"Seeking to provide a safe environment where Refugees and Asylum Seekers can find friendship, food and practical help."

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English Teachers - the Destitution Project is looking for experienced English teachers who would like to volunteer to teach beginner or intermediate/advanced classes for our service users. Classes are up to 2 hours long and take place on Wednesdays at various times and we currently have 2 levels for women and 2 levels for men. Each volunteer teacher would work with one class, and likely be part of a small team of teachers (some of whom are not trained in teaching English). We also try to provide one-to-one instruction throughout the day for those service users with very little English knowledge.

Reception Volunteers - the Destitution Project is in need of volunteers to man our reception desks each Wednesday. This would require you to be present between 9.45am and 3.00pm. You will need to have good interpersonal and organisational skills, and like to meet and greet people but also comfortable ensuring that access to the Drop-In Centre and its services are well managed. You will likely work as part of a two-person team. Previous experience in this sort of task would be ideal, but not essential.
You must be 18 and over to apply.

Latest News

On 10th October, four actors from Contact and BHA visited the Destitution Project (DP) to put on a play for DP service users and volunteers.

It focused on some of the problems of living with HIV. The aim of the performance, which was funded by Public Health Britain, was to give the audience an insight into daily life with the condition and to make it clear that people who have HIV can still live healthy lives if they diagnose early and are on effective medical treatment.

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A pleasant and informative time was had by all at Smithills Hall in September. A group of our ladies were shown round the beautifully maintained building which is of course one of the jewels in Bolton’s crown.

Our guides made every effort to help their listeners understand the commentary and this was very much appreciated, as many are beginners in terms of learning English.

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Over 30 of our service users, volunteers and their children, some of whom were in the cast, were guests of the Octagon at an open air production in Queens Park of the theatre's latest 'away from Octagon' show whilst their home is being refurbished.

All of them thoroughly enjoyed the event, acted with great talent, enhanced by stunning props and great weather.

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On Saturday, 27 of us went to watch the mighty whites [ Bolton Wanderers ] against QPR. On this occasion, we had a pre-match event in a lounge overlooking the pitch.

This was put on by BWFC FFF, which is the Family, Faith, Football section. We were treated to tea, coffee, drinks, programmes. There were competitions One with prizes for predicting the score [ however as Bolton lost all our entries were lost! ].

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Nine service users from DP had a great afternoon at the Bolton One climbing wall recently, thanks to Graham and Helen, experienced climbers from local charity WAVE Adventure.

Some were new to the experience but others had climbed in the mountains of their home countries, in Afghanistan and Palestine.

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The youth players from the Octagon came to the Destitution Project with their new play "Lena Logged Off." The set was prepared during the morning and the performance began at lunchtime.

95 of our service users and volunteers were enthralled as the cast performed the play, which they had written. Young Lena takes over a family shop and engages in Social Media to promote the business.

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Following on from our classes in Flower Arranging, Card Makiing and Knitting, our ladies now received instruction in the art of making Soft Toys and the skills required for cooking.

All food and toys made were taken home to grateful recipients. Included in the lessons was an English conversation class, describing the classes. Our thanks to Dawn and Julie and their Lottery Funding.

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Julie Pearson of "Blooming Great Bolton" and her colleague Dawn have been over the weeks instructing our ladies in:-

  • Card making, card decorating
  • Jewellery making- beads & wire
  • Making fabric brooches and flowers
  • Flowers arrangement - fresh flowers and fresh flower - buttonholes
  • Knitting
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We've just completed a five week course at our premises. Our service users were instructed in every area of bike maintenance, repair and safety.

This included mending parts of the bikes, adjusting and changing brake pads, changing inner tubes, replacing the chain and cassette, and many other techniques. They were well taught by their expert trainer, Dave Headon.

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Last week was Refugee Week (celebrating 20 years!) Two of our volunteers attended the Genocide Memorial Day at the Town Hall. At DP last week we had the arts and crafts work shop to celebrate Refugee Week.

Some of DP volunteers are also on the committee of City of Sanctuary Bolton and last Wednesday collected money towards the bike ride Jackie and Martin from Justica fair trade shop took part in.

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We had our AGM on Tuesday June 5th. It was well attended with nearly 70 people, from other organisations, volunteers and some of our lovely service users. Paul Martin took the chair and briskly moved through the agenda.

Our guest speaker was Estelle Worthington from 'Asylum Matters'. She talked about her organisation's campaign for political change in matters of asylum.

