We’re delighted to announce that our Gift of Words Christmas Appeal has raised an amazing £10,620 for our Action Language school, thanks to the generous support of individuals, businesses and other donors.

The money, which was generated in just five weeks, will ensure our free English classes for refugees and asylum seekers go from strength to strength in 2022, helping people integrate into their new communities.

Our Fundraising and Grants Officer, Abi Walker, said she was bowled over by people’s generosity: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to this campaign – whether you donated £10, £100 or simply shared the campaign with your friends and family. This will make a real difference to the people we support.”  

Fantastic news

Nicola Brooks, Action Language Project Manager, added:

“Reaching our £10,000 target is fantastic news, and it was great to be able to start the new year by sharing that with our volunteers and supporters. While we have some funding to support our work from specific grants, the money from the appeal is vital in securing Action Language’s future and allowing us to plan consistent support for learners across the region.

“We’re so grateful to everyone who contributed and spread the word – it really does make a huge difference and we can’t wait to see our learners continue to increase their confidence in English in 2022”

Community Support 

Bishop Paul with our CEO, Duncan McAuley

A huge thank you to Action Foundation’s Patron, the Bishop of Durham, the Right Revd Paul Butler, who endorsed our campaign with such special words of support:  “Imagine not being able to get on a bus and communicate, not being able to talk to your child’s teacher at school. That’s what the Gift of Words is all about. It’s about helping people learn English so that they can become fully part of our society and take their full place.” 

Art For Refugees, the online art store and fundraising initiative, made a huge contribution to our Christmas campaign this year. They have been giving fifty per cent of their profits to Action Foundation – and have donated a total of £1,344 towards our campaign! Thank you so much to the whole AFR team and everyone who bought a print or pack of cards. Businesses such as Curtis Gabriel also held fundraisers, such as Christmas jumper days and festive Bake Offs to help our campaign.

Our long-standing supporters, City Church Newcastle, held fundraising collections at their annual Christmas carol services. With The Felling brass band, hot chocolate and mince pies, they were a fantastic way to start the festive period.  Huge thanks to City Church for letting us be a part of their Christmas celebration and raising £274 towards our Gift of Words appeal. We’re also grateful to City Church member, Viv Harrison, who crafted a beautiful quilt to raffle in aid of the Gift of Words Appeal, which brought in another £255! 

Viv with her Technicolor Dream Quilt

Supporting Learners

Thanks to you, we’re able to continue supporting learners like Erfan– an Iranian refugee who accessed our Action Language classes to improve his English. Three years after arriving in the UK, Erfan has graduated from Newcastle University and secured a job in the NHS – you can read his inspirational story here 

Former Action Language learner, Erfan, at his graduation

“I learnt from volunteers who would spend their time and energy to just help other people and make their lives easier. I loved the environment and learnt more than just English. We made friends and there were people who were in the same situation as me and that helped me very very much.”

The money raised by this campaign will help us to support many more people like Erfan through our free community English classes.  

Thanks so much to everyone who supported the campaign – and it’s still not too late to donate – click here to give the Gift of Words today!