Mary Thompson Fund

Founded in 2001, the Mary Thompson Fund is a hardship fund responding to the critical and emergency needs of those who are seeking sanctuary or are settled refugees in the Tees Valley.

Dedicated to the memory of Mary Thompson, we rely on the generous support of individuals and groups in the North East of England to deliver crucial services to some of the most vulnerable people living in the UK.

About The Mary Thompson Fund

The Mary Thompson Fund was set up in 2001, to respond to the critical and urgent needs of those who are seeking sanctuary or are settled refugees in the Tees Valley.


The Mary Thompson Fund was originally intended to improve the quality of life of refugees by giving grants to meet the costs of study, winter clothes or travelling to visit relatives. However, as Immigration Policy became more draconian and people experienced increasing hardship, the main purpose of the Fund today is to alleviate destitution. We support those with nowhere else to turn, helping them with emergency food packs and cash payments, expenses incurred in pursuit of their asylum claims (travel to appointments, obtaining evidence), maternity wear and baby needs, ‘phone cards, medical expenses and the cost of activities for children to avoid stigma and social isolation. Help is provided when no other sources of assistance are available. Often people come to us when they are in crisis, usually when their asylum claims have been refused and they lose their entitlement to support, even though they may be unable to return to their country of origin. People seeking asylum are not allowed to work or claim benefits, so many are forced to live rough.


Financial Assistance

We offer financial aid to individuals and families experiencing financial hardship, helping them to meet their basic needs and regain stability in their lives. This is in the form of either: one-off hardship payments or regular support through money, food and toiletries given at our monthly drop-ins.

Community Support

Helping Middlesbrough food banks during the pandemic and beyond. We were able to help our friends experiencing hardship thanks to the generosity of our supporters. We hold monthly drop-ins at various locations across the North-East of England.

Providing Individual Support

We offer support and guidance to individuals and families facing challenges, helping them to navigate difficult situations and find hope.  For example, we can support families through school uniform grants to help towards this expense. 

Frequently Asked Questions


How can I apply for financial assistance?

To apply for financial assistance, please complete our online application form on our website.

Do you offer scholarships for higher education?

No, unfortunately we do not offer scholarships for higher education. 

How can I support the Mary Thompson Fund?

There are several ways to support the Mary Thompson Fund. You can make a donation through our website, volunteer your time and skills, or participate in our fundraising events. Every contribution makes a difference in the lives of those we serve.

Join our newsletter community to stay in touch

By submitting your information, you're giving us permission to email you. You may unsubscribe at any time.

We help by holding social meetings and doing stuff in the community

We work to improve the wellbeing, safety and prosperity of those seeking sanctuary or refugee status in the UK

Our aim is to help educate and deliver critical services in the community of Tees Valley & the North-East of England