Below are details of an exciting event we are taking part in – please spread the word!
For the past two years, Action Foundation has been working with the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) and three universities on Linguacuisine, an Erasmus+ project to create an app promoting language learning through cooking. Our language learners have co-designed the website and created recipes in a variety of languages (including English!), which can then be used to aid learning as well as create delicious meals!
We will launch the app at Blackfriars in Newcastle on Tuesday 18 September, and would like to share this with as many people as possible. There will be live cooking and tasting of the recipes, as well as more information on how to contribute your own recipes and opportunities to meet others with shared interests. The event is free and anyone can register at the Eventbrite page below, and you can find out more about the project at https://linguacuisine.com/
We hope we will see you there and please do pass this on to other groups or language learners who may be interested.
If you can’t have English classes at college, you can come to Action Language!
We deliver English classes for adults (18+) of all abilities. Enrolment in Newcastle for classes in September is at The CastleGate, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm on:
Wednesday 29 August
Thursday 30 August
Friday 31 August
Monday 3 September
Tuesday 4 September
Please come to do a short test and bring your ID (passport, card or papers are fine!). We look forward to welcoming you!
For information can be found on our ‘Contact Us’ page
Please click here for our Sponsorship Form which you can download and print off to help you with your fundraising. Thank you!
Elzbieta Sarapata (Ela) is from a mountain village called Piechowice in Poland, and is a qualified teacher. Through her church and a passion for helping others, Ela met with one of our Action Language teachers, Ruth Colclough, whilst volunteering in France back in 1990, and they formed a long-lasting friendship. It is this friendship that has led Ela on a journey of discovery that embraces the English language, volunteering, humanity and ultimately a visit to Action Language this summer.
For the past 9 years Ela has been teaching private one-to-one English lessons in Poland to pupils aged between 7-18 years. As a teacher, Ela is passionate about making her lessons relevant and engaging and achieves this by applying critical thinking whilst delivering the lessons in the English language. With Ruth’s lesson ideas and her support in sending over English newspapers, Ela encouraged her students to embrace very relevant and topical global issues, for example single use plastics, whilst at the same time helping the students to improve their command of the English language. Ela was delighted when the opportunity arose to volunteer for a week with Action Language this summer, here in Newcastle upon Tyne, and she was keen to increase her understanding of the issues facing asylum seekers and refugees and how this works in the UK. Ela explained “I hope to use the knowledge to better understand why my country is more fearful and less welcoming to these people. I would also like to encourage more volunteering in Poland by sharing my positive experiences with others”. During her volunteering week at Action Language Ela supported about 10 or 11 different classes; each one offering different teaching styles and levels of student ability, whilst supported by volunteer teaching assistants.
“I was made to feel so welcome by everyone at Action Language and really felt part of the groups from day one. Everyone was very respectful and kind and the classes so enjoyable. I met learners from around the world including Sudan and Eritrea and their journeys have inspired me to look further into the conflicts that these countries are enduring to understand more” Ela added.
As part of our most recent ESOL for Work course, we included (as usual!) a session on volunteering, as a way of gaining experience and enhancing one’s CV. Surrounded as we are at the moment by the Great Exhibition of the North, students were directed towards volunteering there. Two did so, Aleksandra and Lin. Aleksandra volunteered with the Concordia Festival, helping as primary school choirs moved around different venues in Newcastle singing in each place. Here’s her feedback:
“Hi Ruth, I just wanted to thank you for this opportunity for Concordia Festival! It was such a nice experience because children were singing so beautifully!!!”, and Lin? – well, let him tell you himself! “Hello Ruth. Thank you for the great information of Great Exhibition. I have been a volunteer now and attended training sessions as many as I can including First Aid course yesterday. In addition, I have attended the cycling shift of Sound Journey for Newcastle. All of those are very helpful to me. Thank you very much.”
