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A HUGE thanks to everyone who made our Justice First Annual ...Read More

A HUGE thanks to everyone who made our Justice First Annual dinner such a success: Geraldine and team for fantastic food; Andy McDonald MP for a musical interlude(!); Paul Williams MP for inspiring us on the power of politics; Barbara Hungin for reminding us why we’re all involved; Lucie, Solafa and Kath for making it all happen; Pete Widlinski for emerging from retirement to host our evening ✨And to everyone who came and supported Justice First - it is a privilege to work with such an amazing group of people!...

LAST CHANCE to get your tickets to our annual fundraiser, th...Read More

LAST CHANCE to get your tickets to our annual fundraiser, this Saturday 5th May, the Trinity Centre, North Ormesby. £35 a ticket for an evening of fun, food and as much wine as you can drink all thrown in!!!! Call 01642 601122 to reserve your space!...

A fantastic evening celebrating our amazing friend and colle...Read More

A fantastic evening celebrating our amazing friend and colleague, Pete Widlinski, as he retires from Justice First. Thank you to everyone who came and contributed, especially Bini and the catering team for delicious food!...

Councillor Eileen Johnson was installed as Mayor of Stockton...Read More

Councillor Eileen Johnson was installed as Mayor of Stockton last week and we are delighted that she has chosen one of our partner organisations, the Mary Thompson Fund, as one of her charities. Photo [left to right]: Larry Amadi-Emina MTF volunteer, the Mayor of Stockton Councillor Eileen Johnson, Kath Sainsbury Secretary MTF, Mayor's Consort Councillor Paul Kirton....

Working lunch today; fabulous venue, delicious food and a gr...Read More

Working lunch today; fabulous venue, delicious food and a great charitable concept. Highly recommend it!...

Today we say a very fond but sad farewell to our wonderful P...Read More

Today we say a very fond but sad farewell to our wonderful Pete. We all wish him a very happy retirement in the Dales, and will of course miss him and his wonderful work immensely! Clients old and (very!)new, came to share his last day. You should know now Pete, how much you are loved, by us all XXX...

Along with another local charity A Way Out, Justice First wa...Read More

Along with another local charity A Way Out, Justice First wants to say a huge thank you to The Franklins – a local family who chose to celebrate a milestone birthday in an inspiring, generous and strenuous way. They cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats over 3 weeks, a journey totalling over 1000 miles, with hills equating to more than twice the ascent of Mount Everest. Norman Franklin, 89, and three of his sons (Andrew, 60; Tom 58 and Sam 54) and two of their partners Caroline Elton and Anne Bulmer used their pedal power to really move up a gear and raise £100,000 for a number of local and national charities, choosing A Way Out and Justice First as local beneficiaries. On 22nd November the Mayor and Mayoress, alongside representatives from local MPs and Trustees and staff from both charities said a huge THANK YOU to Norman and his son Sam....

The impact of our work in 2016/17

Our staff keep meticulous records of the number of people assisted and each case file is kept up to date. This is a huge administrative task, but vital to the success of our mission. Over the past few years our three part- time case work staff have regularly dealt with over 1000 client contacts each year.  During the 12 months from August 2016 to July 2017 Justice First has worked with 450 individual asylum seekers.  In that same time period Justice First assisted 121 clients to mount their appeals and 60 fresh claims were completed, so far resulting in 22 people being given a form of leave to remain in the UK. Of the rest, 80 clients proved eligible for further legal aid and were referred to solicitors to help them make their representations. Our key aim is to enable asylum seekers to re-engage with the legal process by gathering sufficient evidence to mount a fresh claim. Once this is achieved and the claim is accepted, they have access to legal aid and can be passed on to solicitors. Whilst only a small proportion will go on to be granted leave to remain in the UK, this number has increased recently and this is in part due to the use of Article Eight of the Human Rights Act.  This is of importance to asylum seekers who have children that are growing up and being educated in the UK, as it allows them to argue that their children’s right to a family life depends on themselves and their parents being granted leave to remain in the UK.  This is a complex area of law and one for which it is not possible to obtain legal aid, so our staff are gaining expertise through training and through practice in the use of Article Eight to assist our clients.  During the past 12 months just over 50% of the 180 applications made referred to Article Eight and 11 of these have so far been successful. Over the last three years there have been 33 successful cases of clients that have been helped to mount their cases using this section of the Human Rights Act.

Our educational and awareness raising work is also important as this supports both our local fund raising and also the environment and welcome that asylum seekers in our region receive. Our staff provide training, make presentations and lead workshops.  This work includes providing opportunities for asylum seekers and settled residents of the area to meet each other and engage in activities, such as cooking, walking in the countryside, playing football or attending social events together and to learn from each other through social interaction. Whilst it is difficult to keep records of the number of individuals influenced or engaged in this work, we estimate that we reach four to five thousand people a year.

Our staff team also host trainee doctors and social workers from Durham University and Teesside University respectivley. They help the students to gain insight into the problems faced by asylum seekers that will be relevant to their future careers. Our staff also give lectures on these courses.