Vicariate for Caritas

Justice & Peace Refugee Project

Vicariate for Caritas

Welcome

The Justice and Peace Refugee Project offers a warm welcome and provides basic support for those seeking asylum and refuge in our community.

The Refugee Project has offered a caring heart, a listening ear and a helping hand to some of our region’s most vulnerable people for over twenty years. Based at St. Vincent’s Centre in Newcastle, we continue this work through the generous contributions of food and finance that come from individuals, parishes and other organisations including grant funders – and through the selfless efforts of a team of dedicated volunteers working quietly behind the scenes.

We live in a troubled world where people are having to flee from persecution and danger on a daily basis. Your support can help bring Christ’s healing love into some very difficult situations. Thank you.

"We cannot remain insensitive, our hearts deadened, before the misery of so many innocent people. We must not fail to weep. We must not fail to respond."

Pope Francis

What We Do

Established in 2001, the Justice and Peace Refugee Project now operates out of the St. Vincent’s Centre, New Bridge Street, Newcastle NE1 2TQ. We provide for some of the most basic needs of those seeking asylum and refuge in our area.

We are pleased to operate out of the same premises as the SVP as this allows us to work closely in partnership with them to benefit the clients of both organisations.

The centre is currently open to clients on Wednesdays and Fridays between 11.00am and 2.00pm. During these times we offer bags of food items and toiletries as well as clothing and footwear. The vast majority of the items we provide are generously donated by parishes, schools and individuals and delivered to the project for distribution.

Callers to the Centre are provided with a warm welcome, a hot drink and free Wi-Fi. Historically we have also offered English lessons and are looking to restart this service in the near future.

We also try to respond to individual requests from clients – whether this is for a large suitcase or a pushchair or for information or perhaps signposting them to other organisations who can assist. Increasingly, we find ourselves providing comfort and reassurance to those who arrive feeling very fragile, overwhelmed and struggling with their mental health.

Our clients are from all parts of the globe. The focus changes often depending upon world events and resettlement arrangements. At present the main countries of origin of the people we are serving include Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan, Eritrea, Kuwait, El Salvador, Palestine, Syria and Ethiopia. There are over 100 countries across 4 continents represented on our list of current and previous clients.

A printable leaflet giving information about the work of the project is available here to download. It is designed as a double-sided trifold leaflet to be printed in landscape format.

"Thank you very much for your kindness. I will never forget your love."

A Person We Serve

How You Can Help

We are hugely grateful to those who continue to support this work with food, clothing and financial contributions. You are making a positive difference to the lives of hundreds of people as a result.

Food and Clothing

We rely heavily on parishes, school and individuals for regular donations of the items that make up the bags of food and the clothing, shoes and other items provided to those who need them. The list of items we are currently collecting is available here. We are delighted to receive donations of these items on Mondays between 10.30am and 1.30pm, unless an alternative prior arrangement has been made.

Funding

We very much welcome financial contributions too. The project bank account is: DHN, Justice & Peace Refugee Project sort code 40–34–18, account number 52854058. Alternatively, cheques made payable to DHN, Justice & Peace Refugee Project can be sent to Sara Harris, Refugee Project Co-ordinator, St. Vincent’s Support Centre, New Bridge Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2TQ. Gift-Aiding your donation if possible makes a big difference. There is a Gift Aid Declaration form here or you can request one from Marjory Knowles by email: marjory.knowles@gmail.com or tel: 07929 343418. Alternatively, you can donate online via the button at the top of the page.

Volunteering

Volunteers are very much the life-blood of the operation. They work across the project, whether packing bags, lugging trollies, undertaking admin work or dealing face-to-face with clients and other visitors. Volunteering usually takes place between 10.00am and 2.00pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The need for volunteers for the different tasks varies so please get in touch if you’re interested in finding out more.

Parish Contacts

Contact people in each parish are vital and allow us to communicate over food collections and provide updates and latest news. If your parish doesn’t currently have a link person or is not receiving updates we are keen to make contact. Please get in touch with Sara Harris, the Project Co-ordinator.

Grant Funders

We are very grateful to the following organisations who have provided grants to the project: Sisters of Mercy Sunderland, Lottery Community Fund, Congregation of the Sacred Heart; The Mercers Company – The Charity of Sir Richard Whittington; Community Foundation – The Pea Green Boat Community First; Arnold Clark Community Fund; Garfield Weston Foundation; Albert Gubay Foundation.

"I want to thank Justice and Peace for supporting me. I can take employment now and look after myself. I do appreciate for the support. God bless you all."

A Person We Serve

The Difference It Makes

The latest monthly statistics about the project are available here. These give a picture of the number of people calling at the Centre, an idea of the food bags and clothing we have provided and other key information.

Of course what the numbers can’t ever do is to give an insight into the difference your generosity is making to the lives of those who receive it. Perhaps we can gain just an inkling of this with some words from those who use the project:

Quotes From The People We Serve

People

The Refugee Project is overseen by the Justice and Peace Co-ordinating Council which sits within the Vicariate for Caritas in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. A Steering Group provides on-going support and direction to the project and takes responsibility for its development and sustainability. We have two paid members of staff – made possible by grant funding provided specifically for this purpose. We currently have almost 40 dedicated volunteers who are the lifeblood of the project.

Project Staff

Sara Harris, Project Co-ordinator

Tel: 07407 091184

Email: sara.harris@diocesehn.org.uk

Azad Hasan, Project Worker

Email: azad.hasan@diocesehn.org.uk

Steering Group Members

David Archibald, Eileen Bolton, John Kilgour, Marjory Knowles (Treasurer), Tony Sacco, Vin Totton (Chair), Fr. Adrian Tuckwell, John Waddell.

Contact Us

For enquiries or further information about the Newcastle-based Refugee Project, please contact Sara Harris, Project Co-ordinator Tel: 07407 091184 E-mail: sara.harris@diocesehn.org.uk.

Address and Directions

Justice and Peace Refugee Project
St. Vincent’s Centre
New Bridge Street
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 2TQ

St. Vincent’s Centre is on New Bridge Street. Heading out of the City Centre towards Byker, it is on the right at the traffic lights before the junction at Stoddart Street and Crawhall Road. The centre, with its clear blue signage, is next door to St. Dominic’s Catholic Church and opposite the Tanners Arms pub.

Free parking can be found on Stoddard Street, Crawhall Road (B1600) and Coquet Street. Meter parking can be found on Howard Street and on Gibson Street.

On foot from Newcastle City Centre it takes around 10 minutes. The nearest metro station is Manors, about a 5 minute walk. A number of buses stop right outside of St. Vincent’s (New Bridge Street – Blackfriars).

Refugees & Asylum Seekers Project Stockton (RASPS)

For information about the Stockton-based Refugee Project, please contact:

Rachel Wing

Tel: 01642 883 369