Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

Justice and Peace Refugee Project News

"A person who thinks only about building walls…and not building bridges is not Christian."

Pope Francis, February 2016

Thank you for your enormous generosity

The Steering Group of the Diocesan Justice and Peace Refugee Project wish to express our heartfelt thanks for the generosity being shown towards the work of the project at present. Your individual contributions – at a time of hardship for many of us - show a kindness and humanity that is truly humbling. Be assured that your donations are making a huge difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of our community. God bless you.

Refugee Project Update:

The Diocesan Justice and Peace Refugee Project remains closed temporarily and no food or clothes donations can be received at present.

Although the lockdown is starting to ease we will need an adequate lead–in time to ensure that, when the project re–opens within the Summerhill Grove premises, it will provide a very safe environment for clients, volunteers and staff. In the meantime we remain in regular contact with the Diocesan Health and Safety lead who will provide the necessary advice as we start to prepare for re–opening.

Although the Project is closed physically it continues to provide much-needed support to hundreds of Refugees and Asylum Seekers and their families.

This has been made possible by a one–off grant from the Albert Gubay Foundation and the ongoing generosity of parishes and individuals in our Diocese. We have been able to extend further the successful supermarket voucher scheme – sending digital vouchers to the mobile phones of destitute clients so they can purchase goods to the value of £35. Those with children can receive additional vouchers to help them cope during the current crisis. Our other clients receive a £20 voucher each month instead of the bags of food we used to provide.

We are delighted to report that we have appointed Sara Harris to the post of Project Co–ordinator. Sara brings with her a wealth of experience in the voluntary sector and has already started to use her skills to support the asylum seekers and refugees we serve. We are also very fortunate that Jeremy Cain is with us until October carrying out some part–time temporary work for the Project.

The one–off grant will be spent by October, so please continue to support the project financially – people have been incredibly generous to date. Details of the destitute asylum fund account are – HSBC DHN DESTITUTE ASYLUM FUND Sort code: 40–34–18 Account number: 52854058.

Contributions by direct transfer would be most welcome but cheques made payable to D.H&N DESTITUTE ASYLUM FUND can also be sent to Justice and Peace Refugee Project c/o Fr Adrian Tuckwell, St Anne's Presbytery, Half Fields Road, Winlaton, NE21 5RW.

Acknowledgements for contributions are taking longer than usual due to the extra stages in the process of collecting cheques, banking these and writing to donors – please bear with us.

Thank you for your continued support for the Refugee Project, we will keep you informed of developments. Enquiries should be directed to Sara Harris by email: or tel: 07407 091184.