Information Now

Support for Asylum Seekers and Refugees

Newcastle City Council is a recognised City of Sanctuary, committed to welcoming people seeking sanctuary and helping them to rebuild their lives. Read more about the asylum process in Newcastle on www.newcastle.gov.uk.

There are a local services that support both asylum seekers and refugees in Newcastle. The information below tells you about them.  Click on the link to see the contact details for each organisation.


Who is an asylum seeker?

You are an Asylum Seeker if you have to leave your country to seek protection in another country, such as the UK.

An asylum seeker wants to have permission to stay in the UK

If you are seeking protection to stay in the UK you need to apply for asylumRead more on our Immigration and asylum page.


Who is a refugee?

A refugee has permission to stay in the UK.

If you apply for asylum and you are successful, you are a refugee. Refugees have formal documents and permission to stay in the UK. The permission lasts for 5 years and after that you return to your country or apply again. Refugees usually have permission to work. Asylum seekers can’t work. 

While you wait for a decision about your claim for asylum, you may be able to get Asylum support to help with housing and benefits. If you have children, they will be able to attend free state school and you may be able to get free health treatment on the NHS.


Refused or destitute asylum seekers

If your application for asylum is not successful you may be refused asylum. You may be at risk of homelessness or destitution.

You can still apply for short-term support if you’ve been refused asylum and are preparing to leave the UK.

Asylum Team at Newcastle City Council offer advice and signposting if you are refused asylum.


Emotional and practical support

Here’s a list of the local services that can help asylum seekers and refugees. Contact them to find out more.

Newcastle Council Local Authority Asylum Liaison Officers (LAASLO) support newly arrived asylum seekers and refugees who have been given a decision on their asylum claim.


The North of England Refugee Service support asylum seekers, refugees and people refused asylum with:

  • advice and support throughout the whole of the asylum process: This includes help to apply for asylum, welfare benefits, immigration, housing, education needs and employment skills and support during the claim process
  • integration service: supports people granted refugee status and leave to remain to help them rebuild lives in the UK
  • supported housing project: provides housing to people granted leave to remain, who are vulnerable and need support. This is short term housing and individualised support for up to 2 years and until clients can move on from supported housing to independent living
  • training and employment: as sessional interpreters to provide interpreting and translation services
  • support destitute asylum seekers when applying for ‘section 4 support,’ the support available if you are a refused asylum seeker
  • drop in advice sessions: Monday to Friday 9.30am to 1.30pm

The West End Refugee Service (WERS) is a charity working with refugees and asylum seekers living in the West End of Newcastle. Offer support, face-to-face, drop in, by telephone, by appointment and home visits. their support includes:

  • Information, advice and advocacy: on issues that you need help with such as housing, education, health, benefits, education, accessing legal advice
  • Buddying: regular meet ups with a volunteer buddy for social contact and to get to know Newcastle
  • Material support: free food, toiletries and essential items
  • Emergency hardship fund and welfare support for destitute asylum seekers
  • SkillsMatch to find volunteering opportunities in Newcastle that match your skills, experiences and interests
  • Volunteering opportunities: WERS Garden Project meets every 2 weeks, Mondays 10am to 1pm and volunteer to become a buddy

Contact them or drop in at one of their sessions for more support:

  • Information and Advice (Case Work) Drop ins: Monday and Wednesday, 10am to 1pm
  • Telephone support: Monday to Thursday, 10am to 1pm
  • SkillsMatch: Drop in Tuesdays 11am to 3pm to find out more about how to develop skills, experience and practice English and meet new people
  • Local MP drop in: Wednesdays 2pm to 3.30pm

Action Foundation run the InterAction Drop in session Thursdays at Castlegate, Melbourne Street 11am to 2pm. Giving help to access services, legal support, increase skills and employability and to settle into life in Newcastle. They work with partners to signpost you to other help and support. Email interaction@actionfoundation.org.uk or Text, WhatsApp or Call 07826 266 630 (There’s opportunities for volunteers and other agencies to attend). They also offer:

