January takes its name from Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings. As we come to the end of 2022 and begin a new year, it is a good time to look back and reflect on what the Justice and Peace Refugee Project has been able to achieve because of your help and support over the last year. Over the year from January up to the end of November, the Project was able to:

  • Distribute over 11,886 bags of food and toiletries – with a value of £67,335.
  • Provide over £21,000 of monthly supermarket vouchers to those who are most in need.
  • Directly support an average of 442 clients each month, with large numbers of clients and their children being supported by the SVP clothing bank.

This could not have happened without the generous contributions of food and finance from parishes, individuals and schools and the support of our team of dedicated volunteers.

Thank you to you all!

During December, the Project was very busy. Our clients were pleased to receive a kind welcome and have the opportunity to relax in the warmth during the very chilly weather. Your generosity also helped make it possible for us to distribute extra Christmas gift cards – either £7.50 or £15.00, depending on each client’s circumstances – which were very much appreciated.

Azad, our Project Co-ordinator, and one of our volunteers recently visited St Michael’s Primary School in Elswick and some pupils from the school visited and engaged in some activities at the Project. Looking forward to the new year, we are hoping to engage with more schools.

Many clients who are newly arrived in the country have limited English, so the English lessons which are provided by our volunteer tutors on Fridays are very helpful. Recently, one of our volunteers has also started to provide one-to-one lessons on Wednesdays, which we aim to continue in the new year.

In addition to providing regular food bags to clients who receive some government support while claiming asylum, the Project also provides a monthly supermarket voucher, currently worth £35, to those clients whose claim has been refused, with no government support and who are effectively destitute. Recently, one of our clients who has been living in the UK for 9 years, without the right to work or access to any benefits, expressed his sincere gratitude to the Project, saying that the vouchers each month are essential to provide the basic things he needs to live.

We receive donations of food, clothing and footwear on Mondays between 10.30am and 1.30pm. The Project re-opens to clients after Christmas on Tuesday 4 January with the first Monday delivery day in the new year being 9 January. Items most urgently needed can be found here.

We are thankful for and continue to rely on your generous financial support for our work. Details of our bank account (DHN Justice and 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 marjory.knowles@gmail.com or 07929 343418.

For more details about our work and how you can assist, please contact Azad Hasan, Project Co-ordinator at azad.hasan@diocesehn.org.uk or 07407 091184 or visit our webpage.

Happy New Year to you all from the Justice and Peace Refugee Project.