West End Refugee Service (WERS) is a registered charity supporting asylum seekers and refugees in Newcastle upon Tyne. WERS empowers men and women, whose futures have been irrevocably changed by past events in their home country, to regain some control over their lives. 

In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, we have made some changes to our services to keep clients, volunteers and staff safe and to respond to the changing needs of those we support.

Sadly, we have had to close the doors of our building for our daily drop in’s and pause face-to-face contact, but wherever possible, we are offering that same support over the telephone.

We have introduced additional services to provide practical and emotional support during this time.

Advice and Support:

Support workers are available Mon – Fri 10am-12pm and additionally Mon and Wed 2-4pm.

Clients can contact WERS on our office number 0191 273 7482 Mon – Fri 10am-12pm and at all other times they can leave a message.

Clients can contact our Operations Manager, Helen, on 0782 611 7308 Mon – Fri 10am-12pm and at all other times they can leave a message.

Clients can contact our Support Worker, Ali, on 0782 622 1719 Mon – Fri 10am-12pm and in addition Mon and Wed 2-4pm and at all other times they can leave a message.

Clients can also text or send Whatsapp messages, or give a missed call to the mobile numbers above if they need someone to call them back. We will get back to enquiries as soon as possible.

We also have volunteer support workers putting in welfare calls from home daily to our clients who are supported through the hardship fund.

Hardship Support:

Our hardship clients, who were receiving a cash payment weekly or fortnightly, now receive payments remotely on prepayment cards. We have been able to increase the amount per week and to include a phone credit payment.

Food Parcels:

Food poverty has increased significantly amongst those we support since the outbreak of Covid-19, as so many drop-ins and support services have had to close their doors and families now have children at home all day. We are also supporting a small number of clients who are in the vulnerable category and/or are having to self-isolate.

From the time lockdown began in March up until mid-May we distributed 330 food parcels to 116 households with 121 now receiving regular supplies.

We have worked with various local charities and organisations to make this possible, and would like to thank Magic Hat Newcastle, The Justice and Peace Project, Life Vineyard Church, the West End Food Bank and those at Newcastle City Council, for all their work helping to make this happen.  We are also working with a  group of volunteers who are delivering to doorsteps where clients cannot collect parcels.


We have a fantastic group of volunteers who have provided invaluable support during this time. Whilst all face -to-face volunteer support has been paused, there is activity taking place remotely. We have experienced support workers working from home now putting in welfare calls, befrienders are now working remotely with phone and video calls to those they support and a group of volunteers are safely delivering food parcels and essential supplies to clients each week.

If you are interested in volunteering we are currently recruiting for remote befrienders – please visit the Volunteer page and read below for more information.

Remote Befriending:

We launched this scheme in April as an extension of our face to face befriending scheme, to help individuals and families stay connected and supported whilst social distancing measures are in place and so many cannot access usual networks and services.  Our trained volunteers put regular calls in to their befriendees to check in and offer social, practical and emotional support, as well as keeping people informed on how to stay safe and follow government guidelines on Covid-19 social distancing measures. 

We are delighted to have received an uplift in funding from the National Lottery Community Fund in order to make this additional activity possible. This has allowed us to develop an online training programme and allocate funds for phone credit for clients in order to facilitate this scheme.

To read more about our scheme please visit the News page where there is information about how to make referrals and volunteering.

Family activity packs:

During May and in the following months, we are sending out activity packs to families who have children at home whilst schools are closed. These include basic stationary and craft materials, small seed planting kits, children’s books and creative activity sheets produced by the BALTIC’s education team.

Clothing store:

The clothing store is now closed and we are sadly unable to take donations from the public at the moment. We do have stock of clothes and household goods and are responding to individual requests from clients for essential items that they are in need of.

Call out for donations of toiletries and cleaning products:

We are continuing to distribute toiletries during this time to our hardship clients, and would like to extend this support to include cleaning products, which will go out with food parcels during this time.

We would be grateful to accept donations of toiletries and cleaning products between 10am-12pm Mon – Wed at WERS.

If you have a large donation please call ahead or email us to arrange, so that we can safely receive this. Otherwise, please leave the items near the door, step back and ring the bell and a member of staff will bring the goods into the building.

Thank you for your continued support.



Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving

Click to donate towards WERS project costs

These donations fund WERS’ continuing work


Click to donate to WERS Hardship Fund

These donations directly support destitute clients


When you shop @AmazonSmile, Amazon will make a donation to West End Refugee Service (Wers).


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