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Our ladies, in conjunction with the Octagon Theatre have been having sessions, in which their dramatic talents are encouraged.

Last week they presented a dramatic piece for the whole of D.P. It was entitled "Love" and was based on the legend of Psyche and Cupid and the Candle. Our ladies with their Octagon mentors were marvellous.

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Shaheda Mangareh, our tireless caseworker was nominated for an award. The ceremonies took place at the Macron Stadium and were attended by 600 dignitaries, award nominees and supporters.

Although she came through all the shortlisting processes she was not chosen as the award winner. Nevertheless, it is still a welcome recognition for all the marvellous work she undertakes on behalf of our service users.

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On Saturday, April 21st 2018, we took 30 men women and children to watch our beloved Bolton play.

Yes the Wanderers won, but it was the opponents Wolverhampton Wanderers, who triumphed 4-0.Nevertheless we had a great day. For most it was their first ever visit to a professional ground.

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The art sessions we now have at our weekly drop-in are growing by numbers. Diana, our volunteer leader of the sessions is marvellous at encouraging the talents of our asylum seekers and refugees.

Here are a few examples. The "WELCOME" board is the first part of a triptych. The other two parts are to be finished. Attached are some of pictures.

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(From Bolton CVS Twitter Feed) On Day 7 lead up to #LocalCharitiesDay @BoltonCVS showcasing the great work of The Destitution Project. This year they have supported over 400 women and have worked in partnership with @octagontheatre

Photos attached>

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These Christmas Party photos show Irene from Georgia who is a very gifted lady. She is artistic (hence the winter scene), good at cooking (she made an enormous cake for yesterday's party which Shaheda captured before it was cut!).

She also plays the piano and sings!

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The following photos show a visit we had today from a group of young people from the Prince's Trust in conjunction with Greater Manchester Fire Service.

There were 11 young people and their mentors Anne and Jess. They helped our project with all kinds of tasks including sorting food tins, working on Reception, training our guests in using our new outside ashtray, helping with English classes, cleaning and tidying up.

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26 of us at D.P. went to watch Bolton Wanderers play Middlesbrough on Saturday. We all met at our Hall and proceeded to the Stadium by coach.

There were men, women and children, which may not sound worthy of mentioning, but in the countries that our ladies and children escaped from they are forbidden from entering sports stadia. For most this was a first professional football match.

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In July, Pam, Shaheda, Kath and David were proud to accept the offer from one of our service users to attend her first fashion show, held at the Irish World Heritage Centre in Manchester.

She really is a success story. Kamela left Syria in 2008 for a better future for her children, which was a fortunate decision as her house and village has been destroyed in the subsequent war. She arrived in England with three children aged 12, 10 and 7.

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Last month members of our ladies English class were invited by the Mayor to attend him for a look behind the scenes, as it were. The Mayor and Mayoress, councillor Roger Hayes and his wife were on hand to escort our group and show them the Mayor's parlour and rooms.

The mayor took the time to explain the history of the building.

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On two days in August we at DP were pleased to welcome members of Bolton Lads and Girls Club. It was as part of their commitment to the National Citizen Service programme.

On Tuesday, the team ably led by Luke, came to help us clean our rooms and outside area.

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Members of DP were proud to be the guests of Manzour Ali Heydari (always known as Ali) at the Bolton College Adult and Community Awards held on July 13th at Bolton College.

Ali received his 'Development in Learning' award from the principal, Bill Webster. Ali has been volunteering for DP for over 5 years.

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The Destitution Project were proud to host a production of "On Songbird's Wings."The play was performed by the Octagon Academy, who also wrote the script.

It was presented at our Drop-In. This entailed much preparation by D.P. and especially the Octagon. On the day of the performance we were in at 8.00 am helping to unload and place the set.

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BHA began working together with the Destitution Project in September 2016. Since then the focus has been on providing on the spot HIV testing and information about HIV and sexual health.

From September 2016 to March 2017 BHA completed 184 one – to – one consultations at the Destitution project while also completing Point of Care HIV tests for 34 people, all of whom were from ethnic minorities.

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This year has seen us increase our numbers and thereby the help we are able to provide to our service users. We are booming. Briefly, for those who do not know us we are dedicated to providing help to asylum seekers, refugees and especially refused asylum seekers. Later, this element will be further explained by our caseworker. We are all volunteers except our part time grant funded caseworker.

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