  • English classes
  • support to get online including a device, data and training. Email digitalinclusion@actionfoundation.org.uk Text, WhatsApp or Call 07826 266 630
  • mentoring to help you access education, training and apply for jobs.
  • supported housing
  • a hosting scheme where volunteers invite an asylum seeker to stay with them in their home.
  • housing support for destitute asylum seekers

African Community Advice North East (ACANE) supports African refugees and asylum seekers living in the North East of England. They provide

  • advocacy
  • information and advice
  • a drop in service
  • activities and training courses at the weekend
  • afterschool club for young people with free access to IT, internet, table football and art & craft. Monday to Friday 3pm to 5pm

The Hub at Westgate Baptist Church run a weekly asylum seeker and refugee drop in session on Tuesdays 3.30pm to 6pm. Helping asylum seekers to settle into life in the UK. Providing advice about your rights, emergency support for homeless and destitute asylum seekers, including showers and food.


JET (Jobs, employment and training) support people to prepare for employment. They work with BAME (Black Asian Minority Ethnic) communities, asylum seekers, refugees and New Migrant communities to find work, improve their skills and to settle into Newcastle. This includes training, help with job searching, applications, CVs and finding work experience. They also offer women only integration sessions.


British Red Cross support refugees with: case work, family reunion support and family tracing. They also give welfare support to destitute or refused asylum seekers.


Justice and Peace (Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle) run drop in sessions at St Vincent’s Centre, for asylum seekers and refugees on Wednesdays and Fridays 11am to 1.45pm. Food, free WIFI, toiletries, clothes, bedding and shoes are available.  They have a hardship fund for destitute asylum seekers. They run English language classes.


Riverside Community Health Project offer migrant support, training, volunteering, English language classes, children’s activities, outreach, parenting support, activities.


Peace of Mind CIO run projects to help refugees and asylum seekers. Their projects include:

  • weekly support drop in session Wednesdays 12pm to 2pm for practical and emotional support. They help with:  translation, registering with a doctor, finding a solicitor, healthy living, food parcels, clothing, baby equipment, to settle in to the community and with destitution issues.
  • parenting in the UK workshop
  • community safety sessions
  • Bensham Community Food Co-op
  • a small dedicated fund to help destitute refugees and asylum seekers in emergencies
  • help to fill the holiday gap with activities and refreshments for children and carers during the holidays
  • arts and crafts activities for children

St James’s Church run a support drop in for asylum seekers and refugees Wednesdays 10am to 1pm. They offer help with:

  • your wellbeing
  • signposting you to other services in the community
  • foodbank vouchers
  • volunteering opportunities
  • free Wifi Tea and coffee
  • conversation and spiritual support
  • social time or time for peace and quiet

Newcastle City Library and Community Hub is a Library of Sanctuary, which means it’s a safe space for refugees and asylum seekers to visit. It provides free access to library services and

  • free computer and internet access
  • community language resources
  • family activities
  • library staff who can help answer questions and signpost to other services including local housing providers and council services
  • Citizens Advice Newcastle give information and support. They run drop in sessions
  • Skills Hub for job search and preparing for employment
  • Your Homes Newcastle (social housing) drop in sessions are currently on hold during coronavirus
  • dedicated Library of Sanctuary books to lend

Buddying or befriending services

HostNation is a befriending scheme, which matches local people, with refugees or asylum seekers living in Newcastle and Gateshead. Befrienders and their refugee friends make plans every week to meet up and get involved in things in Newcastle. Befriending takes place for 3 months.

The West End Refugee Service (WERS) has a Buddying scheme. They arrange regular meet ups with a volunteer buddy, to help you make friends and get to know Newcastle.


Carers

You are a carer if you look after someone who couldn’t manage without your help.

Newcastle Carers supports carers in Newcastle.


Family tracing services

British Red Cross support refugees with: case work, family reunion support and family tracing.

Salvation Army have a family tracing service. You can email, complete their online form or print it and return by post to begin the process. You need to provide some basic information about the person or people you are looking for such as, their name, date of birth, and last known address.


Food support

Visit InformationNOW to find where and how you can get free or cheap food in Newcastle.

