Action Foundation have been awarded with a £100,000 Community Aid package by Barclays to boost our work reaching parts of the community worst hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

In April, Barclays announced a £100m Community Aid Package to support charities that are helping people and communities most impacted by COVID-19. Alongside a colleague-matched fundraising initiative and the £10m pledged through their 100×100 Programme, Barclays is donating funds to charity partners across the UK, Americas, Asia and Europe to ensure help reaches those who need it most.

In the UK these partners include those who are meeting the immediate needs of low-income families, those facing financial hardship, isolated elderly people, NHS staff and key workers.

Barclays LogoPowerful support

Action Foundation’s Founder and CEO Julian Prior said:We are delighted to be one of Barclays’ UK charity partners, chosen for the meaningful work we do to support people seeking asylum, refugees and other migrants across Tyne & Wear through this challenging pandemic.”

“The funding will bolster a range of services ranging from vital casework support, practical help to ensure people can connect digitally with key services and opportunities, through to ongoing delivery of our remote ESOL classes for those who are looking to improve their English language skills.”

Action Language Zoom Class

Learners taking part in an Action Language class on Zoom

The power of this kind of support is evident in Action Language Learner Gulshan’s* experiences. Both herself and her husband are from Iran and moved to Newcastle in the middle of the first lockdown eight months ago to seek asylum in the UK.

‘Something to focus on’

“It was awful moving here in the middle of the pandemic, we felt really scared and alone. We couldn’t find any support for things like food, but Action Foundation really helped us. They explained to us about their services including online English language classes and getting food parcels. We’ve been given mobile phone top-ups so we can talk to family and access remote learning.”

“My husband suffers with depression, but he takes English classes with Action Foundation on the internet which really helps him to feel much better because it gives him something to focus on. The language classes are very useful – not only for learning English, but also learning about the customs in the UK, the do’s and don’ts which are so important when you want to live here; and we got to meet other Iranian people too!”

“Action Foundation care about us like their family. They don’t care about how we got here, they just give us kindness and support.”

‘Vital role’

Geoff Watson, Barclays Area Director in the North East, said: “By reaching those most in need of support, local charities, such as Action Foundation have played a vital role in this crisis to date, and no doubt they will do going forward. As a proud member of our community, we are doing everything we can for our customers, clients and colleagues, and we hope that our partnership with Action Foundation will allow many others to access the help they need as this crisis develops.”

*We have changed some names to protect identities