Teesside is one of the largest dispersal areas for asylum seekers in the UK.  In 2014 TMC organised a day conference for local churches to learn more about the asylum system and how they can welcome and support people seeking refuge. The day was attended by almost 100 people, and has resulted in many more churches offering welcome and support to asylum seekers and refugees, and also greater involvement in local projects.  A follow up meeting lead to formation of a local Faiths Stream of Sanctuary, churches and faith groups working together and contributing to the work of Tees Valley of Sanctuary.  A major part of this work is a partnership with York Minster and York City of Sanctuary, with resources, practical support and trips to York being provided for refugees and asylum seekers.

There are some excellent church based projects in Middlesbrough offering support to asylum seekers and refugees.

Teesside is one of the largest dispersal areas for asylum seekers in the UK.


Methodist Asylum Project offers welcome and support to people seeking asylum who are housed in the area.  The project offers a weekly programme of social activities and practical support with clothing, household goods etc.  If you would like to donate goods or offer support in others ways, or if you want to refer someone to their services you can find out more details at Methodist Asylum Project.



Open Door provides food, housing and material help to asylum seekers suffering destitution and hardship; and also friendship and a range of other services including housing, a work club and move on advice to refugees. To find out more about how you can support the charity or if you are looking for support for a destitute asylum seeker or refugee you can find more here Open Door North East or via the Facebook or Twitter pages

There are a number of other excellent local projects offering support:

Justice First help people in the Tees Valley, who are seeking asylum in the United Kingdom and whose appeals have been rejected, to re-engage with the legal system.

Mary Thompson Fund is a hardship fund responding to the critical and emergency needs of those who are seeking sanctuary or are settled refugees in the Tees Valley.

Red Cross Refugee Support help refugees and asylum seekers to access essential services and adapt to life in a new country.


Redcar & Cleveland Local Authority are part of the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Programme, receiving Syrian families into local communities. The local authority are liaising with TMC as a vital link into the voluntary sector and church based support networks. At the same time, Redcar & Cleveland has been selected by the Home Office as an area with suitable available housing to enable the area to be part of the wider dispersal of Asylum Seekers.

In response TMC has worked with Methodist Asylum Project to develop a successful weekly Drop In every Tuesday morning from 9.30 – 11.30 at St Andrew’s RC Church Teesville. During interfaith week Nov 2016 a fantastic Celebrating Together event took place at St Andrew's bringing together local people with newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers to share an evening of food, music and entertainment.

A weekly football session at Eston is also helping to build relationships between local young men and Syrian refugees Together in Football The Community Lunch which is held at St John's Church, South Bank provides a place of welcome and hospitality each week for Syrian refugees and asylum seekers, sharing a meal with arts and craft activities.


TMC has been involved in the formation of Tees Valley of Sanctuary a partnership of local charities and organsations working together to create a culture of welcome and hospitality in the Tees Valley for asylum seekers and refugees, it is part of the national City of Sanctuary movement. 

TVoS was officially launched during refugee week in June 2015 at Teesside University, with a wonderful evening of music, food, stories and talks. Launch of Tees Valley of Sanctuary

Look out for events during Refugee Week which is in June each year.

There are often a lot of myths about the numbers of people seeking sanctuary in the North East, who they are, where they come from and the support they receive. The North East Migration Mythbuster 2017-18 is an up to date and accurate information sheet to help you understand the real facts and figures.