NHS Healthy Start Scheme is for people who are pregnant or have children under the age of 4, who receive certain benefits. You can get free vouchers or payments every 4 weeks to spend on: milk, fruit and vegetables. You can also get free vitamins. People who don’t have recourse to public funds can now apply to the Healthy Start Scheme. To apply you must:

  • have a child, or more than one child, under 4 years old
  • your family’s take-home pay is less than £408 per month; and
  • you’re excluded from claiming public funds because of your immigration status or lack of immigration status

Free school meals

The government has temporarily extended free school meals to families with no recourse to public funds during the coronavirus pandemic. They’re available to children whose parents receive certain benefits and are at:

  • government funded schools, full time, up to the age of 19,
  • or in a nursery class or nursery school and attending for full days.

Find out if you’re eligible for free school meals and how to apply on Newcastle.gov.uk


Hong Kong Nationals

Support is available for Hong Kong British National (Overseas) adults and dependants who have been granted leave on the British National (Overseas) visa (sometimes called BNO) to access public services and make the most of the opportunities in the UK. Read the Welcome Guide on Gov.uk

Citizens Advice Newcastle offer free, confidential and independent support to people who’ve recently moved to the North East from Hong Kong. They can give advice on housing, employment, health care, schools and other issues.

Barnardo’s run the free Boloh helpline until 30 June 2022 for Hong Kong Nationals.

North East Hongkongers Club support new arrivals from Hong Kong to settle into British society. They offer financial assistance to Hongkongers and their dependants who are suffering financial hardship


Legal advice

North East Law Centre provides free, confidential legal advice on immigration and asylum issues to people on a low income in Newcastle. Call them to make an appointment, during one of the times below or contact them online. They offer free telephone advice on:

  • Family Law: Monday 10am to 1pm
  • Welfare Benefits: Tuesday 10am to 12pm
  • Education Law: Tuesday 1pm to 2pm
  • Immigration and Asylum Law: Wednesday 1.30pm to 4.30pm
  • Employment Law: Thursday 2pm to 4pm
  • EU Settlement Scheme and complex cases: Friday 10am to 1pm
  • Discrimination Law

 

Citizen’s Advice Newcastle (CAN) give free, confidential, impartial and independent advice and information on a wide range of subjects including benefits, housing, employment, legal matters, immigration and family and personal matters.

Read more on InformationNOW about where to get legal advice.


LGBTQ+ Support

Rainbow Home support LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or other members of the LGBTQ community) asylum seekers and refugees. They can help you:

  • with your asylum case and through the asylum process
  • record the evidence you need for your asylum claim

They offer social and emotional support which includes:

  • one to one sessions
  • opportunity to meet others in a safe space
  • confidential sexual health support
  • mental health support

Immigration advice

Immigration advisers help with things like: advice, filling in the right forms and representing you at a tribunal. Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) regulates immigration advisers and make sure they meet certain standards. Find registered immigration advisers that give free advice you on the OISC website.


Victims of human trafficking or modern slavery

Human trafficking and slavery is a crime. If you have been brought to the UK and forced to work as a servant, prostitute or carrying out criminal activity, support is available.

In an emergency or if your life is in danger call the Police on 999.

Migrant Help provide specialist support to keep you safe, including accommodation, counselling, help to reconnect with your family and getting new identification documents. You can talk to them if you feel there is a risk to you or your family’s health and wellbeing. This can be to report suspected child neglect, domestic violence, sexual harassment or exploitation, anti-social behaviour, destitution or homelessness or suspected extremism or radicalisation

Angelou Centre support black minoritised and ethnic women in Newcastle who are, survivors of Honour Based Violence, Forced Marriage, 21st Century Slavery, Domestic Abuse and Trafficking. This includes counselling and accommodation.

Salvation Army give specialist support for adults forced into modern day slavery. This includes a confidential 24 hour a day helpline, support fund and mentoring. They can help to find family members.

Victim Support helps people affected by crime and traumatic events. They provide individual, independent, emotional and practical help to you to cope and recover from the effects of crime. Support is free and available to everyone, whether or not the crime has been reported and regardless of when it happened. They can help you if you’ve been a victim of any crime.

