Charity details

At FODI, we believe that everyone deserves a chance to thrive.

That’s why we help asylum-seekers and refugees in Sunderland find their way in the community, whether it’s through the charity’s programs or just by being part of something bigger than themselves.

We see people who have been forced to flee their homes and are living in limbo, without support or a place to call home. We want to give them a chance to be active members of their communities again—and better yet, we want to do it together!

FODI is a not-for-profit charity that provides funding for projects that improve the lives of asylum seekers and refugees in Sunderland by providing access to community resources and opportunities.

FODI aims to improve the mental health and well-being of the asylum-seeking and refugee community of Sunderland. In doing so we hope to lessen their social isolation and promote their integration into the wider community, by supporting and extending the activities of the Drop-In. FODI has no religious affiliations. All asylum seekers and refugees are welcome.

Our objectives:

  • To provide opportunities for the clients of the Drop-In to participate in wider societal activities of a suitable nature.
  • To foster closer links into the wider community, providing opportunities for clients to link into this.
  • To work in partnership with other local organisations/groups to further this aim.

FODI officially began in November 2011 when our constitution was signed. With a vision to support the Drop-In and expand the positive impact, FODI achieved charitable status in July 2013. Our registered charity number is 1176524.

Our team


Sandra has been in post since 2016. Sandra has been working over this time to develop new projects and partnerships in Sunderland to assist with the general well being of all asylum seekers and refugees in Sunderland and develop their sense of belonging and inclusion. Sandra is committed to her role and is impressed with the dedication and care that goes into the running of FODI through its impressive team of volunteers. She continues to network and be an advocate for the asylum seeker and refugee community  in Sunderland.

Operations Assistant

Fanni joined the staff team in this part time role of operations assistant in April 2022. She is active in helping to run all FODI regular activities as well as being involved in our new partnership with the Secret garden and the Stories of Sanctuary choir for Refugee week 2022. She brings a wealth of lived experience to the role.

Our Volunteers

The important work of FODI is not possible without our dedicated volunteers who give up their free time to help run the Drop-In and its many associated activities. Our volunteers are a diverse mixture of people from both the local and asylum-seeker & refugee community.

Management Committee
Our Trustees

Chairperson: Stephen Newman:

Treasurer: Felicity Livsey

Committee members:
Zara Juma
Jane Nikolarakis
Abraham Eiluorior
Zeinab Cummings


The work that FODI does is beyond amazing within the limited resources they have. The wraparound care service they provide to clients is thoughtful, well intentioned  and clearly appreciated by service users.

Supporting partner

FODI would like to thank all of our funders, without them we would not be able to carry out our work. We are very grateful to the Northern Rock Foundation, who fund the running of the Drop-In alongside the Lloyds Foundation and the NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group. The NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group, also fund various activities and outings we run for our members.

Sunderland County Council and previously Durham CF for funding our women’s group. Our COVID emergency help was funded by the Community Foundation Tyne and Wear, Police Crime Commissioner’s Office, SCC strategic development partnership and Barrow Cadbury Trust.

Please contact us if you too would like to make a huge difference to the asylum-seeking and refugee community of Sunderland.