As well as hoping to support our clients to take advantage of new opportunities, we also want to help them with progression, and volunteering is a great way to progress from our ESOL for Work course, and hopefully one day, on to paid work too!
You can find out more about the Great Exhibition of the North and their volunteering opportunities at https://getnorth2018.com/get-involved/volunteers/
Ella joined us in the summer as both a Volunteer Fundraiser with Action Hosting and a Teaching Assistant with Action Language.
Ella explained: “I am a second year Edinburgh university student who was lucky enough to have the opportunity to volunteer with Action Foundation, working with both action language and action hosting. I am an active member of a few university societies that support refugee rights and was very keen to complete some sort of work experience within a refugee charity. When I began researching refugee charities to get involved in I was particularly drawn to action foundation because of it’s focus on overcoming exclusion through providing skills which enable community integration, through its provision of English lessons and also through the hosting scheme; which I thought was so important in ensuring that refugees and asylum seekers have a positive experience and are able to give back and feel at home living in England. Prior to my volunteering I had never dwelled on the importance of speaking English, because it’s something that comes so naturally to me, but the work Action Language do in providing free English lessons is so essential in making every aspect of the student’s lives easier and more accessible. I was initially a little nervous entering into language classes having had no experience teaching and not being particularly patient or good at explaining things, which I considered pretty essential teacher qualities, however the other volunteers and the teacher were so helpful and my fears were all incorrect. I really enjoyed the time I spent volunteering within the language school and was struck by the warmth of the students and volunteers and also enjoyed being involved in the process of learning English and the lifechanging effect it could have on the lives of the students. Through the time I spent within the language school it made me realise that for the students the lessons offered not only a way to learn English but also a way for people, who could easily become isolated, to meet friendly faces and get to know a network of other students in similar positions, and it was a pleasure to temporarily be part of the little community of students and volunteers of Action Language.”
“As well as my involvement with Action Language I had the opportunity to work with Action Hosting and came to better understand the depressing reality of what the fate for many rejected asylum seekers could be. However, I also got to see the life-changing work Action Hosting and the volunteer hosts do which through the simple idea of matching up hosts with spare rooms transforms the lives of both the asylum seekers who stay as guests and also in many ways the hosts as well. My personal project within the action Hosting department involved brainstorming ways to spread the word about action Hosting and attempting to find new hosts, this was great to be part of because it gave me a sense of autonomy and also hopefully will generate a new wave of hosts. My time at Action Foundation was extremely rewarding, both in terms of providing an understanding of the daily running’s of a charity and how a little bit of time from volunteers in English classes or through offering up a spare room it can completely transform the lives of asylum seekers and refugees” Ella added.
Thank you Ella for all your hard work and great company!
The Great North Run takes place on 9 September and this year we have 14 fantastic runners representing Action Foundation, all raising money to support our projects helping vulnerable refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants in Newcastle, Gateshead and Sunderland! If you would like to help them to reach their fundraising targets please go to our Virgin Money Giving page.
Runners’ Stories: Time to meet Jamie and Dom, our 3-legged Twins!
“Me and my twin brother, Dom, have chosen to run the Great North Run, three-legged. Although we haven’t been involved with Action Foundation directly, we wanted to contribute to the amazing work they do supporting refugees and asylum seekers living in the North-East. The opportunities Action Foundation provides such as offering accommodation and English language courses seem to make an invaluable impact on the lives of vulnerable migrants who have chosen to start a new life in the UK.
We have been training both three-legged and two/four-legged. When training separately, we have been doing regular 10k runs and a couple of shorter ones throughout the week. We will be doing a longer distance half-marathon style soon. For the 3-legged runs, unsurprisingly, it’s slightly more time-consuming. Before we committed to running the Great North Run as a three-legged race, we did a timed 5km to see if running the whole thing would be possible. With a few falls and funny looks off passer-bys, we ran it in about 36 minutes. So hopefully, a 21km (half marathon) run should be possible without taking all day and night.
