staff who had worked alongside the British Army.
More recently we have committed to support Afghan families under the Government’s extended Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP), which seeks to relocate Afghans who worked closely with the British military and UK Government in Afghanistan, recognising the risk posed to these staff due to their employment.
We are currently working at pace to resettle these families in Newcastle. We are working closely with partners to see if we can extend this offer and rapidly secure suitable accommodation for families who have recently been evacuated from Afghanistan.
Newcastle has been able to respond quickly, due to our ongoing and well-established City of Sanctuary network and will align this work with our existing refugee resettlement programmes.
I have a spare room
Resettled refugees coming to the UK are allocated their own property. However, the offer of a room is very much needed for refused asylum seekers living in Newcastle who have no access to housing, employment or public funds. These are people who have been unable to prove their asylum case to the government but feel unable to return to their home country for fear of persecution.
I want to offer some accommodation
If you are looking to let your property please email email@example.com who help newly granted refugees secure permanent accommodation. The team is especially interested in hearing from you if you have a 4+ bedroom property available. Alternatively, you can contact the Council’s Private Rented Service
I want to foster a child
There are two ways you may help provide support and accommodation to Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children and that is through a fostering placement for the younger children who may be seeking asylum or through our supported lodgings scheme. Please speak to the Newcastle Foster Service if you would like to find out more.
I want to offer practical support
Although we are not yet seeing an increase in numbers of asylum seekers and refugees arriving in Newcastle there are still those in our city who continue to face difficult situations including low levels of support, destitution, homelessness, fear of deportation and detention.
There are a number of voluntary and community sector agencies currently working with refugees and asylum seekers across the city who would benefit from additional support and donations. Please see below for more detail:
Local agencies providing support to refugees
The following agencies provide support to refugees and people seeking asylum who are already in Newcastle. Please see their websites for more information about donating and/or volunteering opportunities.
West End Refugee Service
West End Refugee Service (WERS) aims to bring about positive change in the lives of people seeking sanctuary here on Tyneside. It runs drop-ins, offers advice & advocacy support, a befriending/buddying scheme, a supported volunteer project for refugees and awareness raising programme.
Donate: You can donate to support the hardship fund that gives essential financial support (£15 per week) to destitute people seeking sanctuary or to our main fund which will help us deliver core services and projects. We are a small charity and all support is invaluable. Small monthly donations can make a huge difference. All details are here: Donate — West End Refugee Services (WERS)
You can also donate toiletries directly to WERS that we distribute weekly at our drop ins . Please drop items off at St Philip’s Vicarage, St Philip’s Close, NE4 5JE on Monday and Wednesdays between 10am and 1pm. Please note we do not have space to store & distribute clothing at present.
Volunteer: if you would like to volunteer please visit our web page: Volunteer — West End Refugee Services (WERS).
Rainbow Home supports LGBTQ+ people seeking asylum who live in the North East of England.
Website (coming soon): https://www.rainbowhome.org.uk/
If you'd like to donate to Rainbow Home, please follow this link: https://www.justgiving.com/rainbow-home-northeastengland
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in volunteering or discussing other support opportunities.
St Vincent’s Centre Newcastle (Vinnies project)
Facebook Page – St Vincent’s Support Centre Newcastle - Home | Facebook
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/vinniescafe.ouseburn
We are currently taking collection of food and toiletries which can be delivered to the Centre every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 1pm and 3pm
Donations made to our Just giving page also help to support our vital work - Vinnies Newcastle is fundraising for St Vincent De Paul Society (SVP England and Wales) (justgiving.com)
We accept all kinds of clothing, shoes, bags, bedding, curtains, towels etc.
Newcastle Libraries as a Library of Sanctuary are committed to welcoming those seeking sanctuary and to help rebuild lives. We have safe spaces, free access to services including PC and Internet usage, community language resources, family activities and staff to support interactions with local housing providers and council services. To find out more visit https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/services/newcastle-libraries-community-hubs
North of England Refugee Service (NERS)
The North of England Refugee Service (NERS) is an independent and charitable organisation which exists to meet the needs and promote the interests of asylum seekers and refugees who have arrived or have settled in the North of England.
For the last 32 years NERS has been working to improve the everyday life conditions of asylum seekers and refugees, and to promote social inclusion by facilitating their integration and equal participation within British society. We provide essential advice and support to asylum seeking families and individuals on legal, financial, health and housing-related matters as they navigate the complex asylum system, focusing at the most vulnerable stages of the journey to integration.
Form more details please visit our website: https://www.refugee.org.uk
How you can get involved:
Volunteering - Volunteers are the backbone of NERS, their involvement has enabled us to expand our capacity to help people to regain their dignity and confidence and build a new life in their new community in the North East region. Click here to find more: https://refugee.org.uk/volunteer-ners-acts-as-an-agent-of-positive-change/
Donate - Your donation helps some of the world’s most vulnerable refugees to rebuild their lives in the UK. Click here to find more: https://refugee.org.uk/donate-through-ners-and-help-the-refugees/
N.E.S.T are collecting:
New and unopened toiletries: shower gel, shampoo, hair brushes, flannels, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap
Clothing: new or good quality second hand men’s clothing, primarily small and medium sizes: pyjamas, t-shirts, long sleeved tops, jeans/trousers, jumpers, waterproof coats, shoes, flip-flops
Please drop your donations at the front desk of the King’s Gate Building, Newcastle University – postcode NE1 7RU. This is the building opposite Newcastle Civic Centre and St. Thomas’ Church next to Haymarket Metro Station and on the same side of the road as Blackwell’s Bookshop.
How to give a financial donation - Financial donations are welcome as they enable items to be purchased to meet the needs of those coming to the city, including buying items for children, toiletries, socks and underwear and bags for the donations.
If you are able to make a financial donation, please make it to the account below:
- Bank: Lloyds
- Account Name: Newcastle University Students’ Union
- Sort code: 30-93-71
- Account no: 33534260
- Reference: afghan21
Just the Ticket campaign
Newcastle’s City of Sanctuary is running a Crowdfunder campaign to support asylum seekers housed in temporary hotel accommodation across Newcastle. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hotels and hostels have been used to ‘temporarily’ house asylum seekers waiting for a decision on their immigration cases. There’s a huge backlog of cases and some asylum seekers have been living in hotels for over six months.
Some hotels are on the outskirts of Newcastle, one of them being a 90-minute walk from the City Centre. This makes it incredibly difficult to access key support services such as healthcare appointments, legal support and English language classes.
Now, people are being invited to help connect vulnerable asylum seekers to key services.
You can donate at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/just-the-ticket and the National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund will MATCH your donation. This means that every gift will have double the impact.
I want to lobby
There are a number of campaigns calling on Governments to do more to protect the rights of refugees and to ensure safe routes to protection for those fleeing conflict and persecution.
More information on these campaigns/petitions can be found on: