Action Foundation

Across the “pond” in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne, there’s a non-profit organization tackling a social justice issue most of us would never even stop to consider: Destitute Asylum Seekers. Founded in response to a “destitute and desperate” Iranian man who sewed shut his eyes, ears, and mouth when he was refused asylum by the British government, the Action Foundation provides aid to the estimated 300 destitute refugees within its community alone. Although many of these refugees come from countries where they were forced to endure serious human rights abuses, many have been denied asylum by the British government but not deported. Unable to work and with no place to go, many of these refugees are forced into the streets to live where turn to desperate measures such as the “underground” world where they are exploited or death.

In response to this need, the Action Foundation provides short-term housing to destitute refugees and partners with local organizations to secure them more permanent housing. Medical care and emergency cash are also provided at this time to assist the refugees’ physical and mental needs. In addition to housing refugees, the Action Foundation provides free, daily language workshops that assist refugees by tackling the “social exclusion” problem refugees are faced with. By equipping refugees with the ability to obtain a mastership of the English language, the Action Foundation also aids refugees by helping them prepare for a productive and smooth transition into the British workplace if and when asylum is finally granted to them.

Although we are not located in the UK (and we know most of our readers are not located in the UK either), we can still support the Action Foundation as it continues to work with destitue asylum seekers in Newcastle upon Tyne. We encourage you to visit the Action Foundation website for more information, and to share it with any friends or family you might have in the UK. Asylum seekers might not be the first group of people we think of when we think about social justice, but they are definitely some of the people who need it the most.

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4 thoughts on “Action Foundation

  1. icebergahoy says:

    Thank you so much for raising awareness of the work of Action Foundation in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK. I work for Action Foundation and was delighted to see the charity’s work featured on your social justice blog.

    We currently provide accommodation to 12-18 destitute asylum seekers each year. As a result of the financial downturn, we had to close one of our houses last year, but hope to reopen another house this year. This will enable us to offer emergency accommodation and support to more men and women in need. You rightly state in your blog that there are an estimated 300 destitute asylum seekers in Newcastle. Sadly we do not have the financial resources to accommodate them all, however when a room becomes available, we receive referrals from the two main hardship support agencies in Newcastle. We accommodate people without discrimination or prejudice, solely on the basis of their vulnerability.

    The average time someone spends in our accommodation is 12 months. Meanwhile we offer case work support to help them access other basic services such as healthcare, legal support, the Red Cross Tracing Service etc. We also try to identify the gifts God has blessed the individual with and try to encourage those.

    The last time I checked, our free English classes were benefiting over 170 learners each week. The demand is constantly increasing. We often underestimate the importance of being able to communicate confidently in English, the language of the host community in our case. A lack of communication skills can result in social isolation and exclusion, poor access to basic services such as healthcare and difficulties in adjusting to a new culture. Our dedicated Action Language staff and volunteers also signpost learners to other beneficial services and opportunities, e.g. a local GP or community group.

    Once again, many thanks for featuring Action Foundation in your blog! If you or any of your readers should visit Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and would like to see our work first-hand, please feel free to get in touch with us via our website….

    • Thanks for your response and for providing more specific information about the Action Foundation. I will be in London studying for the Fall semester, so maybe I can make a trip out to visit the Action Foundation on may way to/from Edinburgh one weekend and do a more in depth profile. I’ll definitely contact you if such a trip will be possible after I have arrived and gotten settled. Until then, thank-you for the work you are doing and feel free to contact us if you ever have something specific you want us to share such as the reopening of your house.

      • Anonymous says:

        It would be great if you could fit in a visit on the way to Edinburgh!
        Will keep you posted on any news in the meantime….
        Thanks so much,
        Andrea
        andrea@actionfoundation.org.uk
        T: 0191 231 3113 (please do leave a message if nobody picks up the phone – we are a pretty small team so at times we are all out, in the classroom, meetings, etc)

  2. Thanks for the contact info! I’ll definitely email you in the fall if it looks like I will be able to make it out to you. Thanks again for the work you are doing!

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