Action Foundation has seen a 17 per cent increase on the previous year in the number of refugees and asylum seekers accessing its projects.

Our latest Impact Report which is launched today, shows staff and volunteers supported around 2,000 people between the beginning of April 2022 and the end of March this year compared to 1,700 in 2021-22.

The majority of people helped in the last year were from Iran, Iraq, Ukraine, Eritrea, Sudan, Syria and Afghanistan.

The report shows that our InterAction project, which provides advice around asylum rights; housing; benefit entitlement and other issues, supported 1,444 people.

As part of this, a new element launched in South Tyneside, signposting refugees and asylum seekers to health services and funded by South Tyneside Health Collaboration, helped 109 people to better navigate NHS provision.

More than 700 people attended our free English language classes. Our volunteers, supported by Action Foundation staff, delivered 595 in-person classes in total from classrooms in Newcastle and Sunderland. Another 1,412 lessons were delivered online.

An amazing 73 dedicated volunteers gave their time freely to support our much-needed Action Language project.

Our Action Housing project, which provides comfortable, safe and supported accommodation to destitute asylum seekers at risk of homelessness housed 24 people over the year.

Meanwhile, our Action Letting project, housed 84 newly recognised refugees, helping 36 to move on into independent living. Support staff in those accommodation projects clocked up an amazing 1,196 hours, helping people engage with legal advice, register with GPs, arrange college appointments and much more.

Our CEO Duncan McAuley said it had been a busy and rewarding year but a hugely challenging one too. He said:

“As government policy continues to target migrants, we’re committed to providing welcome and support to those seeking safety and making their home here from across the world.”

And our Chair of Trustees, David Lyall, added: “We are determined to strengthen the resilience and sustainability of the organisation in this time of global turmoil.”

Watch our CEO’s introduction to this year’s report