SMART, Newcastle

21 January 2014

SMART (Supporting Migrants, Asylum Seekers and Refugees Together) offers a lifeline to asylum-seekers, refugees and migrant families living in poverty in Newcastle. Using surplus food redistributed by FareShare, SMART provides healthy nutritional food to those struggling to find their feet in the city.

Every Monday morning, 65 parents and children attend SMART’s drop-in session, where they can access housing, employment, education and benefits advice.

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Caroline Allison, Senior Practitioner at SMART, says “The food we receive from FareShare goes towards supporting our families who attend our drop-in sessions. We consider this one of the reasons why the drop-in is so busy. Many families are so desperate they will walk from Gateshead, the West and East End.”

SMART also provides vital one-to-one support to families in need, including six children whose lives were turned upside down when their father died unexpectedly. Their mother struggled to find employment for four months and the family had no income, little food and faced eviction from their home. FareShare and SMART now provide a crucial helping hand to the family.

“In such circumstances the food parcels we could provide were not just a help but an absolute necessity. Now, with the practical and emotional support provided by SMART project workers, the family can look to a brighter future.” Caroline Allison, Senior Practitioner at SMART.

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