Investing in People and Culture (IPC) is a registered charity that promotes the social and economic inclusion of people who are seeking asylum, refugees and other new and emerging minority communities in the North East of England. Our aim is to ensure that everyone who comes to Teesside and Tyneside as a refugee or seeking asylum has the opportunity to envisage their future in the North East. We are committed to helping every individual find a welcome and a true home within our wider community. With bases in Tyneside, covering Newcastle, Gateshead and Sunderland, and in Teesside, covering Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Hartlepool and Redcar, IPC works to support and empower all members of our community.
Tyneside: Unit 5, Crudas Park Centre, Westmorland Rd. Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7RW Teesside: International Centre, 7 Abingdon Rd, Middlesbrough TS1 2DP
Main Location of Activities
What we do
Our key areas of focus are:
• Employment, Education and Training: We deliver employability services and opportunities for learning that build on existing skills and talents, and assist in adjusting to life within a new country.
• Cultural Integration: We organise and facilitate social and cultural events that promote cross-cultural integration. Many of our programmes bring people together through shared activities such as befriending, sport and gardening.
• Health and Wellbeing: Our projects are designed to support physical and mental wellbeing. We design programmes with the NHS ‘5 steps to Wellbeing’ in mind: CONNECT, BE ACTIVE, TAKE NOTICE, LEARN and GIVE.
• Awareness Raising: We advocate for refugees and new communities, providing services and information that help people engage in life in the UK. We also help service providers adapt their services to the needs of these communities
In Tyneside we run a community football project and we have a range of activities to bring our communities together, where you can meet people, learn new skills and have fun. Just ask at the drop-ins to find out what is happening, or to suggest something new. We hold regular drop-in sessions where you can get advice and support with most problems and difficulties related to Housing, Immigration and Employment. Find us on Monday and Friday mornings from 10am to 3pm at Community Hub, Unit 5, Cruddas Park Centre, Westmorland Rd, Newcastle, NE4 7RW; And on Tuesday and Thursday from 12pm to 2pm at 273 High Street, Gateshead, NE8 1EP. We also provide support for other migrant-led community organisations which exist to help refugees and immigrants.
In Teesside we run a gardening project on Wednesdays 10.30am – 12.30pm at Albert Park, Middlesbrough (Entrance through Park Road South). Please come along, get planting and digging, learn about healthy living and eating, and develop your English by socialising with other gardeners. You can also work towards an OCN level 1 qualification in horticulture. We also run occasional courses on Cyle re-cycling. People can come to the International Centre in Middlesbrough and access information, advice and guidance, as well as participate in various activities. At all times, practical support is provided in the form of clothing, toiletries and SIM cards and the Co-op runs a food bank there on Thursday evenings.
Friends without Borders is a unique project run by IPC on Teesside, bringing social opportunities and friendship to refugees and those seeking asylum. The aim of the project is simple: to match a refugee or person seeking asylum with someone living locally who can commit to meeting up and getting to know each other over a three-month period (and hopefully longer). This might involve a weekly chat by phone, or meeting to explore the area and share cultural experiences. The difference this can make in reducing the sense of isolation that affects so many who come to the UK only to be caught up in the bureaucracy of asylum applications is very real. Full information at https://i-p-c.org/befriending/
IPC’s Refugee Doctors Project, known as REPOD, is one of the leading initiatives in the country that helps doctors and other medical practitioners who come to the UK as refugees to transition into the NHS. REPOD is a partnership between IPC, Health Education England North East (HEENE) and health trusts in the North East of England. As part of the project, IPC provides English classes two days a week to enable refugee doctors to pass the IELTS or OET exams. These qualifications in English language are required for medics trained in other countries to practise in the UK. After passing the IELTS or OET, doctors are then required to pass two medical exams (PLAB 1 and PLAB 2) before they can apply for jobs within the NHS. Working with local health trusts, IPC supports these medical practitioners in finding clinical placements and ultimately applying for NHS jobs. Full information at https://i-p-c.org/repod/
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