Elvet Methodist Church supports a different project each year, alternating between local projects, and overseas projects.
In 2010 - 2011 we supported Justice First. Projects supported in other years are:
- 2016 - 2017 Project: St Cuthbert’s Hospice, Retail Van
- 2015 - 2016 Project: the Grace Haven Orphanage, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma)
- 2014 - 2015 Project: Key Project, South Tyneside
- 2013 - 2014 Project: The Kwagala Trust
- 2012 - 2013 Project: Durham Youth for Christ - Mentoring Scheme
- 2011 - 2012 Project: New Hope in Cambodia
- 2009 - 2010 Project: The Kwagala Trust
- 2008 - 2009 Project: Beverley School
- 2007 - 2008 Project: Global Care
Justice First is a charitable organisation based in the Middlesborough area, working with asylum seekers who have had their applications for asylum rejected.
The organisation was founded some years ago, and funds are required for premises, salaries for one full time worker who has specialist training, and counsellors from a medical organisation in Newcastle. Costs for one years work are estimated at £60000.
A misconception is that asylum seekers are economic migrants from EU countries, coming to the UK for work, and benefits. Most asylum seekers are however from Africa, Ethiopia, Sudan, Iraq, Iran etc, fleeing persecution, conflicts of war/politics, ethnic troubles etc. 50% are female who may have been tortured, mutilated, raped, sexually violated and consequently traumatised.
Applications for refugee status which have been turned down may be referred to Justice First, who will step in to assist with appeals and give support. Each asylum seeker is assigned a caseworker, provided with food and clothing where required, offered therapy if traumatised, and referred for welfare support if needed (supplied by a local charity - The Mary Thompson Fund). Volunteers provide other types of support by caring for children, escorting the asylum seeker to Court and to the Police Station where they are required to register on a regular basis.
Justice First can help these asylum seekers to remain legitimately within the asylum process while the appeal progresses.
Elvet is pleased to have raised just over £25,000 for Justice First over the year.