Action Language



Action Foundation


Guardian Charity Award 2015




News Updates

News Updates

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ESOL Research




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Action Letting

Action Language


Action Foundation


Action Befriending

Action Language

Staff Changes



Weston/Pilotlight Awards

Sunderland Launch

Vin Totton

CSJ award

World Cup Brazil 2014


Charity Dinner

100th Nationality

Rough Ride

Action Foundation

Action Foundation

Action Befriending

Action Foundation


Action Foundation

Action Foundation




Action Foundation


Action Language



Action Foundation



Action Language client story - Mohammad

Mohammad is one of our Action Language students currently studying in Pre-Entry A, our most basic level English class. Mohammad is originally from Sudan and came to the UK 7 months ago knowing absolutely no English. After arriving in Newcastle in June Action Language was recommended to him by friends and he began attending classes at the start of the academic year.

Mohammad says that it is important to learn English as it is an international language meaning he can communicate with many people from different countries. He also says it is very important as it enables him to access basic services like the bank and post office, decreasing his reliance on friends for help... [Read more....]

Local charity Action Foundation wins Guardian Charity Award 2015

Action Foundation is one of only 5 charities nationally to win an award worth £3,000 from the Guardian, as announced in the newspaper today. The winning charity, set up in Newcastle in 2006, provides support for homeless asylum seekers and refugees, and is aiming to use the money to set up a new house to support asylum seekers in Wearside.

David Brindle, Public Services Editor, the Guardian said, “We were impressed by the great work Action Foundation were doing in supporting asylum seekers and refugees coming to the North East of England. They are clearly using innovative and creative ways of solving some very challenging problems and we wish them well as they seek to expand their work into Wearside”... [Read more....]

Hosting Asylum Seekers meeting update

On Monday 21st September we held a meeting open to anyone wanting more information about how they could offer support to refugees and asylum seekers in Tyne and Wear. This meeting was in response to a significant number of enquiries we received from individuals offering their spare rooms to host an asylum seeker following the recent publicity surrounding the ‘Refugee Crisis’.

Over 65 people attended the meeting including the deputy leader of Newcastle City Council, Joyce McCarty. Speakers included Rowenna Foggie from Newcastle City Council, Lindsay Cross from WERS (West End Refugee Service) and Dave Smith from Boaz Trust and NACCOM... [Read more....]

First House in Sunderland

We are very pleased to announce that after 18 months of fundraising, networking and organising we opened our first house in Sunderland offering supported accommodation to vulnerable refugees in September. We had an official opening on Thursday 8th October where we were joined by Michelle Cooper from Northstar Ventures (who is managing our grant from Northern Rock Foundation Fresh Ideas fund) for a photo and to meet our new residents... [Read more....]

Client Story - Daniel

Although many of our clients face daily barriers and struggles adapting to the new lives in Tyne and Wear, we have several positive stories of success. One former Action Letting resident, Daniel tells his story below in his own words;

“I think Action Foundation have big part in my life in the UK. After completing an asylum process of Home office and granted a refugee status, I have no idea what to do. It was challenging for me to process of integration my life in to the local community. I have to deal with job centre, looking for a job and study opportunity, most importantly housing...[Read more....]

Introducing Maurice Wren - Our first patron

We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Action Foundation’s first patron, Maurice Wren. Maurice Wren has extensive experience of working in the refugee and asylum sector and in 2013 was appointed as CEO of the Refugee Council. Maurice worked alongside Julian in 2008/9 on the working group for the ‘Asylum Matters’ report produced for the Centre for Social Justice.

Maurice commented on his appointment by saying….
“I’m honoured, flattered and not a little humbled, but also delighted to accept. I have the highest regard for the work of the Foundation...[Read more....]

Introducing Nicola Brooks

On Monday 5th October we welcomed Nicola Brooks to the Action Foundation team. Nicola is the new Action Language Project Manager, replacing Malcolm who is taking on the new role of Business Development Manager. Nicola has over 9 years’ experience working in the ESOL sector first working as a volunteer ESOL teacher in Romania before spending 5 years teaching in Spain... [Read more....]

Research into barriers to ESOL provision

Action Language has recently completed some research into the challenges, successes and barriers for particularly isolated communities accessing ESOL classes in Newcastle upon Tyne. Key findings are found below and you can download the full report here.

Some of the barriers which prevent people from accessing ESOL (and other services) are deeply engrained in the culture of people who do not have a tradition of engaging with these services. Many of these barriers are linked to power and authority structures within these communities which make them particularly difficult to overcome or understand for those outside of their immediate community... [Read more....]

8th National NACCOM Conference
Friday, September 11, 2015 from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

The NACCOM Conference empowers organisations to tackle destitution amongst asylum seekers through innovative housing options and other services. This is the eighth national conference. Since its inception in 2006 NACCOM has grown from three to 31 member groups across the UK, now accommodating over 580 asylum seekers and refugees. [Read more....]

