Northumberland charity ready to help Afghan families

  • Report by Katie Cole

A charity supporting refugees in Northumberland says it's ready to help Afghan families who resettle in the county. 

Northumberland County of Sanctuary, based in Ashington, is run by 20 volunteers. It has now helped 400 people since it was set up five years ago.

It supported Zara and her two children when they arrived from Russia seeking asylum three years ago.

Arriving in Northumberland with her young children - she had nothing - and couldn't speak a word of English. 

Zara was an accountant in Russia, and in the future she hopes to work in our region's care sector. She is now a volunteer with the charity, giving something back to the place that gave her and her children somewhere safe to call home.

The charity also works with Northumberland College, helping people access English lessons. 

With Afghan refugees expected to arrive in the country soon, the charity's founder Hilton Dawson says they are ready to help.

He's also planning Ashington's first International Festival, a celebration of people from 35 countries who call Northumberland home.