Modern slavery & exploitation helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7 UK national Helpline with advice and help for everyone. This helpline is provided by the anti-slavery charity Unseen.


Survivors of torture

Freedom from Torture help asylum seekers and refugees who have survived torture recover and rebuild their lives in the UK. They offer:

  • specialist psychological therapy to help with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, nightmares, flashbacks, complex trauma, depression and other mental health needs
  • creative group activities like music and gardening, social groups and physical therapy
  • practical information and advice on accessing housing and healthcare
  • interpreters to translate for therapy sessions
  • training for professionals working with torture survivors

Victim Support helps people affected by crime and traumatic events. They provide individual, independent, emotional and practical help to you to cope and recover from the effects of crime. Support is free and available to everyone, whether or not the crime has been reported and regardless of when it happened.


Survivors of rape, gender based or sexual violence

Rape crisis Tyneside and Northumberland (RCTN) provide free sexual violence information and support services to women and girls over the age of 13 who live, work or study in Tyneside and Northumberland. They can help you if you have experienced any form of sexual violence at any time in your life. It’s an inclusive service for women including transgender, questioning, ethnically minoritised, disabled and refugee or asylum seekers.

They offer: face-to-face counselling, telephone helpline, email support, group work, specialist information and practical and emotional support.

Angelou Centre support black minoritsed and ethnic women in Newcastle who are, survivors of Honour Based Violence, Forced Marriage, 21st Century Slavery, Domestic Abuse and Trafficking. This includes counselling and accommodation.

IKWRO provides advice and support to Middle Eastern and North African women and girls living in the UK who are facing Forced Marriage, Child Marriage, “Honour” Based Violence, Female Genital Mutilation and Domestic Violence. They offer advice in Farsi, Dari, Kurdish, Arabic, Turkish, Pashto and English and run a free counselling service in Farsi, Kurdish, Arabic and English.


Women only services

Angelou Centre provides women only support for black and minoritised women across the North East. This includes:

  • information and advice
  • training and employment support
  • counselling
  • supporting survivors of Honour Based Violence, Forced Marriage, 21st Century Slavery, Domestic Abuse and Trafficking
  • accommodation for survivors of abuse or violence
  • access to computers and classes
  • English as a second language courses (ESOL)
  • services for women who have no recourse to public funds

Housing support

If you have claimed asylum and are awaiting a decision you can apply for financial support and housing from the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) which is part of the Home Office.

The council is not responsible for placing or accommodating asylum seekers. Mears is the housing provider for the North East. Contact Migrant Help if you have any issues with housing or financial support.

If you have a positive decision on your asylum claim and receive refugee leave or some other form of leave to remain, you are required to leave your asylum accommodation. You should receive 28 days’ notice of the date that you must leave. The teams below will help you to move on from your accommodation:

  • Asylum Team at Newcastle City Council support people during the asylum process. They support the ‘move on’ process if you are granted refugee status. They offer advice and signposting if you are refused asylum.
  • Your Homes Newcastle Refugee Move On Team contact new refugees when you receive leave to remain. They help you find accommodation, access benefits and training and employment opportunities.

Action Letting rent properties to newly granted single refugees at risk of homelessness. Helping people access private rented housing in flexible and affordable ways. Call 0191 211 3535

Action Foundation run projects to help destitute asylum seekers:

  • Action Hosting: volunteers offer a spare room in their home to destitute asylum seeker to provide short-term accommodation. Contact 0191 211 3535 or hosting@actionfoundation.org.uk
  • Action Housing: supported accommodation for destitute asylum seekers with no recourse to public funds. Call 07444 079678

Night Stop North East gives homelesspeople, aged 16 years +,  a place to stay in a trained volunteers’ home for the night across Whitely Bay, Cumbria and Middlesbrough. This emergency accommodation for is arranged on a night by night basis. Ring the helpline. Young people receive a private room, warm meal and somewhere safe to stay for the night, while Depaul UK look for a more permanent solution.


Health services

Help is available to use health services in Newcastle, read more on InformationNOW. This includes:

  • translation services
  • registering with a doctor
  • maternity services
  • mental health support
  • emergency services and urgent treatment

English classes (ESOL)

English as a second language (ESOL) classes can help you to learn the English language. There are a range of classes available in Newcastle.

Name What’s available How to access
Action Language run by Action Foundation

Address: CastleGate, Melbourne Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 2JQ

Telephone: 0191 231 3113

Website: actionfoundation.org.uk

Email: info@actionfoundation.org.uk

English courses in Newcastle and online Zoom lessons

Suitable for beginners to advanced English speakers

Childcare: Not available

Register online or

Text/WhatsApp ENGLISH to 07518 460198 or email info@actionlanguage.org.uk

ID details required at enrolment.

Who can use the service: Open to anyone not attending college classes.

Cost: Free

Newcastle City Learning Citywide

Address: Westgate College, Westgate Road, NE4 9LU

Telephone: 0191 277 3520

Website: newcastlecitylearning.ac.uk

Email: newcastlecitylearning@newcastle.gov.uk

English as a second language (ESOL) Service:

Learn English reading, writing, speaking and listening. Includes language and skills required for everyday life, work and citizenship.

Qualifications: from Entry 1 to Level 2.

You can enrol each term for classes at all levels.

Who can use the service: adults who don’t speak English and who plan to settle in the UK including people:

  • who have lived in the UK for over 3 years
  • with indefinite leave to remain
  • asylum seekers who have been in the UK for 6 month
  • refugees
  • members of the EEC Economic area

Cost: Free

Newcastle College

Address: Rye Hill Campus, Scotswood Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5BR

Telephone: 0191 200 4000

Website: ncl-coll.ac.uk

Email: enquiries@ncl-coll.ac.uk

English as a second language (ESOL) Service:

Learn English reading, writing, speaking and listening. Includes maths, language and skills required for everyday life, work and citizenship.

Qualifications: from beginner to advanced.

Places are subject to eligibility. For example, asylum seekers who have lived in the UK for 6 months

Who can use the service: all levels welcome

16 to 18 year olds can study ESOL full time

Adults can apply to study a range of free classes

Cost: Free

NEST

Address: Newcastle University Students’ Union, NE1 8QB

Email: nest.union@newcastle.ac.uk

YouTube Channel: NEST Beyonds Barriers

Telephone: 0191 239 3900

Learn English conversation, speaking, listening and writing. Range of taught classes, English conversation and creative sessions.

Online classes and face to face classes available

Outreach, trips and outings for learners throughout the year.

Childcare: No creche but children can take part in activities.

Who can use the service: all welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult

How to use the service: watch their videos on YouTube or email to join face to face sessions and activities

Cost: free

The Angelou Centre

Address: The Angelou Centre, NE4 5NR

Email: admin@angelou-centre.org.uk

Website: angelou-centre.org.uk

Tel: 0191 226 0394

Weekly English conversation café every Wednesday morning.

ESOL classes

Childcare: crèche sometimes available. Ask if it’s available each term.

Who can use the service: women only

Cost: free

JET (Jobs, Employment and Training)

Address: 81 Adelaide Terrace, NE4 8BB

Email: julie22@jetnorth.org.uk

Website: jetnorth.org.uk

Tel: 0191 273 5761

.

English as a second Language service:

Wednesday mornings 9.30am to 12pm: Pre Entry and Entry Level 1 ESOL at Newcastle Central Mosque, Grainger Park Road

Childcare: No crèche available

Thursday afternoons 1pm to 3pm: Integration Project runs on at Robert Stewart URC Church on Wingrove Road (opposite Sara’s clothes shop).

Childcare: Crèche available

Who can use the service: adults

Cost: free

North of England Refugee Service

Address: 1 Charlotte Square (rear), NE1 4XF

Email: info@refugee.org.uk

Website: refugee.org.uk

Tel: 0191 245 7301

English Classes:

Beginners and all levels:

  • Mondays 10.30am to 12.30pm
  • Thursdays 2pm to 4pm

Advanced level: Wednesdays 1pm to 4pm

Who can attend: adults

No eligibility or commitment required

First Step

Address: 435 Westgate Road, NE4 8RN

Tel: 0191 226 1213

English classes for women. Who can attend: women only

Contact them for more information about enrolment.