Action LettingProperties / investors wanted

Are you tired of the hassle of managing your property?
Do you want to invest in property and help others?
Do you want to guarantee your income and reduce your costs? [Read more....]

Action Language is awarded a Big Lottery grant

Following a rigorous application process and successfully completing three years of a previous Big Lottery grant Action Language has been awarded another four years of funding from Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund.

This is excellent news as it will not only sustain the classes that we are providing out of the CastleGate but also enable us to develop partnerships with other organisations working with particularly isolated migrants. [Read more....]

Supporting our residents to become independent

“I now have hope and have a future”. This was one of many positive comments from our residents at a recent forum where we asked about the impact our service was having on their lives.

We supported a total of 58 beneficiaries through our Action Letting and Action Housing projects this year, exceeding our target of 50. Beneficiaries were of 16 different nationalities including Eritrean, Sudanese and Palestinian. [Read more....]

Closure of Action Befriending

Following a substantial period of prayer, consultation and discussion, the Action Foundation Board has decided that the charity will now focus solely on supporting the international community through our Housing, Letting and Language projects. Therefore, the Action Befriending project will close with effect from Friday 28th August, 2015. This includes the Outer West Friendship Group that met at The Tute and the monthly Tea Club at The CastleGate. The last Tea Club will be on Tuesday 25th August at 2pm. [Read more....]

Action Language helps over 50% of students find a job

On our recent ‘ESOL for Work’ course which finished in March 2015, 23 students who enrolled in the course 12 students have since gained employment and 8 have taken part in work placements. 95% have positively progressed to employment, education or training. This success is hugely encouraging and ESOL for Work will continue to be a part of the courses offered by Action Language...

[Read more....]

Staff changes

On the 1st of June Harriet Urwin, our new Fundraising and Communications Executive joined the Action Foundation team. Harriet graduated last year from Newcastle University where she studied for her Masters in International Development and Education. During her degree she spent six weeks in Ghana collecting data for her dissertation. In April this year she returned from a three month trip to Kenya where she had been working on behalf of Newcastle based charity COCO with the aim of establishing schools in very rural communities...

[Read more....]

Weston/Pilotlight Awards

On Wednesday 3rd June Julian Prior travelled to Manchester to collect an award presented to us by The Garfield Weston Foundation in association with Pilotlight. In total 12 Northern charities working in the areas of youth, welfare and community received recognition for their work. As part of the award Action Foundation will be part of a year-long mentoring and coaching scheme receiving advice from senior business leaders.

[Read more....]

Refugee Housing launched in Sunderland
Action Foundation is launching into Sunderland with its Action Letting division, which manages property for landlords and lets them to homeless refugees in need of accommodation and support.

The need for such provision has been recognised by Alan Caddick, Head of Community Living and Housing Support, at Sunderland City Council, who said, “Julian Prior and his colleagues have met with us and recently attended our new Refugee and Asylum Steering Group to advise and consult on the proposed expansion of our services.

[Read more....]

Vin Totton appointed as Project Manager

An experienced housing expert has been appointed to head up the housing and lettings division of Action Foundation. The organisation helps refugees and asylum seekers to integrate into the UK system, and provides transitional housing and support to help them get established.

Vin has over 25 years experience in housing management and used to lead the Asylum Seekers Unit in Newcastle when Your Homes Newcastle had the home office contract. More recently he worked at Jomast who currently hold the contract, and managed its delivery across both Tyneside and Teesside. [Read more....]

Action Foundation win a CSJ award

Action Foundation is very pleased to announce that we have been recognised for our work addressing poverty and disadvantage by winning a Centre for Social Justice Award at their presentation evening last week. We were one of six national charities who were presented with an award and a £10,000 prize which was sponsored by The Porter’s Trust.

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) is an award winning independent think tank established in 2004 with the aim of putting social justice at the heart of British politics. [Read more....]

Free Big Screen World Cup Matches with an International Flavour

Action Language, in partnership with The CastleGate in central Newcastle have taken on an initiative to organise and host a series of World Cup Screenings / Parties at the their impressive ‘Turbine Hall’ – the historic hub of the city’s old tramway system.

These big family-friendly parties, each hosting upto 350 people, will be completely free to enter, and the organisers expect a truly international atmosphere. Along with students who attend the Action Language courses, and their families, the invitation has gone out to university students attending The Globe International Café, as well as to Newcastle College international students. [Read more....]

Charity Dinner launches Newcastle’s Refugee Week

Commenting that, “For some people, every week is refugee week,” was how Zrinka Bralo, Executive Director of the Migrant and Refugee Communities Forum and winner of the 2011 Voices of Courage Award*, finished her speech at a dinner in Newcastle on Monday evening to mark official Refugee Week 2014.

Zrinka was the guest speaker at a charity dinner for 200 people, organised at The CastleGate in Newcastle by Action Foundation and Crossings, two charities that work to support asylum seekers and refugees here in the North East. [Read more....]

