As we move into October, the plight of refugees and asylum seekers across the world and in the UK is very often in the news. A new report from Just Fair in partnership with Human Rights Watch, organisations which defend the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, has recently reported that children and families seeking asylum in the UK face dire living conditions in government-provided temporary housing and are often in ‘temporary’ housing for months or years at a time. Members of these organisations visited the Project and we were able to provide them with valuable information about the living conditions of our clients and their families. At the Refugee Project we welcome clients from a range of settings – some of our clients are housed in hotels, others in very basic accommodation and there are some who are destitute, with no financial support.

Those who do receive support need food, clothes and toiletries to supplement their meagre allowance. The numbers of asylum seekers using our service is growing each month and so your generous donations of food, toiletries and finance are needed even more than ever. The full list of items required is available here.

In addition to supporting our clients with food, toiletries and clothing, clients often seek advice on a range of issues and ask where they can get support. Our Project Co-ordinator and our volunteers always try hard to respond to clients’ queries and point them in the right direction to receive the advice and support that they need. For example, contact has been made with the Northeast Law Centre to provide legal support to some clients. Contact has also been made with various food banks in the surrounding area and clients signposted to them.

We are aware at the Project of the importance of our clients gaining the ability to speak English to help them to integrate into their new communities. While some agencies offer more formal and accredited courses for those who have been in the country for more than six months, we are grateful to our dedicated volunteer tutors who welcome clients to learn basic English. Volunteers provide information to all new clients about these lessons and they have been of benefit to several clients.

We were pleased to welcome Bishop Stephen to the Project during the week. Sarah, our Project Worker, gave him a tour and introduced him to some of our volunteers and clients. The Project was a hive of activity and we were able to show Bishop Stephen how well used it is, he was very impressed with what he heard and saw.

We are very grateful when one of our volunteers makes an appeal in their parish to increase food and financial donations. If anyone would like to do an appeal in their parish, please contact our Project Co-ordinator Azad and he can provide you with some useful information to support you in this.

We are extremely 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 or 07929 343418.

For more details about our work and how you can assist, please contact Azad Hasan, Project Co-ordinator at or 07407 091184 or visit our webpage which also gives details on how you can make financial donations.

Our task must be to free ourselves – by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty

Albert Einstein