Multi Lingual Library

Address: Upper Level, Eldon Garden, Percy Street, NE1 7RA

Tel: 0777 668 4940

English conversation class every Tuesday at 4pm. Who can attend: open to all

Cost: free

Byker Sands Family Centre

Address: 19 Raby Cross, Byker, NE6 2FF

Tel: 0191 275 9636

Email: sure.start.east@barnardos.org.uk

Website: www.facebook.com/pg/Community-Family-Hub-East-1742672322696105

English language courses:

Entry level  and level 1 course: Tuesday 12.30pm to 2.30pm.

Childcare: creche available.

Who can attend: open to all, subject to availability and eligibility.

Cost: free

Heaton Baptist Church

Address: Heaton Road , NE6 5HN

English conversation classes

Thursdays 4.30pm to 6.30pm

Who can attend: open to all

Cost: free

Justice and Peace (Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle) 

Address: Our Lady of Lourdes Deaf Centre, 2 Summerhill Grove, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 6EE

Phone: 07427 838813

English conversation classes:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday 11.30am to 12.30pm

Who can attend: open to all

Cost: free

Brunswick Methodist Church

Address: Brunswick Methodist Church, NE1 7BJ

Email: admin@brunswickmethodist.org.uk

Contact: Sarah Ahmadi 0786 564 6667

English entry 1 only

Mondays 10am to 2.30pm

Who can attend: refugees and people with permission to work

Cost: free

Northumbria University

Address:  Room 450, 4th Floor, Northumberland Building, Northumbria University, NE1 8SG

Contact: 07712169328 or 07502222045

English conversation classes

Thursdays 5.30pm to 7.30pm

Who can attend: open to all

Cost: free

Newcastle College

Address: Teaching Development Centre, George Street, NE4 7JL

Tel: 0191 200 4000

Website: ncl-coll.ac.uk

Email: enquiries@ncl-coll.ac.uk

Free English classes

Entry level 2 classes from 8th October 2019.

Tuesdays 12.15pm to 3.15pm (attend when you can).

The teachers are on a teacher training course.

Who can attend: open to all

Cost: free

English for All UK 

Website: 

Free online and face to face English lessons for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants who want to learn English. 

Online classes on Zoom

Monday 10.30am  Fortnightly Community Forum
Tuesday 10.30am English (basic English)
Wednesday 1pm Women Only Conversation
Wednesday 6.30pm  Evening Class (all levels of English)
Friday 1.30pm  Drop-in (all welcome)

Face to Face class

Thursdays 10.30am to 12.30pm English Class in person at DiverCity Hub, Buckingham Street

Who can attend: They run sessions for different abilities. They have a woman only session

How to access: Email or message them on Facebook to get the link to online sessions

Cost: free

International House

Address: Room 9 at International House Newcastle, 7-15 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4SG

Tel: 0191 232 9551

Website: ihnewcastle.com

Email: info@ihnewcastle.com

Free English classes

Upper level (B2) classes from 7th October to 20th December. Monday to Friday 2pm to 4pm.

The classes are given for free by people who are learning to teach English.

Who can attend: open to all

Cost: free

The Chinese Centre

Address: 117 Westgate Road, NE1 4AG

Tel: 0191 230 3158 or 07856 295 987

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ChineseCentreNE

Accredited English as a second language (ESOL) classes

Entry level 1 to Level 2

Fast track learning with online resources.

