ARC Celebrates National Lottery Award

The Asylum and Refugee Community Blackburn (ARC) is celebrating after securing three years of funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

Founded in 2004, ARC will use this new funding to continue to support and develop services for asylum seekers and refugees arriving in Blackburn with Darwen Borough. A key activity of ARC, based at Wesley Hall, Fielden St, is to offer pro-active support to newly arrived asylum seekers and support forrefugees in all the vital aspects of everyday survival such as: asylum applications, housing, health, education, social relationships, and emotional welfare. The ARC support office offers information, advice on a 1-1 basis throughout the week. The English club is up and running and a weekly Social Drop-in provides a safe space for the ARC community to meet socially and meet with partner organisations. Volunteers from all backgrounds, including from the ARC community, are the cornerstone to all ARC work and our volunteer interpreters provide vital help with communication. ARC services, the friendships built and mutual support given during activities help improve mental well-being, tackle social isolation and loneliness and support all refugees and those seeking asylum to settle into life in a new country. ARC Blackburn is delighted to announce, that due to the lottery funding, we are now able to employ 4 new staff members who will be a constant friendly face and help in supporting the ARC community.

Christine Leech, ARC Blackburn Chair of Trustees said: “Thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund, this grant means that we can continue to offer help to all asylum seekers and refugees in the area, making a huge difference to people’s lives who have faced trauma and distress in having to leave their home countries. We are proud that Blackburn with Darwen has been granted ‘City of Sanctuary’ status and that the work of ARC reflects this.”

National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for good causes across the UK. The National Lottery Community Fund distributes a share of this to projects to support people and communities to prosper and thrive and ARC is grateful to be one of these causes. During the pandemic, in 2020 alone, The National Lottery Community Fund distributed almost £1 billion to charities and community organisations across the UK.

If you would like to join this wonderful local charity and our ARC team as a volunteer, please contact us and we can then arrange an informal chat and see how your skills and experience can support our work.

From press release February 2022