We have been experimenting with different ways to attach our legs together and which side works best for each of us to run on. At the moment, we have been training with our ankles tied quite close together with a belt and a football sock for some padding. It is hard but possible. When looking up other three-legged long distance runs we also saw they were tied a few inches apart, which seems a lot more comfortable!”
Can you help Jamie and Dom on their three legged challenge? Here’s the link to their fundraising page https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser…/fundraiserPage…
If you would like to support our runners in this year’s Great North Run, either by way of donation or to cheer them along and greet them at the finish line, then please get in touch with Nikki McCann at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also donate by going directly to our Virgin Money giving account http://bit.ly/2sUbBWRGNR2018
We have 14 fantastic runners representing Action Foundation this year raising money to support our projects supporting vulnerable refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants in Newcastle, Gateshead and Sunderland! If you would like to help them to reach their fundraising targets please go to our Virgin Money Giving page.
The Great North Run takes place on 9 September and our team will be joining over 55,000 other runners so let’s help them along! If you can help cheer them along the route or the finish line get in touch with Nikki McCann at email@example.com
Here is the first of our RUNNERS STORIES: Dominic Bourn
I have always had a heart for social justice. I became a secondary school teacher so that I could impact the lives of vulnerable children from the inner city. I have worked taught in the UK, Africa and Asia to serve the neediest children. In the UK I have worked with the Emmanuel Schools Foundation for 15 years because it is an organisation that provides the ideal opportunity to serve children within the context of a Christian ethos school. Quite a number of our students at Emmanuel College have had to flee from war zones or persecution. I have been deeply moved by their personal stories. In 2015 we saw the devastating photos of a baby washed up on the beach in Greece after the refugee boat he was in capsized. This had a massive and moving impact on many of our students at Emmanuel. Students wanted to raise money to send to the refugees arriving in Europe and they wanted to make a difference. This is how I first became aware of the work of Action Foundation and other refugee charities in the North East. It has been a privilege to meet Julian and see the work that Action Foundation have been doing.
My training so far … I am trying to get out for a jog three times per week. I live in Whickham so I run a 2.5 mile loop twice a week and then a 5 mile loop around Watergate park, Sunniside and Whickham at the weekends. I love getting out for a run and am especially thankful that we have some fantastic tracks and trails through woods and fields. However I have slowed down a bit with the recent heat wave…..
Keep going Dom – we’re all behind you!! To donate to Dom please go to: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=DominicBourn&pageUrl=1
In celebration of Refugee Week, we welcomed the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor David Down and The Lady Mayoress to Action Foundation.
As one of the Mayor’s two chosen charities for the year the timing couldn’t have been better. They joined an Action Language class and helped with a geography quiz on capital cities around the world before joining our Housing team to find out about our Hosting and Letting projects. We look forward very much to working together with The Lord Mayor over his coming year in office for the benefit of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in our community.
Get involved with our 15 for 7 Challenge from 5th – 12th March and support destitute asylum seekers living in Tyne and Wear!
Do you know how much you spend on your weekly shop per person? Add in toiletries, travel, coffees out and a takeaway and it probably comes to a lot more than £15.
£15 is the amount vulnerable destitute asylum seekers living in Tyne and Wear receive from local charities per week to survive on. Every penny counts, and some find themselves choosing between eating breakfast or travelling to a doctor’s appointment.
Through our Action Housing and Hosting projects we currently have the capacity to support and accommodate 24 destitute asylum seekers but there are over 140 in Newcastle alone in need of our support that we do not have the capacity or finances to help.
We are challenging all our supporters, volunteers and anyone else who wants to get involved to try and live off £15 for 7 days. How you do it is up to you. You could choose to spend only £15 on food for the week, or include travel, or really challenge yourself to spend no more than £15 on all your shopping and travel!
All money raised will go towards supporting our Action Housing and Hosting projects which provide support and accommodation to destitute asylum seekers in Tyne and Wear.
More information can be found on our fundraising page!