Who can attend: anyone eligible for adult education funding who is not accessing other education provision

Cost: free

Newcastle International School

Address: Northumberland House, NE1 8ER

Tel: 0191 435 1014

Email: admin@newcastlenis.com

Free support classes

English Conversation Class

English for Work class

Who can attend: contact for more information and eligibility

Women only classes are available

Cost: free

The Conversation Group – Newcastle

Address: Tuesdays at Magic Hat Café, Higham House, Higham Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8AF

Saturdays: Heaton Park, on the grass in front of Sambuca restaurant (no meeting when it is raining)

SMS/Text Message: 07448 541787

Email: conversationgroupnewcastle@gmail.com

Facebook: The Conversation Group – Newcastle 

English conversation sessions for informal conversation, English language practice, and for sharing information together. Who can attend:

How to attend: contact for more information

Cost: free

West End Women and Girls Centre

Address: The Stephenson Building, 173 Elswick Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 6SQ

Telephone: 0191 273 4942

Website: 

8 week English class for women only. Provided by Gateshead College. Who can attend: women only

How to attend: contact for more information and to register. You will need to bring with you your identification, passport, visa, proof of any government benefits

When: register 28th April 2022. Course starts May 2022, Thursdays 9.30am to 11.30am

Cost: free

Sunderland City of Sanctuary

Email:chris.howson@sunderland.ac.uk

Tel: 0784 6099 643

Fridays

Beginners: 3:30pm, Interfaith Centre, Sunderland University, Charles St, SR6 0AN

Elementary to Advanced: 4pm, online

Who can attend: contact for more information

Cost: free

The Buffalo Community Centre Blyth

Address: 55 Regent Street, Blyth, NE24 1LL

Tel: 01670 363 858

Email: jo@buffalocommunitycentre.co.uk

 

Wednesday, 9:30 to 11:30am, 55 Regent St, Blyth, NE24 1LL Who can attend: contact for more information

Cost: free

Being Woman Ashington

YMCA , North View, Ashington, NE63 9XQ

Tel 07786472333

Email:info@being-woman.org.uk

ESOL classes, Wednesday at 10:00am. Who can attend: contact for more information

Cost: free


Social and physical activity

Active Newcastle offers a range of social and fitness activities, including walking groups, across the city.

Fitness activities page on InformationNOW has a full list of all of gyms and leisure centres in Newcastle. There is a cost for these services.

Find local swimming pools and leisure centres in Newcastle 

Events and activities can be found on InformationNOW. Search the calendar to find out what’s happening near you. Some activities are free or low cost.

The Comfrey Project works with refugees and asylum seekers on allotment sites across Newcastle and Gateshead. You can get involved in gardening to help improve your wellbeing.

North East Solidarity and Teaching (NEST) runs free sessions 7 days a week including holistic provision of English language tuition and a program of community integration activities including arts, sports and field trips.

Crossings Community Group is a music making and learning group. They meet most Monday evenings. They have a choir, an open music jam session, guitar learning, violin learning and children’s choir.  With opportunities to learn and perform. It is free and open to everyone.

Angelou Centre provides support for  Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) women. This includes:

  • women’s cafe and cookery club
  • older women’s group
  • children With Disabilities Free Expression Club
  • social and creative activities

Newcastle United Foundation run community football matches on Saturdays 1pm to 3pm at SoccerWorld for unemployed people, refugees and migrants aged 18 to 29 years. It includes an employability support drop in.

Curious Monkey’s Arriving project is a group for refugees and asylum seekers to do creative activities together. They do drama workshops, performing together and learning new skills, have online Zoom socials to catch up and practice English. They go to the theatre together once a month. They always have food together.  Help with travel costs is also available. They meet in Newcastle city centre for our workshops and go to different theatres across the city on our theatre trips.


Benefits advice

Citizen’s Advice Newcastle (CAN) give you free, confidential, impartial and independent advice and information on a wide range of subjects including benefits, housing, employment, legal matters, immigration and family and personal matters.

Newcastle Welfare Rights Service give telephone benefits advice to people in certain groups living in Newcastle. They have self help material on their website and run drop in advice sessions for people living in west Newcastle.


Employment support for refugees

If you are granted refugee status you can get a job. You can get help to find work.

Supported Employment Service at Newcastle City Council helps refugees find and stay in work.  They help you to think about your career goals and how to achieve them. Support includes help to:

  • understand existing skills and how they are useful to the jobs market
  • write a CV and apply for jobs online
  • get ready for interviews
  • choose and gain qualifications
  • ongoing help to stay in work
  • work experience placements in grounds maintenance and gardening at Natures Landscapes and catering at FoodWorks

Newcastle United Foundation run community football matches for unemployed people, refugees and migrants aged 18 to 29 years. It includes an employability support drop in.

