Pictured left to right are Barry Coppinger, Mehdi from Iran, Tarig from Sudan and Leroy from Togo.
Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger, has visited the Methodist Asylum Project in Middlesbrough today to see first hand the wide range of support provided to refugees and asylum seekers settling in Middlesbrough.
The charity, which is based in the Community Café at Linthorpe Methodist Church, uses volunteers from within the established refugee and asylum seeker community to help recent arrivals settle into their new town.
This ranges from providing information on where to shop and how to contact the police and other support agencies, to providing donations of clothing and furniture to people who have sometimes left their home countries with very few possessions.
Barry Coppinger said, “Projects like this provide essential support to people who are often vulnerable having left their home countries due to abuse and persecution. It is important that the police and other agencies support initiatives like this and encourage a sense of community cohesion across Cleveland.
Middlesbrough is an increasingly multi cultural town and I would encourage communities from across Middlesbrough to lend their support to this initiative whether through donations of food and housing supplies or through volunteering their time to help new arrivals settle in, and importantly, to learn English, to allow them to better integrate into their new local communities.”
Tarig, who is originally from Sudan, said “I have found the people of Middlesbrough very welcoming. They have helped me to improve my English skills and are always willing to take the time to help me. The Methodist Asylum Project has really helped me to settle into my new home, the only problem is the cold weather but I am getting used to this!”.
The project runs a drop in service for refugees and asylum seekers every Thursday between 9:30 and 12:30 in the Community Cafe. More details can be obtained by contacting Project Manager Ailsa Adamson on 07970192841 or by email at MAPMbro@gmail.com.
Posted on Thursday 13th February 2014