As we enter the season of Advent, the plight of asylum seekers and refugees in our country is very much in the news. At the Justice and Peace Refugee Project we continue to offer a safe space where those clients we support can receive a warm welcome, in addition to receiving basic food, toiletries and clothing. The SVP have now installed two computers in the centre which clients are free to use, and our dedicated volunteer tutors continue to offer English lessons on Fridays.
This month we say goodbye to two members of the Refugee Project steering group, Tony Sacco and Vin Totton. Tony has been involved with the steering group for some years and worked hard to deliver effective communication about the project. Happily, Tony is continuing to support the project as a volunteer. Vin also has stepped down as Chair of the steering group. We thank Tony and Vin for their valuable contributions and wish them well in the future.
We are delighted to report that, following recent recruitment interviews, we have appointed Sarah Spedding to the role of Project Worker. We offer a warm welcome to Sarah and wish her well in her new position. Sarah has a wealth of experience in social work, and we are confident that she will effectively support Azad, our Project Co-ordinator, along with our diligent volunteers, to continue to meet the basic needs of some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
As inflation continues to rise, we are aware that the cost-of-living crisis is affecting everyone and contributions to the Justice and Peace Refugee Project are also under pressure. We continue to see an increasing number of people using our services which means that your donations of food, toiletries and finance are even more in demand. Any contributions that you can make are most gratefully received at this time. Items most urgently needed can be found here.
As you may be aware, many of our clients wait a long time, sometimes years, to receive decisions on their asylum claims and this is an incredibly stressful time for them. It is always a cause for celebration when a client is granted leave to remain. Recently a family from Iraq, who have been supported for some time by the project, received the good news that they had been granted leave to remain. They expressed their sincere appreciation for the support received from the project, saying that it was crucial to the survival of their family and children during this challenging time.
We are thankful for and continue to rely on your generous financial support for our work. Details of our bank account (DHN Justice & Peace Refugee Project) can be found on our webpage. If your donation is by cheque please send this to St Vincent’s Centre, New Bridge Street, Newcastle NE1 2TQ for the attention of Azad Hasan. Please remember to include a contact name and address when sending in a financial donation to the centre, to ensure that we can acknowledge safe receipt of the funds you have kindly donated or if we need to get in touch. Please consider Gift-Aiding, a Gift Aid Declaration form is available here or you can request one from firstname.lastname@example.org or 07929 343418.
Happy Advent and the blessings of the Christmas season to you all from the Justice and Peace Refugee Project.