JET (Jobs Education and Training) work with the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities across Newcastle to provide support into training and employment. This is done through one to one support from an experienced, qualified advisor. JET offers a range of support helping you to take the next step including:

  • English and Maths support (ESOL)
  • building your confidence and wellbeing
  • helping you searching for jobs, training, and volunteering opportunities
  • improve your interview and presentation skills

University Sanctuary Scholarships

Newcastle University has scholarships which includes full tuition fees and living expenses for people seeking asylum in the UK and from refugee backgrounds. You can apply for undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate level programmes.

Northumbria University has Undergraduate and Postgraduate Scholarships for people seeking asylum in the UK. This covers all of the fees and and £1,000 towards your studies.


Practical support for refused asylum seekers

The West End Refugee Service (WERS) support destitute asylum seekers in the West end of Newcastle. They can help with:

  • advice sessions
  • counselling service
  • befriending scheme
  • free clothing
  • emergency hardship fund
  • case work support
  • welfare support and cash payments for destitute asylum seekers

North East Refugee Service (NERS)support destitute asylum seekers when applying for ‘section 4 support’. This is the support available if you are a refused asylum seeker.

British Red Cross can give short term cash payments to people experiencing destitution throughout the asylum process. For example, if your Aspen card or benefits are delayed, while you wait for a decisions on section 4 application or a new claim for asylum. Support includes, cash payments for up to 12 weeks, travel tickets for Home office appointments and one off maternity payments for women.

The Hub at Westgate Baptist Church run a weekly asylum seeker and refugee drop in session on Tuesdays at 3.30pm. Providing advice about your rights, emergency support for homeless and destitute asylum seekers, including showers and food.

Action Foundation run projects to help destitute asylum seekers:

  • Action Hosting: volunteers offer a spare room in their home to destitute asylum seeker to provide short-term accommodation
  • Action Housing: supported accommodation for destitute asylum seekers with no recourse to public funds

Angelou Centre offers holistic support service to women who are survivors of domestic or sexual violence, or harmful practices. The support women who have no recourse to public funds


Health services for refused asylum seekers

Refused asylum seekers, even if homeless or destitute, may be charged for some health care. Some services are still free:

  • register with a GP
  • Accident and Emergency services (A&E), including Walk-in or Urgent Treatment centres
  • NHS 111 telephone advice line
  • treatment for specific infectious diseases and sexually transmitted infections (e.g. TB, HIV)
  • treatment required for a physical or mental condition caused by: torture; female genital mutilation; domestic violence or sexual violence
  • health visitors, school nurses and family planning
  • end of life care

How to donate to charities supporting refugees and asylum seekers

Charities rely on donations of money or essential items to provide support to those who need it. You can find more information on each charity’s website if you would like to donate.

Appeal for donations for Afghan Refugees in Newcastle

West End Refugee Service (WERS) and N.E.S.T are making care packs for newly arrived male asylum seekers. To help you can donate money to the WERS Hardship Fund.

St Vincent’s Centre are collecting donations of food and toiletries at their Centre. You can donate money online. You can send them an online food deliveries Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm (3pm on a Friday). Visit their Facebook page to see which items they need. You can also donate supermarket e gift vouchers.

Peace of Mind are collecting donations for the creation of welcome packs for Afghan refugees, to make their arrival as comfortable as possible.


The services listed on this page are provided by organisations independent to the council. We update this information regularly, but opening times and availability can change. Before attending a session we recommend you check it is running and that you’re eligible to receive the service. Some services are only for adults or rough sleepers. Please note there may be a limit to the number of times you can access a service due to high demands in Newcastle. You can read more about InformationNOW’s Terms and Conditions.


Acknowledgements

The accessing health services information above was taken from the Newcastle Health Access Card (first edition October 2018) developed by Public Health, Newcastle City Council in partnership with the Regional Refugee Forum and Connected Voice HAREF

Information about English language classes and drop in support was provided by Newcastle City of Sanctuary.

Last updated: May 19, 2022

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