Over the past year we have helped more people across a wider geographic area with the support of more volunteers than ever before!
We have been able to support 1413 refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants through our housing and language projects – an increase of 27% on the previous year.
Read more about the impact Action Foundation has made, in our 2018 report. Below you will find our report in two formats, a page turning format and a pdf:
Page Turning Format: http://bit.ly/AFImpactReport2018
PDF Format: ActionFoundation-Report_2018
Sirak is from Eritrea and has lived in the UK and the North East for the past 20 years. Having seen at first-hand how Action Foundation has supported people from Eritrea and knowing the excellent service received through Action Housing, Letting and our ESOL classes, Sirak was very keen to get involved with our work. With a deep spiritual connection to the church and the Eritrean congregation that he is actively involved with, he set up a link and support network. Being able to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds has been his passion and focus with a desire to give something back. When he was approached earlier this year to become a Trustee at Action Foundation, Sirak was delighted to accept.
Due to his religious beliefs, Sirak arrived as a refugee in the UK in 1998 and claimed asylum at Heathrow airport. He was placed temporarily in a hostel in London before being dispersed by the Home Office to the North East. In April 1999, having spent 2 weeks in Sunderland, he found a hostel in Newcastle and later moved into a council flat. His love of this city started then (despite admitting that he supports Manchester United!). For the first few months Sirak didn’t have a work permit but with his sunny disposition and friendly personality, he sold the ‘Big Issue’ magazine and was soon making quite a lot of money “people inherently want to help you” said Sirak. Once his work permit was issued, he found employment quite easily working for the Refugee Service as an interpreter, assisting the police, courts and the NHS. Sirak knows only too well the reality of high rents in the city and for someone earning low wages in a part time job, life can be very hard. He had soon saved up enough money to purchase his first rental property and is now a successful landlord, owning and managing properties in the region.
Before seeking asylum from Eritrea, Sirak, who comes from a well-off family, worked in accounting and was the Senior Budget Controller for the Ministry of Finance. Once settled in the North East, he continued his academic studies by completing a Masters’ in Business Administration at Sunderland University and this business acumen has led him to setting up several charitable and community organisations:
‘Investing in People and Culture’ was set up by Sirak 8 years ago. It works with small refugee groups e.g. The Eritrean Community Organisation, to help them to build their organisational capabilities, fundraising potential and policies and procedures.
‘The Other Perspective’ is a community interest company that provides an entrepreneurial platform for refugees with a focus on capacity building for businesses in the catering, interpreting and cleaning sectors. They also provide office space and hall hire for different refugee groups (e.g. Roma, Syria, Congo) in Newcastle, Gateshead and Middlesbrough.
Sirak is truly settled in the North East, having married a ‘Geordie lass’, and family life, together with his faith and his work makes him extremely happy!
Please click here for our Sponsorship Form which you can download and print off to help you with your fundraising. Thank you!
Do you have a spare room? Would you like to help someone who is homeless?
Action Hosting matches volunteer hosts offering a spare room in their home with a destitute asylum seeker. Over the next few months we are holding several open evenings where you can learn more about our hosting project and how you can get involved. Read More »
Could you live for a week on £15? That’s just over £2 a day. Sound difficult?
That is the reality for over 200 destitute asylum seekers living in Tyne and Wear right now surviving on £15 a week provided by local charities.To raise awareness of the difficulties facing destitute asylum seekers and support our projects helping this vulnerable group we are asking you to be sponsored to try and live on £15 for 1 week.
Read More »
This year we are working in partnership with Giraffe Financial LLP who are offering a free Will writing service for anyone who would like to leave a legacy donation to Action Foundation. Read More »
We are looking for landlords or investors who want to do something a bit different with their property and use it to benefit vulnerable people without the hassle of managing their property. Read More »
On the 30th November we held our annual Action Foundation celebration. This was an opportunity for us to thank all our learners, volunteers, residents and supporters for their hard work, encouragement and support over the past 12 months.
Over 140 guests attended including 77 learners, 37 volunteers and 11 residents. Together we played games, including a very competitive game of ‘build the tallest tower’, had lunch and listened to Action Foundation CEO Julian Prior talk about some highlights and achievements of the past 12 months.
Mohammad is one of our Action Language students currently studying in Pre-Entry A, our most basic level English class. Mohammad is originally from Sudan and came to the UK 7 months ago knowing absolutely no English. After arriving in Newcastle in June Action Language was recommended to him by friends and he began attending classes at the start of the academic year.
Mohammad says that it is important to learn English as it is an international language meaning he can communicate with many people from different countries. He also says it is very important as it enables him to access basic services like the bank and post office, decreasing his reliance on friends for help. Mohammad says he is enjoying learning English and he likes his teacher a lot and the lessons are always fun and interesting, although he sometimes finds it hard. He says his favourite thing about Action Language is the opportunity to meet people and socialise and says he has made many new friends from different nationalities and greatly looks forward to each lesson. Mohammad wishes to continue learning English, increase his confidence and hopes to get a job in the future.