100th Nationality enrols at English School - 19/09/13

Since opening its doors just over 5 years ago, Action Language, an English School that offers free tuition to people who find it difficult to access classes elsewhere, has welcomed people from a vast range of backgrounds and nationalities. Its students have ranged from an Iranian perfumier and a Kazakhstani ballet dancer to a German monk and a Peruvian housewife... [Read more...]

Lands End to John o’Groats in 24 hours? - A Rough Ride at Baltic Square - 26/06/13

A group of Gateshead students took on a challenge to cycle the distance from Lands End to John o’Groats in 24 hours to raise money for Action Foundation and get an experience of sleeping rough. The 24 hour challenge took place between 2pm on Thursday 27th June and 2pm on Friday 28th June 2013. Students took it in turns to cycle on one of four exercise bikes as part of a relay to keep the wheels turning for 24 hours and cycle the equivalent distance from Lands End to John O’Groats (874 miles)... [Read more...]

Action Befriending help launch The Silver Line - 26/06/13

Esther Rantzen visited Action Befriending on Wednesday 26th June to launch a new service for older people. As with Childline, where children and young people are able to ring and speak to someone in confidence, The Silver Line is being set up to provide a service, whereby lonely, older people in our community can ring up to speak to someone who understands their problems, can provide information on a variety of subjects, or just be there for a chat... [Read more...]

We are recruiting an ESOL Administrator - 10/11/12

Action Language is looking to appoint an ESOL administrator to join our team which supports volunteer teachers and teaching assistants in the delivery of ESOL at the Action Language project [Read more...]

Tweets, Tea and biscuits - 29/09/12

UK Older People’s week starts on 1 October 2012. This year’s UK Older People’s week is about sharing the skills and experience between different generations.
Action Befriending, part of local charity Action Foundation based at ‘The CastleGate’ in Newcastle, aims to reduce social isolation for older people, and to offer them the chance to have some company by providing a befriending service [Read more...]

Charity begins at Homes for refugees - 21/09/12

Staff at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) in Gateshead are spending two days helping a local charity renovate a house for homeless refugees. Over twenty people will each spend a day working at a home in Heaton to ensure that Action Letting can offer the property to vulnerable refugees in need of accommodation [Read more...]

Action Befriending Summer Tea Party - 02/08/12

On 11th July Action Befriending celebrated with a Summer Tea Party, gathering over 100 older people and volunteers for an afternoon of food, fun and information. Gallons of tea and mountains of cakes were consumed while guests kept their minds active with a ‘through-the-decades’ quiz and enjoyed the musical entertainment provided by a Northumbrian pipes player. Action Befriending and other service providers were present to provide information and answer questions [Read more...]

Action Housing is looking for a female Project Worker - 22/07/12

You will assist the Action Housing Project Manager with the day-to-day running of Action Foundation’s houses and supporting our residents whilst they live with us. Duties will include resident support (such as helping residents access appropriate services and transition onto mainstream welfare benefits once Refugee Status granted) and property management (such as conducting property inspections and
co-ordinating maintenance [Read more...]

Two new employees start at Action Foundation - 04/06/12

Action Foundation has taken on two new employees this month to strengthen their fundraising and finance departments.

Steve Westwood, a graduate in Business with Finance from Northumbria University has joined as a Fundraising Assistant to support our Fundraising Manager in generating income for the charity. He will be responsible for applying to charitable trusts and foundations for funds to support the work of our three main projects; Action Housing, that provides accommodation and support to destitute asylum seekers, Action Language, that provides free English classes to migrants that cannot access mainstream ESOL provision, and Action Befriending that matches volunteer befrienders with isolated older people to provide good company and companionship [Read more...]

Volunteers key to success at Action Foundation - 31/05/12

National Volunteers’ Week starts tomorrow, and is an annual campaign, which celebrates the fantastic contribution that millions of volunteers make across the UK.

Local charity Action Foundation acknowledges readily that their success is in no small part due to the 65 volunteers, who help them in their work across many different activities, from teaching to coffee-making, and from painting and decorating to visiting people in their homes [Read more...]

New IELTS and FCE Summer Course dates announced - 15/05/12

Action Language has announced that they will be running two courses over the Summer and Autumn terms;

IELTS is suitable for those wishing to “study in English at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, and for those seeking professional registration” (Cambridge ESOL) either in the UK or abroad where the required level is usually 7 or above.

Cambridge English: First, also known as First Certificate in English (FCE), is an exam for people who need to prove they can use everyday written and spoken English at an upper-intermediate level for work or study purposes.
For further details [Read more....]

Contract win for Action Language - 01/02/12

Action Language has announced a major new contract, signed with NERS (North of England Refugee Service), to train healthcare professionals aiming to work in the Strategic Health Authority. The social enterprise will run four 60-hour courses over the next 12 months for refugees in the UK looking to achieve the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) qualification, from their classrooms at The CastleGate on Melbourne Street, Newcastle.

For further details [read more....] or contact Malcolm Warin on 0191 231 3113 or

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