"Refugee is a person who has to work hard to integrate into community and at the same time he is trying to keep his own language and culture. Refugee is a person who lives two lives at once: in one he lives in his mind constantly pining for the past and so many simple little things and in second one he lives like a baby - afraid, learning, failing, crying, trying again and hoping." Quotation from a person seeking sanctuary in Northumberland.
Northumberland County of Sanctuary, or NCOS for short, was inaugurated in December 2016 in response to a new piece of history for Northumberland. Hitherto there were no people seeking asylum housed in the county. None of the people seeking sanctuary who were “dispersed” (in the official language of the Home Office) had been sent north of Newcastle upon Tyne. Now the housing provider was finding accommodation mainly in the south east of the county, first in Ashington, then, soon, in Blyth and in the smaller towns round about which had once been mining sites. This brought people from many countries into an area that was one of the least multiracial in England. However, the people of Northumberland have warm and generous hearts and respond accordingly. So NCOS came into being to welcome people seeking sanctuary and also to help the area welcome them too. We do all we can to assist asylum seekers living in Northumberland. We are partnered with the Red Cross who provide asylum advice and we work to enable people to make the most of the opportunities that are available. From small beginnings we are now in touch with over 300 people living through the asylum process. We are feeling the pressure and are making plans to develop to meet the needs. Want to help? See our volunteer section. Want to give? See our donation heading.